Grace Assembly gives honor to Police Officers


Pam Dudding-Burch
Contributing writer

Photos by Pam Dudding-Burch
Police Officers from Craig, Roanoke and Salem attending the ‘Hero’ Dinner hosted by Grace Assembly of God in Catawba.

One police officers quote from T. Blauer is: “The way you feel, affects the way you think; the way you think, affects the way you feel; they both affect the way you move.” Grace Assembly of God, in Catawba, felt a need to honor the local men in blue by hosting a ‘Hero’ Dinner on Saturday, May 20.

Police Officers from Craig, Roanoke and Salem were invited to a delicious homemade dinner and an evening filled with special gifts and door prizes. Officers from these areas were invited as they are the ones serving their area.

“Given the events reported that we have viewed on news and other media sources, there has been much display of disrespect and violence toward those who are in authority,” Loraine Taylor, a Senior Pastor of Grace Assembly, explained.

“Our leadership sees the need to show support and encouragement to our officers who serve us in our immediate area,” Taylor added. “Since the Holy Scripture teaches believers to show honor to whom honor is due, as people of God we believe in the overall need to have for law and order.” She said that she believes that Gods will is for communities to abide in peace and order.

“We believe those who serve in these offices are there for the well-being of the people,” she added. “Our behavior should be peaceably and giving honor toward those who serve in authority unless a law or behavior strictly violates the Scripture (Acts 5:29).”

The ministerial staff, church leadership and those in training for ministry greeted the officers and made them feel ‘at home’ during the evening. The fellowship hall was decorated in ‘officer blue’ and patriotic colors, with live flowers giving a refreshing feeling at each table.

Everyone seemed to enjoy their delicious meal and desserts. Afterward, Taylor shared their church’s heart of caring to the officers. “We thank you for your sacrifice and service to the people,” she said. “We support you with our attitudes, words, honor and prayers.”

Two scripture references were read that promoted her statement. Romans 13:1-8, NIV Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.

2 Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.

3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you.

4 For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.

 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience.

6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing.

7 Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.

1 Timothy 2:1-3  NIV 1 I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone– 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.  3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior.

Afterward, each officer was presented a Bible with the officer’s name engraved on it along with their badge number. “They were also given a personal token which was prayed over as a reminder to them that Grace Assembly joins ourselves together in prayer for each one of them and their families,” Taylor said. “We realize there is much sacrifice not only for them but for their precious family members as well.” The inscription on the token read; “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

Special Speakers were Frederick Jones and wife Vanessa Jones; Vanessa from Christiansburg Police Department after serving 25 years and Frederick Jones from Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department with 22 years of service. Both Fred and Vanessa retired with high honors.

An added surprise was door prizes that included; restaurant gift cards, skating tickets for families, tickets from Mill Mountain Zoo and Natural Bridge Zoo for families, Green Ridge Splash free tickets, movie theater gift card among other gifts.

Taylor shared that she and her church wanted to offer a time of refreshing and honor to those who serve and say “thank you” in a tangible show of honor. “Each officer received us with gratitude,” she said. “We also believe this is a small way to cultivate an atmosphere and church family who show honor and kindness toward those who serve as well as proper honor towards all people.”

One comment from a Pastoral staff member was that he had a strong conviction that “our law enforcement officers are agents of God to serve the people while promoting safety, peace and order.” Taylor shared; “I’m not sure if everyone would understand this but I sensed “the pleasure of God” upon this expression of honor. Perhaps there is no greater pleasure we can receive than the giving on honor to whom it is due. As we honor others we honored by God.”

Years ago, there was a contest to select a motto for the police force. The motto suggestion, “To Protect and to Serve” submitted by Officer Joseph S. Dorobek became the official motto of the Police Academy, and it was kept constantly before the officers in training as the aim and purpose of their profession.

Taylor believes the motto should be viewed both ways. As the Police Officers ‘protect and serve’ the people of the communities, so should the church ‘protect and serve’ them in their respective way.”Perhaps we could suggest a prayer for people to pray for all of our law officers on a daily basis.”

Taylor suggested: “Heavenly Father we recognize that we are a nation that still believes in the sanctity and value of all human lives. We are a nation under You God and our governments exist to be of the people, by the people and for the people. We believe it is your desire that we prosper and live in safety without threat of those who seek to do evil to their fellow man. We thank you for those among us who serve in the capacities to keep safety and peace. We ask You to please be with all of them and their families as they do the sometimes difficult task of calling out wrongdoing and law breakers.”

She added: “In addition to their training, please give them wisdom from above, spiritual strength to do what is right in your eyes along with spiritual discernment in each situation they encounter. Please protect them as they sometimes enter dangerous situations and argumentative people. Please help our community be a community of honor. Help me do my part to encourage and cultivate a culture of honor with those around me. Thank you for hearing me and answering this prayer for all of our good.”

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