Wash. Co. church to have Sheriff's deputy at every church service

GERMANTOWN (WITI) -- The Life Church in Germantown is set to open in its new location on Saturday, May 11th -- and as a precaution, church leaders plan to have a deputy at each and every church service -- at no cost to the county.

The Life Church this Saturday will celebrate its new 24,000 square foot building, new landscaping -- and new security. A uniformed Washington County Sheriff's deputy is set to be on hand every weekend for church services.

This week, officials are putting the finishing touches on the facility to get ready for the grand opening this weekend.

"It's just a lot of details and making sure everything looks presentable and is done with excellence. Getting our people accommodated with, especially our staff accommodated with the facilities. And so we're going to be there ready to go on Saturday," Executive Pastor Ryan Coggins said.

Church officials are also working out security details that are intended to make church members more comfortable during weekend services.

"We're going to be having a Washington County Sheriff's deputy here on sight during the weekend just so people can come and feel comfortable -- they feel safe," Coggins said.

The deputy will be paid $20 an hour while working for the church.

"We're completely paying for this service at our expense. So it's no additional cost to Washington County," Coggins said.

Coggins says having a deputy on site isn't a reaction to the shooting at the Sikh Temple in August of 2012 or any other tragedy.

"It's more of anything just being proactive and making sure that we stay out in front. And just keep our people safe as possible. I think unfortunately, we live in a day and age where safety is not a guarantee, even coming to a place like church. So we think that should be a guarantee," Coggins said.