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Salisbury churches present nearly 200 gift bags to Rowan Sheriff’s deputies

By Shavonne Potts
shavonne.potts@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — Two Salisbury churches recently pooled their resources to show kindness to the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office by presenting them with nearly 200 gift bags.

“Given the negative light shed on law enforcement at this particular time and the fact that I and brother Dale know several officers who are just good folks trying to serve the public and trying to protect our community, they’re under-appreciated on a good day,” said Brian Smith, pastor of Carmel Baptist Church.

Smith, whose church is located at 2100 Mooresville Road, said they partnered with Pastor Dale Kinley’s church — Emmanuel Baptist Church, at 2300 Bringle Ferry Road.

The idea started when Carmel Baptist Church’s members said they wanted to do something nice for law enforcement to show their appreciation. The church also wanted to share the gospel with the men and women in blue. Both churches signed cards and wrote notes of encouragement for 192 officers.

It took the two churches about two weeks to check with local restaurants. That effort resulted in each officer a $25 gift certificate to Checkered Flag Barbecue and for the members to gather all of the items the bags would contain.

Kinley said on board as soon as Smith president the idea to him. He, in turn, presented the idea to his church, which jumped at the opportunity.

“I thought it was a great opportunity to reach out to our community, to love on our community and to share the love of Christ with those around us,” Kinley said.

Smith said the churches chose the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office because both are outside the city limits. About 90% of their parishioners live in the county.

“We’re thankful that we do have law enforcement,” Smith said.

It’s encouraging for the officers to know they are supported and appreciated, said Rowan County Sheriff Kevin Auten.

He said it’s been tough for everybody, not just law enforcement, following the coronavirus outbreak and the killing of George Floyd.

“People are stressed. There’s a lot of tension. To have a group come forward and do something as a token of love and appreciation for our officers is reassuring,” Auten said.

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