Sheriff Introduces New Chaplain Program

Monday, January 10, 2022

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At a festive luncheon given in appreciation of Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office staff as part of National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, Sheriff Carter Weaver introduced the Sheriff’s Chaplain Program.

“No one is confronted with more situations that demoralize and create emotional, mental and spiritual burdens than those who work in the law enforcement environment,” Weaver said. “The Chaplain Program can help enhance employee well-being, both on and off the job. The chaplains respect what we do and they want to help.”

Four chaplains were chosen for the program: Rev. Kenny Johnson of Ringel Heights Baptist Church, Bishop John Smith, Jr. of Greater Bible Way Church, Pastor Greg Van Dyke of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, and Pastor Josh Sierra of First Assembly of God Emmanuel.

Rev. Johnson was a longtime coroner for Georgetown County, before his retirement a year ago.

“Having sat in the seats where all of you now sit, my heart goes out to you,” he said to the crowd. “I’m here to help you, pray with you, and pray for you. It’s not always a pleasant society we serve these days.”

Pastor Josh Sierra, who served in a similar capacity for six years in Florida, urged any officer to feel comfortable approaching any of the chaplains. Pastor Van Dyke agreed, adding that he prays for the agency every day.

“You provide a vital service at every level, 24/7 you put yourself at risk to protect others,” he said. “We’re here to serve you as you serve us.”

Bishop Smith echoed his fellow chaplains, lauding the Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office staff: “We are eager to support people who are serving our community, and this agency is a wonderful representative of that.”

Sheriff Weaver reminded those gathered that the very underpinnings of their work can be found in Psalms 82:3-4.

“Defend the weak and the fatherless, uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed,” he quoted. “Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”

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