Abilene churches reveal how they keep money secure from potential robberies


ABILENE, Texas - Less than two weeks ago the Lakewood Church in Houston was robbed of $600,000 in cash and checks. KTXS wanted to know how churches of all sizes in Abilene make sure their money is secure from a potential robbery.

"We want that to be gone and out of our hands at least from a security standpoint," said Mike Greenfield, pastor for administration and spiritual development at First Baptist Church Abilene.

Larger churches usually have more intricate plans.

"All the funds that come in on Sunday are taken and counted in the envelope system. We track that," Greenfield said. "They write down all the check numbers and cash and then that is carried by two gentlemen to the bank with the key locked moneybag and then put in the night deposit."

Even smaller churches have to think about what they would do if someone tried to rob them.

"We don't have formal security per se, but it stops just short of a written plan for how to deal with contingencies in situations where there might be problems," said Dr. K.B. Massingill, an elder at Hope Church of Christ.

One way churches big and small have kept money secure is by using online banking.

"Now we have more people paying tithes and offerings online," said Suzahn Roach, bookkeeper at Action Professional Outsourcing.

"It's been a bit of a shift, but we try it to keep up with that technology. And so on our website we do have online giving as well as at the church you can set up an automatic withdrawal," said Greenfield.

"For smaller churches the ability to have online tithes is kind of easy. It's kind of something that's new and important because really years ago it was only large churches that could afford to do that sort of thing," said Massingill.

Something else that many small churches are turning to is outsourcing.

"To me outsourcing bookkeeping and all of that is just sort of one more layer to security about churches being careful about the way to handle finances," said Massingill.

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