Local law enforcement officers blessed at St. John’s
By Beth Alston
AMERICUS — During an impressive service at St. John’s Anglican Church Monday evening, individually blessed between 25 and 30 local law enforcement officers.
Each officer was not only given a blessing for protection but also a medal of St. Michael, the patron saint of law enforcement.
The congregation participated in the prayers for forgiveness, thanksgiving, and the reading of scripture.
George Peagler read from Revelation 12: 7-12.
Father Jim Parker welcomed everyone and thanked the law enforcement officers for taking the time to attend. He explained that the service happens each year on the day of the Feast of St. Michael’s. He spoke of the scripture read by Peagler of a battle that breaks out in heaven and God sends Michael and the angels out to face the dragon, who is Satan. During the battle, Satan and his angels are cast out of heaven to the earth. But through salvation, Satan is defeated.
Parker asked who would stand between those gathered and what evil might lurk? “In our communities, what is protecting us? It is law enforcement, who guards and protects.
“If you think about it, you officers fulfill the role of St. Michael, checking for the evil right here in Americus and Sumter County …
“We come together today to recognize and bless those who protect us. Like Michael when the war broke out in heaven … confronting what is wrong. Isn’t that what you do? Protecting and serving this area in various capacities.
“You and your loved ones are truly supported. We love you and we bless you for what you do in this community.”
Peagler, representing the church, presented a second endowed scholarship the Law Enforcement Academy at South Georgia Technical College through the Smarr Smith Foundation. This foundation is named for Americus Police Officer Nick Smarr and Georgia Southwestern State University Police Office Jody Smith who were killed in the line of duty Dec. 6, 2016.
Following the service, a bu