By Brian Blackwell, Message Staff Writer
WOODWORTH – Christians in law enforcement should think of their jobs as a mission field, a longtime Louisiana Baptist police officer said during the 2017 Royal Ambassador Congress Saturday, April 8.
“Some of my best days were when I came home after changing a stranded motorist’s tire or helping an elderly lady carry her groceries to her car,” said David Cheatwood, who retired in 2012 after serving with the Natchitoches Police Department and Natchitoches Sheriff’s Department for 33 years. “We are God’s ministers for good. Cops are ministers for good things and to resist evil.”
LOTS OF FUN, ONE GOAL
Cheatwood, now a Louisiana Baptist disaster relief coordinator, shared his message during the statewide gathering, which drew nearly 200 first through sixth grade boys and their adult leaders from 17 churches.
Held April 7-8 at Tall Timbers Conference Center in Woodworth, the RA Congress featured testimonies from law enforcement and armed forces officers as an emphasis of this year’s theme, Honor the Protectors.
During the Friday evening session, various police, fire and other agencies who are on the front lines of protecting the public presented hands-on exhibits for the hundreds who attended.
The RA Congress also included its annual Pinewood Derby, as well as soap box races and camp craft skills competitions.
Most importantly, according to organizers, 10 boys asked God to forgive their sins, committed their hearts to Christ and vowed to live for Him.
SERVE & PROTECT EMPHASIS
“Because of some of the recent media attention law enforcement has gotten, we felt like this year we needed to show kids, to let them know, they are here to protect us and are not our enemies,” said RA consultant Mike Collie. “We also got to them to see and hear others who serve and protect us.
“It’s a great way for the boys to spend time with adults who model what a man is all about and they might even learn a new skill helpful to them,” he concluded.
TIME WITH FAMILY, FRIENDS
Among the young men attending was Jackson Hollis, a third grader from Temple Baptist Church in Ruston. He was accompanied by his brother, Jonathan, and father, Dave.
“This is pretty fun and I’m really excited to see who wins this car race,” said Jackson Hollis, as he awaited the start of the Pinewood Derby. “The race is one of a lot of things I’m enjoying with my friends and Dad.”
Dave Hollis added that the RA Congress allows him some quality time with his sons.
“We are able to see this many actives in one place, and, know everyone is here to glorify God,” he said. “That makes you thankful you gave up a couple of days to come out.”