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Rowan Shield a Badge with Prayer program continues into its 21st year

By Shavonne Walker

shavonne.walker@salisburypost.com

ROWAN COUNTY — Now more than ever, law enforcement officers need prayers, said Chaplain Michael Taylor, and so he makes his appeal to the community to join the Shield a Badge with Prayer program.

Taylor is the chaplain for the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office and is also pastor of Phaniels Baptist Church in Rockwell. He heads the local Shield a Badge program, which is in its 21st year.

Churches and individuals who sign up for the program get an officer’s name and pray for that officer for a year. Those who sign up can send officers thank you notes, gift baskets, birthday and Christmas cards.

“They face more scrutiny, and they face more danger than they ever have,” Taylor said of the officers.

Each year, Taylor raises money so that each officer can receive a prayer Bible, wrist bands, and other materials. The Shield a Badge with Prayer program is a nonprofit, and donations are tax deductible.

In 2015, Taylor commissioned Stanly County artist Roger Thomas to create a portrait that depicts what law enforcement officers go through. He created a painting of four law enforcement officers: a highway patrolman, a sheriff’s deputy, a Salisbury Police officer and a retired officer.

The four men have their guns drawn on a car as the hands of the Lord reach out to protect them and above is shown a mother praying with her children for the officers.

Taylor said anyone interested in supporting the program financially can purchase a print. Prints cost $55 each and can be purchased by calling Taylor at 704-782-7201 or 704-467-5886.

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