NEW YORK— With ever increasing attacks on houses of worship there has been an outcry in the Black community for an increased need for security and protection for religious leaders, churches and their congregants. For over 86 years the Nation of Islam has been known for their excellence in not only bringing peace in neighborhoods, venues and various arenas but also lending personal protection to dignitaries, preachers and celebrities within the confines of their Temples and Mosques.
As tragedies have mounted like in Charleston, S.C. where Dylan Roof shot and killed nine parishioners including a senior pastor and others at a prayer service in Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church and with the rise of violent assaults and robberies around the country on churches and other places of worship, a call went out for guidance and training at The Cathedral at Greater Faith in the Bronx, N.Y.
The church, headed by Bishop Michel White-Haynes reached out to members of the F.O.I. at Muhammad Mosque No. 7 to meet and discuss ways to enhance the securing of the word at her church. “What began as a seven-week training program grew to be more than what we expected,” said Pastor James Baker who was instrumental on bringing the church and mosque together.
A Ministry of Defense was established along with a safety and security unit, hospitality unit, nursing unit and a force of personal protection for the bishop, pastors, guests and congregants. “The new ministry has brought a new vibe to the cathedral where the atmosphere is more family friendly and secure,” stated Bishop White- Haynes.
“God is a protector, God is a provider and God gave us this vision to invite these brothers in to help enhance our security and to take it to new dimensions,” she added. Members who attended the sevenweek course were ecstatic and willing participants in the Saturday sessions headed by F.O.I. Student Captain Richard Muhammad from Muhammad Mosque No. 7. And his RSAT Security Consultant Group. His team of highly polished, welltrained and disciplined instructors included Student Lieutenants Tariq Muhammad and Steven Muhammad who led the classes each week with vigor, tact and an adaptation to this new environment which was a highly charged, spirited church membership.
Bishop White-Haynes over the years has coined the “3 E’s” in her ministry of Excellence, Effectiveness and Efficiency. These “3 E’s” were carried into the teachings for the Ministry of Defense training modules that helped to build a greater understanding of not just securing a person but securing “the word” no matter who is delivering the sermon.
Student Capt. Richard Muhammad who has had extensive security training for over 20 years and who has trained thousands of men, employees and conducted many workshops and seminars carried on the mantra of Excellence, Effectiveness, and Efficiency and intimated his legacy of going from an employee to an employer based on his security background.
This gave birth to the new security consultant group RSAT (Richard, Steven and Tariq) at The Cathedral at Greater Faith with “birth mother” Bishop White-Haynes who allowed the brothers to tailor make a program exclusively for her church. Constructing a curriculum in this arena was different and unique but Student Capt. Richard put together universal principles, along with proper handling of people, to achieve a highly suitable course in which graduates were given certificates of completion at the end of the training.
This new amalgamation of church and mosque has given Bishop White-Haynes much more respect for the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam for the training that was taught at her church. Pastor Baker added that it has been a trailblazing moment in their church which has been neglected in the past. “We will build on this with more leadership training and team building modules,” the pastor explained.
From the inception of RSAT several months ago to present, the highly trained security consultant group expanded from just three employers to over 50 employees (stakeholders), to numerous contracts and training seminars. Student Capt. Richard said even his experience went beyond what was expected but he knows that with faith, God is able to do exceeding and abundantly beyond what we ask.