COPS featured in The Cajun Press

(originally published in The Cajun Press, created by James Rodrique)

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On Jun 24, 2011, Grace Chapel hosted another first-time method during Avoyelles Correctional Center. Assistant Pastor Byron Jackson non-stop a use by heading a assemblage in a request for an offender’s personal intentions and afterwards gave a scripture reading from Psalms 73, verses 1–28.

Assistant Pastor Jackson has an unobtrusive style; he is common and sincere; he walks a walk, and this, in my opinion, is a top enrich that can be given to a Christian.

Senior Chaplain Leslie Draper afterwards introduced a newest proffer ministry: Cops Out Preaching Salvation.

These ministers, who proffer their time and unequivocally caring about a destiny of offenders, are in some ways opposite than a standard ministers that transport a jail circuit, and in other ways they are many a same. The initial thing that’s opposite about them is, well, they’re cops!

So, on that Friday dusk we went to see what motivates a integrate of cops to come all a approach from California to Grace Chapel. The initial thing we wondered was how these gentlemen found a time to be full-time military officers and transport a nation priesthood during a same time? “Does your dialect give we time off to do this?” we asked.

Detective Kenneth Tutwiler and Sgt. Brian Dodson answered scarcely in unison: “We use a personal vacation time, and in a commencement we paid for all out of a possess pockets.”

Tutwiler continued, “About fifteen years ago we was invited by a crony of cave in Arkansas to declare to a organisation of inmates. The notation we started, we knew that this is what we was called to do,” he said. “It only felt right.” Our ministry’s truth is formed on Matthew 25:36: “Naked, and ye dressed me: we was sick, and ye visited me: we was in prison, and ye came unto me” (KJV).

Soon after his outing to Arkansas, Tutwiler and other officers began priesthood during a girl trickery in California. As word widespread of their efforts, other military officers began creation contributions; they found that there were a lot of people peaceful to minister to their means on a monthly basis. Tutwiler told me that he knew someone with a automobile dealership that helps them out by loaning them vehicles. He knows another man who has a trucking company, and he contributes fuel. They have, in a past 5 years, turn a self-supported nonprofit organization.

Most people consider that military officers would be a final people in a universe who would wish to assistance lawbreakers, yet Tutwiler and his organisation know that transgressors are a people who need a many help.

“You might consider that it was a patrolman that arrested you,” he continued, “but it was unequivocally a patrolman who discovered you.”

His indicate is good taken; before their arrests, many offenders were on a collision march with an early earthy death. More to a terror of a ministry’s calling, though, is a dignified and devout genocide of a individual; conversely, it is a intensity for almighty life for a truly chagrined that concerns COPS a most.

What creates their efforts probable for offenders, however, is a administrators who concede them to visit. Detective Tutwiler and Sgt. Dodson told a assemblage that AVC is a initial jail in Louisiana to open a doors to them. COPS Ministry now has thirteen military officers who proffer their time to this eminent pursuit. Their goal, Dodson and Tutwiler said, is to supplement 3 additional states each year to their channel until they’ve visited each state in a U.S.

Including a aforementioned states, COPS has already preached in nine: Arizona, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Kansas, Tennessee, and Colorado; their subsequent stops are designed for Massachusetts and New Mexico. In a Gospel According to Mark, 9:23, Jesus pronounced unto him, “If thou canst believe, all things are probable to him that believeth.” With these thoughts in mind, Grace Chapel, and a truly chagrined group of Avoyelles Correctional Center wish COPS well, and we trust that they’re goal is possible, as are all things overwhelmed by a palm of God.