10/31/06 — Sheriff's Office chaplain honored by state association

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Sheriff's Office chaplain honored by state association

By Lee Williams
Published in News on October 31, 2006 1:45 PM

Wayne County Sheriff's Office Chaplain Pastor Pete Williams won the President's Award during the North Carolina Chaplain Association's annual meeting held in Asheville Oct. 2-4.

The President's Award is the most distinguished honor presented each year by the organization. Williams said he was thrilled to receive the award typically given to a chaplains who provides outstanding service to officers and the sheriff.

Sheriff's chaplains counsel deputies, detention officers and other law enforcement personnel in Wayne County. The chaplains also are available to assist deputies delivering emergency messages.

Williams said he enjoys offering a helping hand, listening ear or kind shoulder to officers and the sheriff in their time of need. That's why he calls himself "The Sheriff's Preacher." Everything relayed to Williams is kept confidential, he added.

"They can talk to me when they need me and they don't have to worry about it getting back to their supervisors," Williams said.

Williams, pastor of Harvest Baptist Church, and Wayne County Sheriff's Office Chaplain Henry Parker, pastor of Holy Temple Church in Calypso, who holds a doctorate in divinity, both attended the annual meeting.

The chaplains attended the three-day seminar and participated in sessions including counseling for law enforcement officers, spiritual guidance, special assistance in emergency situations, training and crisis intervention for law enforcement officers, detention officers, their families and the general public.

Williams also was certified by the state of North Carolina as a law enforcement chaplain.

Wayne County Sheriff Winders said that Williams' 25-plus years as a pastor was a tremendous asset to the sheriff's office and community. Williams has served as chaplain for the Wayne County Sheriff's Office since 2001.

Parker has served as chaplain for eight years.

Williams is no stranger to distinguished accomplishments. In October 2001, Williams delivered the opening prayer for the U.S. Congress in Washington, D.C., when they resumed their sessions after the Sept. 11 attacks.