By Erica Thomas, managing editor
TRUSSVILLE — Ridgecrest Baptist Church, in Trussville, invited a Trussville Police Captain to give his testimony on Sunday, May 16, 2021.
Senior Pastor Dr. Ric Camp welcomed Cpt. Greg Cardwell to the stage as part of National Police Week.
The chaplains with the Trussville Police Department spent the week ministering to officers and even provided a steak dinner to the department on Thursday and Friday. As one of the chaplains, Camp said he has grown close to Cardwell.
“He is such a unique man and such a great friend,” Camp said.
Cardwell said he is thankful for the chaplain program, which was created by Chief Eric Rush.
“The chaplaincy program was, I believe, something that was put on Chief Rush’s heart to do and it’s been a wonderful success and we appreciate everything they do,” Cardwell added.
Being raised in church, Cardwell said throughout his 21 years as a police officer, he has depended on the Lord for safety and guidance. Throughout challenging times in law enforcement, and in his personal life, he said patience has been gifted to him from God.
“A lot of times we want things to work out a certain way but that’s not God’s plan,” Cardwell explained. “So, I’ve learned to look to His plan, not my own and that’s helped me out a whole lot.”
In over two decades fighting crime, Cardwell said his faith has gone hand-in-hand with his duties to serve and protect.
“As scripture states, we should use whatever gifts God has given us to serve others,” he stated. “By this service, people may see God’s grace in various forms. You definitely have to have a servant’s heart to be a police officer. We take the oath with the understanding that there may come a day that we will have to give our lives to save the life of a complete stranger. It doesn’t get more selfless than that.”
Even during the most tense, tragic and terrifying moments, Cardwell said he has seen God’s work on the front lines.
“You deal with people on their worst days,” said Cardwell. “Say, an addict that you deal with, then one day you see them and they are clean and leading productive lives. Addiction can be a serious stronghold on an individual. A lot of people couldn’t break their addiction without God’s intervention to bring them out of that bondage.”
He said it’s those moments that he realizes God is a true miracle worker and that “He helps those who cry out to him.”
Cardwell shared a Bible verse that he said he has taken with him his entire career.
“Isaiah Chapter 6, verse 8,” he said. “I’ve carried this verse with me in my car for 21 years. I’ll read it to you: Then I heard the voice of the Lord say, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here I am. Send me!”
Camp encouraged the church to pray for and to thank members of law enforcement when they see them in public. He then called Cardwell and his wife Beth to the front of the church and prayed over them.