Sheriff McLemore hosts
first meeting of Christian Sheriffs
Courtesy the Herald
by Tim Anderson
“We need to
acknowledge who we are really working for, and who we serve — our God,”
noted Ben Hill County Sheriff Bobby McLemore to a group of about two
dozen South Georgia sheriffs. He was speaking last Thursday at the
organizational meeting of the Fellowship of Christian Sheriffs (FCS), a
group organized and supported by the Georgia Sheriffs Association.
Sheriffs Association is divided into nine regions and the sheriffs
present for the meeting represented parts of four of those regions.
Sheriff McLemore hosted the meeting, which included some chaplains from
the Sheriffs Offices represented. “I can’t overemphasize how important
our chaplains are to our office,” McLemore said. “When the people in our
office are having difficulties, they don’t want to talk to the Sheriff.
Our chaplains fill a critical role. We have young people killed in car
accidents from time to time and dealing with those families is one of
the most difficult things we do. Our chaplains are on call for us any
time and really give us the support when we need it most.”
The Ben Hill
County Sheriff’s Office has two chaplains — the Rev. Jeff Parmer of
Crossview Baptist Church and Dr. Lloyd Stembridge of Arbor Baptist
Church. “Our chaplains come out here to our office once a week,”
McLemore said. “They don’t come to do jail ministry, they come to
minister to us. They visit with everyone and make themselves available
should anyone need to talk.” Chaplains are sent to special training
through the Georgia Sheriffs Association, but their work is voluntary.
Several chaplains gave brief devotionals at the meeting, including Dr.
Mike Ruffin of First Baptist Church and Dr. Lloyd Stembridge of Arbor
said the FCS will
meet quarterly with sheriffs and chaplains. FCS encourages local
meetings of other first responders, pastors and chaplains. Part of the
mission statement of the FCS states: “The FCS is to create a
professional and honorable environment in the Office of Sheriff that
fosters compassion, fairness, integrity, commitment, respect and
Godliness.” Sheriff McLemore, who will become president of the Georgia
Sheriffs Association this summer, encouraged the sheriffs to develop
strong relationships in their local faith community as an essential part
of serving the entire community.