Biblical scripture in Romans 13:1-7 calls a police officer “the minister of God.” In referring to that scripture, the Rev. David Murphy, pastor at First Baptist Church of Geneseo, said, “It then tells us to give honor to whom honor is due.”

He and the church congregation wants to show appreciation to police officers, fire fighters, dispatchers and other first responders by hosting a breakfast in their honor. “At 8 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 11, we will host an ‘Honoring Hometown Heroes’ breakfast for these fine folks,” Murphy said. “There won’t be a huge ceremony or fanfare, but just us showing them how much we care and appreciate their service.” Atkinson firefighters and police officers also have been invited to the event. The breakfast was held for the first time in 2019 as the result of planning by the church membership.

“As we were planning our 2019 calendar, we saw that on Jan. 9, our nation recognizes LEAD (Law Enforcement Appreciation Day),” Murphy said. “Information from that website states ‘National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day was founded in 2015 to thank officers across the country for all the daily sacrifices they make for their communities.”  Church members decided to host a breakfast to show their appreciation for local police officers, and Murphy said, “I contacted Police Chief Casey Disterhoft to set up a time and date and we also discussed inviting our firefighters, dispatchers and other first responders because these people work as a team in helping our community.”

Police Chief Disterhoft said it is an honor to be part of the “Honoring Hometown
Heroes” breakfast,” and be recognized by the First Baptist Church and community. “So much of the work we do together involves serving others and being united with our community,” he said. “Showing appreciation and receiving appreciation connects us more and gives all of us the opportunity to grow personally and professionally.” Reaching out to the community is a ministry Murphy feels strongly about. Not long after he came to Geneseo in 2016 to serve First Baptist Church, he said, “We began discussing different ideas of how we could reach out to our community, establish relationships, and to show people we care. One of the ideas was to honor civil servants.” “People in the police department and the fire department are always serving our
community and putting themselves in harm’s way for our safety,” Murphy said. “We
believe any time we can show respect and honor to our military and to our policemen, we
should take that opportunity. After all, they are the ones that give us our freedoms.”