With morale possibly at an all-time low for those serving as U.S. law enforcement officers this past year, Assemblies of God U.S. Missions Chaplaincy Ministries decided to stand behind officers and let them know that not only were their sacrificial services appreciated, but that they were loved by God.
The solution to this quest? Provide chaplains with official Law Enforcement Officer’s Bibles to distribute as gifts to officers.
“When we first began this project in partnership with Light for the Lost and Boys and Girls Missionary Challenge, it was just at the beginning of all the protests and the calls to defund the police,” says Manuel A. Cordero, senior director of Chaplaincy Ministries. “Chaplains all over the United States requested the Bibles for distribution and the response was astounding.”
Cordero says that 10,000 Bibles were initially requested, and once the distribution began, the law enforcement community began asking for more.
“They were hungry for God’s Word,” Cordero says, “and they really needed to know people were with them.”
Testimonies from chaplains also started pouring in as the Bibles were not only gratefully received, but opened doors of communication between chaplains and officers.
“The Law Enforcement Officer’s Bibles have been a great hit,” states Chaplain Ted Gibson. “I have been able to pass the Bibles out to the deputies in person, which were received with much appreciation. One sergeant told me that he was not a follower [of Christ], but thought it would be a good idea for him to read the Bible. With what I had left over, I took to the jail for our deputies there. I was overwhelmed at the response as they grabbed those that I had and were asking for more.”
Several chaplains, in their communication to Chaplaincy, also made note that the Bibles were of noticeable quality.
“Normally free Bibles look like free Bibles,” Chaplain Jon Farquhar said, “but when they [officers] saw these, I got several comments along the lines of ‘this Chaplain brings quality stuff!’ I was told multiple times how much they appreciated the gift of the Word and the fact that it was tailored to their vocation.”
This CSB Heroes Bible for law enforcement officers is well made, coming in a protective box and featuring stitched “leather-touch” binding. Each Bible is also emblazoned with a law enforcement logo on the cover.
The Bible also contains articles written by police chaplains and other officers, including: Law Enforcement Code of Ethics and Law Enforcement/Police Code of Conduct, Memorial Service excerpt from NYC Police Memorial Site, Seven Ways to Neutralize Exposure to Evil, What Do You Do After the Dust Settles?, How Christianity Helps Me at My Job, Nine Stressors Unique to Rural and Small-Town Law Enforcement Personnel, What Does it Take to be a Good Cop?, Folding the American Flag, and others.
Since distributing the Bibles in her police department, Chaplain Catherine Peternel reports, “There has been a genuine openness and acceptance of the chaplaincy and greater opportunities to minister in the community. One of our detectives and his family has now become faithful attenders to our church as well.”
Cordero says that Chaplaincy has received requests for an additional 10,000 Bibles for distribution, and he’s looking at the possible need for a Spanish version as well.
“It’s amazing how God used something not in the least associated with the church — the call to defund the police — to open the door for chaplains and God’s Word to be welcomed and received by thousands of law enforcement officers,” Cordero observes. “And I believe there are tens of thousands of additional officers who need to be given that same opportunity.”