Mount Signal Baptist Church, Chelsea, in Shelby Baptist Association, honored police officers May 19, including a special remembrance of Sgt. WyTasha Lamar Carter, a Birmingham police officer killed in January.
“National Peace Officers Memorial Day is May 15 so I thought it would be a good time to try to do this,” said Mount Signal pastor Leonard Irvin. “This is a difficult time for police officers. We wanted to take a moment and honor them in our church.”
Irvin’s background in law enforcement gave him the idea to honor local officers during the service.
‘Happy to help’
Irvin worked in the Birmingham Police Department for 23 years and at the Jefferson County Youth Detention Center for more than 15 years.
“I called the chief’s office in Birmingham for guidance and his administrative assistant remembered me from years ago. She put me in touch with a liaison officer who was happy to help us. She attended the service and brought a contingent of Birmingham-area active and retired police officers,” Irvin said.
Retired officer Rod Glover spoke at the service. A 14-year veteran of the Birmingham police force and a 24-year veteran of the Hoover police department, Glover worked as a bomb-defusing technician and a member of a child pornography task force. He now leads a weekly Bible study for active and retired law enforcement.
“He understands law enforcement,” Irvin said.
Glover used Romans 13 as his text and spoke about honoring those in authority.
“We don’t live in an idyllic world. The world groans under the curse of sin and we’re subject to misery and heartache. Bad things still happen to good people.”
Glover cited 2018 being an especially sad year in America.
“We lost 86 soldiers in Afghanistan last year, but we lost 146 officers in America,” he said.
Glover concluded his sermon with a clear call to Christian commitment.
In appreciation for Carter’s service Mount Signal presented embossed Bibles to police representatives to be delivered to Carter’s widow and children.
According to the “Officer Down Memorial Page” (odmp.org), more than 40 officers have died in 2019. Officer William Buechner of Auburn was the 3rd Alabama officer to die in the line of duty this year. Buechner was shot when he and fellow officers responded to a domestic disturbance May 15, the same day Mount Signal hosted the memorial service.