These are often tense, trying times for policeman all across America.
For Sergeant Ron Martin of the Summit Police Department, the annual Blessing of the Badges is a way to bring comfort and protection to his force and also build bridges into the community.
Each spring, Martin hosts a Blessing of the Badges event in Washington, D.C. with Rev. Greg Boyle, who is retired from the West Orange (N.J.) Police Department.
A member of Faith Fellowship Ministries World Outreach Center in Sayreville, New Jersey, Martin has preached at various churches in the United States. When he retires from the police department, he hopes “to bring God’s message of salvation through Jesus Christ, into the uttermost parts of the world.”
In August of 2016, Martin was the featured speaker at the 5th Annual Blessing of the Badges at the Village Green in Summit, New Jersey. The event was part of the National Night Out, an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie.
In attendance were officers with the Summit Police Department and other law enforcement personnel and civil servants, including members of the FBI, bomb squad, state police, fire department, emergency medical services, and military.
Martin, an ordained minister and police chaplain, exhorted the crowd to hold on to their dreams and overcome discouragement.
“I am so proud to be a part of this family,” he said. “You did not give up on your dream to one day wear a badge on your chest. That badge signifies that we are dedicated, we are loyal, and we are committed to keeping the peace and serving our community, our state, and our country.”
The 26-year police veteran said the Blessing of the Badges helps break down walls. It was a powerful scene, he said, as local ministers and members of the community surrounded the law enforcement personnel as they bowed their knees in prayer.
“These men and women proudly wear their badges with pride and integrity each and every day. We prayed over each and every one and for every community across America.
“We are not only one nation under God, we are one community under God,” Martin said. “We are working together to make Summit a safer, stronger community to work, play, and educate our children.”
Martin, who earned a bachelor’s degree in theology, has also appeared on Trinity Broadcasting Network’s (TBN) daily show, Praise the Lord!
He is encouraged to be salt and light as a policeman when he reads verses like Romans 13:1 (“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities…The authorities that exist have been established by God.”).
“The Bible declares that police are charged with keeping the peace and doing God’s work. The badge is a symbol of authority,” he said.
And Martin covets the prayers of the saints for his brothers and sisters in blue, especially in today’s volatile climate.
“This is a tough job,” Martin said. “We need to continue to pray for our law enforcement officers across the country. We need to be united and not divided.”
For information on Ron Martin Ministries, visit www.rmartinministries.org.