The ISA Houses of Worship Program has a New Ambassador

The Independent Security Advisors House of Worship Program Announces Our New Program Ambassador; Bishop Charles R. Thomas, Sr.

 In 2012 Independent Security Advisors started our House of Worship Program to provide safety and security assistance to local religious or non denominational worship centers, pastors and other leadership. This program has expanded over the years from South Carolina, to Houses of Worship, schools, children centers and camps, health centers, and for other faith based organizations across 11 different states. 

 But over this time the risks and threats have increased due to domestic and international political, religious, demographic and economic factors. Bishop Thomas understands the risks to the safety and security of pastors and parishioners attending services in today’s House’s of Worship across all denominations, and he is an advocate for improved safety and security training and assessment programs.

 As our ambassador, he will reach out to all denominations to introduce our House of Worship programs and serve as a special adviser to our team of instructors and SMEs. With Bishop Thomas’s help, ISA will again expand its HOW threat assessment program and provide additional low/no-cost assistance for small community and rural worship centers.

 From well-known pastors, evangelicals, and televangelists, to the community priest, rabbi, or decon, Bishop Thomas will ensure any religious or administrative leader who may have a risk or threat is aware of, and can get access to, our HOW services and programs.

 

Who is Bishop Thomas:

Bishop Charles R. Thomas, Sr. is the Senior Pastor and Founder of One Way Outreach International Fellowship of Churches and Ministries, Inc. He also serves as a chaplain for the Harris County 3rd District Constables Office. 

 In 1992, Bishop Thomas enrolled in the Bishop C.H. Mason Bible College where he earned a degree in Ministry and Theology, and in 1994 he was ordained an Elder and began to minister in the streets of Chicago. Having a heart for people who are strung out on drugs and alcohol, Bishop Thomas held group meetings to help those who suffered from these types of addictions.

 Bishop Thomas holds a Master’s in Pastoral Counseling and an Honorary Doctorate from Midwest Christian Seminary in Schererville, Indiana, and has held several offices in The Church Of God In Christ where he has served as Chairman of the Pastors’ and Elders’ Council in the 7th Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of Illinois and as Superintendent.

 

 In 1997 Bishop Thomas was blessed to take his program to radio and started One Way Outreach Ministries where he served as Pastor. 

 Bishop Thomas has worked with many churches, Pastors, Bishops, and Civic Leaders from Illinois, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, and Florida, and has taken part in marches, set on panels, and rallied to stop the violence in the streets of Chicago. 

 Bishop Thomas is a man who believes in getting the job done.  His motto is “Stick With It, Don’t Quit It Until You Get It!”  so it is no surprise that in 2005 Bishop Thomas along with his wife helped the needy in the aftermath of Hurricane Rita in the cities of Beaumont and Orange, Texas. Working with a ministry from Tampa, Florida, he was able to arrange for several eighteen-wheeler trucks loaded with clothing, food, water, supplies, and equipment so homes could be rebuilt. 

 Bishop Thomas currently resides in the city of Spring, Texas.  He continues to pastor the One Way Outreach Ministries International. 


ISA House of Worship Programs:

 Bishop Thomas will introduce our House of Worship Program designed for members of the clergy, a house of worship administrator/security manager/director, or board member that may be exploring ways to improve the safety and security of their facility and congregation.

 For many faith-based organizations adding a security program to the ministry may seem like a daunting task. Administrators and the clergy often feel overwhelmed by the legal regulations, insurance liability considerations and the cost.

 The Independent Security Advisors House of Worship Programs include;
Safety and Security Assessments: https://www.dignitaryprotection.us/house-of-worship/security-programs-overview/ 
Security Management:                   https://www.dignitaryprotection.us/house-of-worship/security-management/
Security Training Services:            https://www.dignitaryprotection.us/house-of-worship/training/ 

 

What We Do: 

 ISA consultants contact government agencies, as well as state and local law enforcement on your behalf to request and bring together the resources, subject matter experts, trainers, and risk assessment specialists available to work on improving the safety and security of your house of faith, the ministry team and the congregation. If there is a Federal or State program that provides materials, financial aid or expertise that will get us closer to your goal, we will work with them to ensure those resources are made available.    

