Many law enforcement officers put on their uniforms and go to work with a basic desire at their core—to protect and serve.
The oath means something to them. They want to help people. But the daily grind can fatigue even the best, and on Friday, the Billy Graham Library opened its doors for a Law Enforcement Appreciation Breakfast to provide officers the opportunity to be renewed and encouraged in their daily walks.
“God loves you, and so do we,” keynote speaker Kevin Williams proclaimed to the uniformed and plainclothes officers who packed the Dairy Bar inside the Library in Charlotte, North Carolina. “My purpose this morning is to remind you over and over again that God loves you. He has called you for such a time as this.”
The encouraging message was a boost for Mark Sink, who just Wednesday was sworn in as the new police chief in Lexington, North Carolina. Sink is approaching 24 years of service—all with the Lexington Police Department—and he keeps God and the Bible as his main leadership tools.
“You can read all the great books about leadership, but everything you need is in the Bible,” Sink said.
Williams, a member of the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team who spent 18 years as a corrections officer in one of New Jersey’s toughest prisons, pulled Friday’s marching orders from Romans 13:1-7. It’s a short passage that addresses submitting to authorities. Williams drilled through the following seven points:
All authority comes from God
Anyone who rebels against authority rebels against what God has instituted
Authorities do not strike fear in people who are doing right
The authorities are God’s servants
You must submit to authorities
Authorities are serving God in what they do
Give respect and honor to those in authority
And that is why the Library hosted the breakfast, Williams told the officers. “We respect you. We honor you.”
But he reminded them of their responsibility. “What you do is not a job,” he said. “It’s not a career. It’s a divine calling.”
“I think we as law enforcement tend to lose a little perspective, but we were called for this job,” Deputy Kim Morehouse said afterward, while many of the other officers went to take the Library’s Journey of Faith Tour.
A native of Indiana, Morehouse spent almost 14 years with the Indiana State Police before briefly joining the United States Secret Service. Today, she is a crime prevention officer and assistant public information officer with the York County Sheriff’s department in South Carolina.
“Maybe we need to start looking at—since we made it through the process—we were called by God to do this job and keep our lives in tune with that,” Morehouse added. “The more we keep our lives in tune with what God sets out for us, the better the community is going to see us as law enforcement officers.”