First Baptist Church of Swansboro is hosting a Church Security Conference on Friday, the first they’ve ever done.

The conference is open to anyone, and registration is open until the conference begins that morning, according to Wayne Mixon, the chairman for the church’s Safety and Security Council. The cost is $99 and includes lunch.

“It’s a way to help minister to people in the community, and we just really see a need for it,” Mixon said. “There are more incidents occurring in the church than in our school system.”

The focus of the conference is on protection, and that includes protection for congregations, the church property and computers, Mixon said. Churches should perform background checks on any volunteers working with children and any staff who work at the church, he said.

In years past, Mixon said church doors were rarely locked. A church was considered “off limits” for criminal activity.

“It’s not the case anymore,” Mixon said.

To attend the Church Security Conference on Friday visit FBCSwansboro.org and click on the link in the middle of the homepage. A conference schedule is listed online there and interested participants can register on the site.

Otherwise, attendees can show up Friday morning for registration between 7:30 and 8 a.m. at First Baptist Church of Swansboro, located at 614 W. Corbett Ave. in Swansboro. The conference is scheduled to last from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.