"... ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it" - Jeremiah 6:16 NKJV
July 15th will mark the 45th anniversary of the incorporation of the Fellowship of Christian Peace Officers. From the beginning, FCPO has been bringing Christian officers together, discipling, challenging, and equipping them to reach their fellow officers for Christ.
Last month, on a trip to the West Coast representing FCPO, I had the opportunity to meet with two of the men who started it all back in 1971, Ralph Evans (center) and Karl Traber (right).
Ralph and Karl, both LAPD officers, attended a Bible seminar, unbeknownst to each other. Having recognized each other there, along with several other LAPD officers, they began meeting regularly to read and study the Bible. They also began to pray as to how they could effectively share Christ with lost officers around them. From these simple beginnings came the organization known today as the Fellowship of Christian Peace Officers.
Shortly after I became Executive Director, upon the sudden illness and death of my predecessor, I began digging through filing cabinets and boxes of old records and files, searching for ideas and direction in moving the organization forward. What I found was that Karl and Ralph and many of the other FCPO leaders who came before me had already laid a solid, biblical foundation for this ministry and established many of the policies and practices that were in the back of my mind. There was no need to "reinvent the wheel", FCPO really just needed to follow the "old paths" that were already there.
Today, even though time has changed methods of information delivery, the message remains the same. The FCPO founders and leaders of yesteryear plowed the hard ground, and today we continue planting and nurturing the seeds of the gospel, looking to God for the increase. They established the paths of ministry to the law enforcement community, and we continue to utilize those paths today.
What paths are you leaving behind for others to follow in? Do they honor God and lead to His Son, Jesus Christ?
Paul Lee, Executive Director (Retired Captain, Chattanooga P.D.)
Paul Lee retired from the Chattanooga Police Department with 29 years of service. He has been an FCPO member since 1995, is a former Chapter Chairman and has served in various capacities on the National Board.