Sheriff Jason Parker, in an effort to provide his deputies with the support they need in their line of work and fostering transparency within his office, called on the experience of Pastor T. Alexander Knapp of Mt. Calm Baptist Church in Minden and Pastor Lonnie Moore of Harrison Chapel in Springhill to spearhead a chaplaincy program for Webster Parish.
These chaplains were officially recognized Tuesday afternoon at Mt. Calm Baptist church and introduced to the deputies and officers they will be servicing.
Pastor Knapp spoke of his history with law enforcement and being a Chaplain in Shreveport’s Police Department and International Police, conveying an understanding for what law enforcement goes through in their line of work and why a Chaplaincy program could be a benefit to them.
“I have been trying to get a Chaplaincy program in Webster Parish and also in Minden for some time,” said Knapp. “When you’re riding along, what people fail to realize, and even I as a pastor fail to realize sometimes, is that you guys are human just like everybody else on the street, and you go through things like everybody else.”
“We want you to know that we’re here. You go through personal problems. All of you do, your human,” said Pastor Knapp. “Our hearts are with you, we want to be there for you.”
He went on to speak of his confidence in the pastors who stepped forward to help their parish through this program.
“The Sheriff presented me with a group of guys that were awesome. And when I say these pastors are awesome, these pastors are awesome,” said Knapp.
“We have guys that are Chaplains that Sheriff Parker presented to me. They have been chaplains for the military, the military police, and we have Chaplains that work in law enforcement. So we don’t want you guys to think that we are not familiar with you. What we want you to know from our heart to your heart is that we are here for you guys under the direction of our Sheriff and Chief Deputy,” said Knapp.
He stated that when he met the Pastors, they said, “We don’t want to be a Chaplain just in name. We want to be there to offer service to our community, our Sheriff, and offer services to our police department. I thought that was awesome. They want to be active, they want to be involved.”
Pastor Moore who will be managing the program for the northern side of the parish echoed Knapp’s remarks and affirmed their support for the deputies and officers. “We are with you guys 100%, and I want you to know that I am very excited to be a part of this wonderful team,” said Pastor Moore.
Parker later addressed those in attendance to talk about why he felt inspired to bring a Chaplaincy program to Webster Parish and the good it could do for his office and the community.
“When I walked through the door and saw all of y’all in uniform, it brought a smile on my face, that y’all are part of the family here in the Sheriff’s Office and throughout the police community here in the parish, and I’m just grateful for y’all to be a part of this,” said Parker.
“I think now more than ever we need God in our hearts, in our communities and our schools, and we certainly need Him in our Sheriff’s office. That’s what these Chaplains bring to the table for us. Because a lot of the time we need help.”
“That’s what these guys are going to be here for. To stand with us and beside us.” said Parker.