Safety and Security Manual

Introduction 1.1

In the Apostolic Faith organization, we consider it a God-given privilege to minister to our congregations and communities. We recognize that we must do all in our power to provide a church environment that is spiritually, emotionally, and physically safe for those who attend our services and events. That responsibility has its origins in Jesus’ directive to “Love thy neighbour as thyself” (Mark 12:31), and therefore is foundational.

Protecting those who attend our services is not just a spiritual and moral necessity, but it is also a legal imperative. It is our responsibility to familiarize ourselves with legal and insurance requirements, and strive to meet them. While we cannot prevent all accidents and emergency situations, we can take appropriate steps to minimize risk and equip ourselves to respond properly. Therefore, as an organization we strive to:

  • Ensure that individuals who serve in the church are screened, appointed, trained, and supervised appropriately.
  • Address all hazards, complaints, or allegations with due diligence.
  • Have in place an emergency response plan, and train staff in how to respond to crisis situations.

With these goals in mind, the Apostolic Faith Church has established the following policies, procedures, and operating guidelines. These directives apply to all services and activities that are part of the ministry of this organization in the United States. Thus, a copy of this Safety and Security Manual is to be retained in each domestic Apostolic Faith Church.

All staff and volunteers who serve in Apostolic Faith ministries are required to read the Volunteer Handbook produced by the organization. This Safety and Security Manual, the Volunteer Handbook, the forms mentioned in these books, and all other safety documents produced by the organization are posted on the corporate website at

Nothing in this manual is intended to create a contract between the Apostolic Faith Church and its staff members, volunteers, or activity participants. It is provided only for the purpose of supplying general information about the church and its operating policies and procedures.

The Apostolic Faith Church reserves the right to modify, amplify, or suspend any or all of its policies and procedures, in whole or in part, at any time.

Safety Management Team 1.2

A safety management team at the Apostolic Faith headquarters in Portland, Oregon, is responsible for developing and implementing policies related to the safety and security of the organization’s churches and staff, volunteers, and attendees. That team is comprised of the senior pastor, the youth pastor, the Sunday school superintendent, the safety team manager, and other designated staff members.

The headquarters safety team serves as the liaison with the church’s insurance provider for the organization as a whole. Based on the insurance company’s recommendations, the team oversees the production and distribution of safety materials and required trainings. They also supervise the collection and retention of necessary documentation from Apostolic Faith branch churches in the United States.

Each Apostolic Faith Church pastor is expected to establish a local safety team which will be responsible for implementing safety policies and procedures within that church.

Local Safety Management Team Responsibilities:

  • Read the Safety and Security Manual. Those on the safety team should be thoroughly familiar with all safety requirements.
  • Work with the pastor to select and train Church Emergency Responders (CERs).
  • Do a local church assessment to identify any hazards.
  • Evaluate local environmental risks such as the potential for earthquakes or inclement weather.
  • Ensure that contact information for emergency services, security and building maintenance personnel, CERs, and ministers are kept on lists placed in easily accessible locations throughout the church building.
  • Inspect all first aid and safety equipment, making sure that first aid kits are well-supplied and placed in key locations around the church.
  • Copy and distribute safety information to the local congregation.
  • Ensure that workers are adequately instructed and trained in church safety policies and emergency procedures.
  • Facilitate regular inspections of church buildings, equipment, and vehicles, and ensure that records relating to such inspections and work orders for corrective action are retained in the church files.
  • Facilitate regular inspections of fire alarm pull stations, fire extinguishers, smoke alarms, and the fire suppression (sprinkler) system.
  • Review Accident/Incident Report forms and follow through with any needed corrective actions.
  • Oversee periodic fire, earthquake, and evacuation drills with the frequency recommended by the church insurance provider.
  • Ensure that staff and volunteers are instructed regarding church policies and procedures related to child/youth safety.
  • Monitor all child/youth programs for ongoing compliance with safety policies on a regular (announced and unannounced) basis.
  • Make recommendations to the senior pastor regarding safety concerns.

Members of each local safety team should meet on a regular basis to discuss safety issues, risk management practices, and other concerns that could impact the safety or security of those who attend the local church or any of its activities.