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First Baptist Church of Hamlet honors law enforcement, first responders, and veterans with special service and luncheon

Hamlet Detective Corey Wilson tells the congregation of First Baptist Church that his career in law enforcement was a calling from God.
Pam Simmons - Richmond Observer

 HAMLET — In a patriotic service to celebrate Richmond County’s “everyday heroes,” Dr. Allison Farrah, pastor of First Baptist Church, led the congregation and choir to demonstrate appreciation for those who protect and serve the community on Sunday, July 14.

Members of the Hamlet Police Department, Hamlet Fire and Rescue Department, Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, and Richmond County Emergency Management were invited to attend, in addition to local veterans.

After the pastor’s welcome to the large crowd in attendance, Terry Moore, retired Hamlet Police Chief and current candidate for the Hamlet City Council, gave the invocation.

The armed forces flags were presented by the sheriff’s office Honor Guard. Members of the church family then presented the state flags of the United States in the order they joined the nation, marching in up the center aisle and dividing into two groups, surrounding the church pews. Detective Eric Culbreth of the Rockingham Police Department presented the United States flag, and Reggie Monroe, FBC deacon, presented the Christian flag. Pledges to each of the flags were then given by the congregation, with Fire Chief Calvin White leading the pledge to the U.S. flag.

The sanctuary choir sang “The Star Spangled Banner” and “We Remember America”, with a solo by Ruth Ann Harris.

After recognizing the performance of the choir, led by director Mary Snyder, Farrah shared the scripture reading of Ephesians 6:10-18:

“A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and -blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.

In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.”

Farrah shared her respect, honor, love, and appreciation to all of the first responders. The sanctuary choir followed with “We Stand for You.”

Chief Deputy Mark Gulledge addressed the congregation with words of testimony, adding that “We need the choir at the First Methodist Church next Sunday!” and “ God bless everyone, and God bless the first responders!”

A medley of patriotic songs was then performed by the sanctuary choir, including “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” “Of Thee I Sing,” “My Country ‘Tis of Thee,” and “Armed Forces Medley.”


Detective Corey Wilson of the Hamlet Police Department came before the congregation with his words of testimony.

“I am a police officer, I am a detective, and I am proud to say I am a Christian,” he said.

Wilson said he endeavored to study the Bible as a child and it has opened doors for him to serve others. He has been on mission trips around the world, and said he has seen that many others don’t have all of the advantages we do here.

As an officer, Wilson said he has to make decisions in a split second, and he knows he has to be strong, and that God will give him patience.

“I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me. What can we do as first responders?” Wilson asked. “Evangalise at all times, and use words when necessary.”

Many doors of evangelism open up through his work, and Wilson said he tries to remind others that God still loves them.

Wilson has a challenging work load, and has been in quite a few dangerous situations. Even though he  entered this career “later in life,” he shared that he has “been directed by God to do this.”

“I remind myself every day, I get to do this,” he said. “It’s not a job, it’s a calling. I do what I do because God said so.”

As the inspirational service drew to a close, Wilson sang “God Bless America,” and the congregation stood and joined in.

Following the service, all the special guests were served a barbecue lunch — prepared by Chuck Hall  complete with green beans, baked beans, potato salad, cole slaw, hush puppies, rolls, chopped barbecue, and pound


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