In this week’s Kwema Safety Speakers Series, we are excited to present a special guest Greg Wigfield, President at NCG Insurance. Although his title doesn't have Safety or Security in it, Wigfield has been working with organizations across the country to mitigate security risks. In this interview, he shares with us his experience mitigating risks with organizations across the country.
Kwema: Tell us about your background and your activities as the Lead Pastor of Destiny Church in Leesburg, VA.
Greg: I am a third-generation pastor. My father and grandfather pastored churches for a combined 120 years, so I know church pretty well. I went into business without plans to be a pastor, but fifteen years into the business, my wife and I planted a new church. I have been leading that church now for twenty-one years.
Kwema: You are also the President of NCG Insurance Agency. Could you share what the story behind its foundation is?
Greg: I started NCG Insurance in 1984. I was involved in the insurance industry while in college, so I took what I knew about church and insurance and put them together to provide property/casualty insurance to churches. Over the last several years, we have been adding camps, nonprofits, and schools to our client lists. Presently we insure over 3,000 churches and faith-based organizations.
Kwema: What are some of the most common issues in managing risks at the organizations your agency insures?
Greg: While property risk management and property insurance are essential, we see the biggest threats to churches in the world of liability. The scope of risk includes Directors & Officers’ liability, cyber exposure, sexual harassment, abuse and molestation, employment practices liability, and failure to provide proper security. The list goes on and on. In today’s environment, selling insurance to churches and other faith-based organizations is simply not good enough. Until the church or organization discovers and understands its exposures, there is no way to know what kinds of insuring mechanisms need to be employed. That is why NCG moved away from peddling an insurance product to offering risk management to our clients. If both the church and the insurance agent do not understand the risks, how can a good decision be made!
Kwema: Unfortunately, mass shootings are on the rise. With 578 incidents recorded in 2020. Houses of worship across America are one of the most at-risk areas for these unfortunate incidents. What can leadership in Churches do to mitigate these risks from happening?
Greg: First and foremost, I believe every church needs some security team and a security program. This is much more complex than just having a couple of people with carry permits. Some of the best security plans are in churches located in states that do not allow concealed carry. NCG will typically host 4-6 security conferences for churches and related ministries each year. We have been able to help countless numbers of churches put together a first-class security team and implement safety measures for their entire church. In today’s environment, this is not something that cannot be ignored. The attendance size of a church cannot be the deciding factor in whether or not to have a security team. In my opinion, smaller attendance churches may be a bigger target than large churches.
Kwema: Besides mass shootings, what other physical risks do churches face?
Greg: Other than church security issues, the two risks that I think require special attention are child protection and medical emergencies. Providing a safe place for children is essential. Churches and schools must be educated in the prevention of abuse and molestation. NCG offers excellent resources in this area of liability. Churches also need to be prepared for medical emergencies, including procedures, emergency first aid, and the use of AED units.
Kwema: What essential advice would you share with people who are considering investing in their organization’s security?
Greg: This seems like an overwhelming task. But there are plenty of resources available to help. Start with a small group of people who will help put your security teams together, then utilize the outside resources to help. Sign up for a security conference designed to help you put together a security team. Typically the cost for those conferences is around $100 per person. Get local resources to help with medical emergency training. Often you will find that there is no charge for something like that.
Kwema: In your opinion, how do you think wearable technology like Kwema’s could improve church security in the next few years?
Greg: As we think about wearable technology and the church, we could easily dismiss this as something for the vast church or mega-church. But because of my work with all types of churches, I believe one of the most important uses of this technology would be with Kids Ministry staff and volunteers. To alert security personnel of danger or threat without the need for cell phones or two-way radios seems like a significant advancement over the standard means of communication. The volunteer could remain hands-on with the situation while getting the needed help at the same time.
Kwema would like to thank Greg Wigfield for sharing his knowledge and experience, specifically about the risks churches, schools, and other organizations across the US are exposed to. We hope our readers have enjoyed learning from Greg’s experiences with new insights. Please let us know your feedback in the comments section below. We are constantly working on making this section a learning space where safety and security professionals can share their knowledge!
About Greg Wigfield
Greg Wigfield is currently President and Founder of the National Church Group Insurance Agency (NCG) based in Leesburg, Virginia. NCG is a commercial insurance agency started in 1984 that focuses on insuring churches, camps, private schools, and non-profit organizations. Greg Wigfield paused his career in business in 1999 to plant Destiny Church in Leesburg, VA. Presently he is the Lead Pastor of Destiny while overseeing multiple business interests. Greg also served as Chaplain to the Washington Redskins from 1982 through 1988 under Coach Joe Gibbs’ leadership. He holds an MA in Organizational Leadership and Divinity from Regent University. He is married to Pam and has four children, six grandchildren, and more on the way!Visit National Church Group Insurance Agency website: https://ncginsurance.com/