Law Enforcement Retreat Offers Emotional & Spiritual Renewal

By Todd Sumlin   •   April 1, 2019

Law enforcement officials and their spouses attended the National Law Enforcement Retreat, hosted by the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team, March 31-April 2 in Horseshoe Bay, Texas. The three-day respite included encouraging Bible-based messages and powerful worship. Here, Alton McCallum, chaplain for the Belton (Texas) Police Department is pictured at the retreat with his wife Lindi.
For many officers, the retreat offered an opportunity to step back from the unrelenting, hyper-vigilant grind of law enforcement work and take a breath.
Marriage can be complicated no matter what the circumstances, but law enforcement couples can be under extra stress. The retreat offered a time not only to connect with God but with each other.
This is a safe place, speakers encouraged those in attendance. “If you will just let your guard down for three days and realize the one important truth that you are human,” speaker and Charlotte-Mecklenburg (N.C.) detective Stephen Parker urged the packed conference center on opening night. “We as cops cannot coexist with trauma and expect it not to destroy us.”
Powerful sessions of worship were held in between speakers.
Crisis-trained chaplains with the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team were on hand to listen and pray with law enforcement officials and their spouses during the event.
“There’s an officer here who is haunted. What you’ve witnessed has changed you emotionally and spiritually," chaplain and former police officer Jeff Naber shared during his session on spiritual fitness. “It’s hard for you to cope with life. But thank God you’ve made it here to the National Law Enforcement Retreat.”
Each speaker covered a different topic, but with a raw authenticity that resonated with many.
Speaker Allison Uribe called law enforcement spouses forward for a powerful time of prayer on Monday.
"Hallelujah, praise the One who set me free. Hallelujah, death has lost its grip on me. You have broken every chain. There's salvation in Your name. Jesus Christ, my living hope."
Edward Graham of Samaritan's Purse joined the three-day retreat, encouraging law enforcement officials and their spouses. “There is nothing in your life that is too big that Jesus can’t help," said Edward, son of Franklin Graham. "I hope no one leaves this conference without asking yourself if you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior. ... I love you, but my Jesus loves you more."
"Pain is purposeful," speaker, pastor and former New York City police officer Andrew Columbia encouraged attendees. "God doesn't waste one tear."
"You are not alone" was a big takeaway for couples as they shared their experiences over meals at the Horseshoe Bay Resort.
Many law enforcement officials and their spouses took advantage of some free time on Monday afternoon to explore the picturesque Horseshoe Bay Resort.
"Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable." —Psalm 145:3
Kelly Burke, a Rapid Response Team chaplain and former law enforcement official, moderated the event. He reminded officers that God knows their hearts. "He will help you fill your purpose," Burke shared.
A husband and wife capture the moment. About 70 couples attended the retreat.
Chad Stillman (right), a manager for law enforcement relations with RRT, spoke about how God got his attention while serving as an officer in Racine, Wisconsin. Others in the crowd had their own stories of how God pursued them and made Himself known in the middle of difficulty.
The Texas has concluded but the next one will be held this October at the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove. Registration is still open for this three-day event where law enforcement officials and their spouses can press into God's truths.