 At the community level, we will sit down with your security team, local law enforcement, and other first responders as we work together on preparing your security and emergency action plans, and we will build the closest working relationship and open communications between your ministry and first responders

 Bishop Thomas and our team understand the financial burden some of these programs can bring, especially to a small community center of worship. That is why we are proud to have Bishop Thomas on board to ensure the needs of the house of worship is met in a fiscally responsible and appropriate manner. 


Food for Thought:

 “Ministers and other religious leaders occupy a unique position in their members’ lives. Often they are revered, respected, and honored. Other times they are judged harshly for some individual shortcomings or are seen as the individuals responsible for an adverse event in either a member’s life or in the organization as a whole”.   “Ministers and other religious leaders have the right to conduct their ministries without fear, to live safely, and to enjoy their lives without undue anxiety”. 

William S. Carcara, Chief of Police (Retired), Jefferson County, Kentucky



Is all this necessary? 

 Quick Facts: From January 1, 1999, through October 27th, 2018 there have been no fewer than 1,716 violent incidents, including 18 fatal house of worship shootings. In December 2022 a report from the Family Research Council noted 420 acts of hostility against 397 churches between January 2018 and September 2022.

Since 2012 In addition to Christian churches, fatal shootings have happened at a Benedictine monastery, a Sikh temple, an Amish school, and a Jewish temple. And the number of violent incidents that are taking place on the grounds of churches and other faith-based facilities nationwide are increasing.

From May 2020 to February 2023, there have been 289 incidents at Catholic churches domestically including arson and vandalism such as broken windows, damaged statutes, and graffiti.

Between May 2022 and February 2023, 130 incidents were reported involving destruction of property. 

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in April 2022 reported that anti-Semitic incidents reached an all-time high in 2021 with a total of 2,717 incidents of assault, harassment, and vandalism. This has grown worse still since the 2023-2024 military actions in the Gaza strip by Israel after an terror attack on October 7th, 2023 in Israel by Hamas.

Attacks on the Islamic community continue to increase in the United States according to data from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), 12 U.S. states had records of 11 or more anti-mosque incidents since 2005. California alone had 35 incidents noted.


Supplemental Security Services

 As our ambassador Bishop Thomas will also help determine if ISA Supplemental Security Services may be needed and he will be responsible for ensuring these services are provided to houses of worship based on their level of need and not based on religious affiliation, financial means or denomination. 

  1. Security Team Building;  Selection, training & SOP development
  2. Risk Assessment Team: We will complete updated risk assessments periodically or as new information or situations arise. 
  3. Close Protection Agents: We will provide close protection for your clergy and the ministry team as threats are identified or as requested. 
  4. Trained Security SpecialistsTo assist your security team during holidays or other events within the facility should they need some additional assistance.
  5. Domestic Violence Intervention Agents: If members of the congregation are believed to be the ongoing victims of domestic violence our agents provide close protection, transportation, or relocation until the situation is resolved by law enforcement or until no longer needed.  

Supplemental Training Services: 

 Note: After the initial completion of all the available Federal and State training programs for your ministry and security team, we can conduct periodic refresher training or initial training for new members of your ministry and security team. 

  1. The Risk and Threat Assessment Process; See something say something, Updating threat assessments, rehearsing emergency procedures. 
  2. Physical Security Measures; Including access control, CCTV systems, use of physical barriers, lighting and motion detection systems, interior movement control.
  3. De-escalation techniques and the continuum of force; Verbal means, use of force, lethal & non-lethal.
  4. Active Shooter & Workplace Violence; Identifying the threat, reaction procedures and mitigation techniques.
  5. Behavioral Analysis(Body Language) (Verbal/Non-verbal communication); Indicators of threat; physical and behavioral indicators of violent intent, drug, and alcohol abuse, recognizing the indications of a concealed weapon,  domestic violence, and human trafficking.     

Summary:

ISA is pleased Bishop Thomas joins us as our new ambassador and we look forward to expanding this program with his help. This is a non-denominational based program. All religions, worship centers and clergy are welcome.

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