A Tennessee church held an Independence Day ceremony to honor their local police amidst calls to defund law enforcement in certain cities across the nation. As a sign of their support, the congregation gifted 23 checks of $1,000 to each employee of the department.
Pastor Perry Cleek of Lighthouse Missionary Baptist Church in Jonesborough, Tennessee, let his thoughts be known in a Facebook post ahead of the July 4 event.
“We at Lighthouse believe enough is enough,” the pastor stated. “It’s past time for the silent majority of Americans who do not approve of lawlessness and anarchy in the streets … to stand tall and firm and let our voice be heard.”
He said that God-fearing Americans who love their country have “watched in amazement as the chorus of voices denigrating and disgracing law enforcement have steadily increased in both volume and intensity.”
In the Independence Day ceremony, held on the Washington County Court House steps in downtown Jonesborough, police chief Ron Street and his officers were personally honored by the pastor, who declared in a speech that he had “every confidence” that the police chief would “never tolerate an abusive, racist, unprofessional officer.”
He reinforced again the church’s support, in word and deed, for all 23 members of the department—including police officers, dispatchers, and administrators—who then each received their check for $1,000.
Cleek felt that the gesture from his congregation would help boost the morale of the local men and women of law enforcement.
“We recognize that we do not speak for anyone but our local church,” Cleek told The Christian Post. “We have not issued an appeal for other churches to follow our example.
“However, we believe that millions of Americans feel exactly the same way we do about the treatment of law enforcement in our country, but do not feel they have a voice. The voices of those blaming and condemning law enforcement for much that is wrong in our country are very loud.
“We wanted our voice in support of law enforcement to be loud and bold.”
Cleek hoped that his congregation’s act of support would also result in more American citizens following their lead by honoring the tireless efforts of law enforcement personnel in their own towns and cities.
Jonesborough Police Chief Street spoke on behalf of his colleagues to say that the gesture was certainly appreciated.
“We are very appreciative of the citizen and church support,” Street told Fox News. “With everything that’s going on in the country, defunding and everything,” he added, “it’s nice to have your citizens behind you and supporting the work we do in the community here.”
The pastor’s last word to his congregation on Facebook came from a Bible passage from Letter to the Romans: “Be not overcome of evil,” he wrote, “but overcome evil with good.”
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