Tag : police

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Pastor of the Week: Chief Harold Rodgers

By: Dezaray Barr

Chief Harold Rodgers

Harold C. Rodgers, Jr. currently serves as the Chief of Police for the McCordsville Metropolitan Police Department, and he has served in that capacity since September 1990. In October 2016, he was blessed with the opportunity to serve as a bi-vocational Pastor for the Knightstown First Wesleyan Church.

“I was a late bloomer when it came to my post-high school education,” he said. “As many young adults, I had other plans for my life, and college was not one of them. I was fortunate that Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU) offered several distance learning opportunities that allowed me to graduate in 2001 with a degree in Business Management. As for my time in law enforcement (approximately 31 years), I have attended more schools, seminars and training sessions than I can count.”

During his time at IWU, Rodgers learned a lot from some very special people. “Had I not attended IWU, chances are I would not have met Pastor Dr. Jim Dunn. Dr. Dunn had a true passion and faith in his words and actions. One of the things that has stuck with me through the years (and I will paraphrase) was a comment he made about scripture and his love for Christ. Dr. Dunn remarked that the Bible, while a book, was the teachings of God and his plan for salvation. He added that Christians should not look at the Bible like a buffet at the restaurant; you can pick and choose the parts of the bible that you wish to subscribe to and abide by and ignore the rest as mere ramblings of old men around a camp fire. Dr. Dunn was always open to discussion and ideas, but never wavered on his demonstration of faith,” Rodgers shared.

Knightstown First Wesleyan Church is known as the little church that could. “Initially, what drew me to the church was my wife,” Rodgers said. “My wife is a member, and at the time, her mother was the Treasurer of the Church. My wife and I were married in that little church on the corner, and I eventually became a member. When my mother-in-law was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, Pastor Gail Whitmire asked me to step in and assume the role of Treasurer. Due to health issues, I had to step away from the position of treasurer and spend some time healing. The church went through some rough times with building issues, the retirement of Pastor Gail Whitmire and its aging congregation. That’s when I received a call from the church’s treasurer and met with Dr. Gorveatte, District Superintendent at the time.”

Knightstown is an unique church because of its spirit. The salvation of one human being in the church is more important to the congregation than the color of the sanctuary’s carpet.

Rodgers said that it’s very difficult to define a time when he knew that he had chosen the right path in either category, be it ministry or law enforcement. “What I can do is relate a story that happened very early in my law enforcement career. When I was working as a police officer, in downtown Indianapolis in the role of security for a large government building, I encountered a homeless man that I’ll call John. John, like many homeless people then and today was unclean, smelled horridly, but was generally harmless. While I do not recall the exact month, I do recall that it was very cold and very wet outside. I observed John sitting on the ground next to the building.  While I could have cost me my job, I invited John into the building and offered him a hot cup of coffee. John eagerly accepted the coffee without uttering a word. I offered John the opportunity to stretch out and lay on one of the marble benches located close to the area I worked in. John got a few hours of sleep in a warm and safe area. This ritual went on for several weeks and had got to the point where I would give John money to grab me some lunch and let him keep the remainder so that he could eat. I had also allowed him the opportunity to use the showers located in the building’s maintenance area. While I would not go so far as to say that we were friends, I will say that he was one individual that touched my heart and still haunts my sleep.  The reason I say that he haunts my sleep is his tragic end. When I left that position, I received information from some acquaintances that my replacement did not treat John with the same kindness, and John passed away from exposure during the winter of 1992,” Rodgers shared. This is just one story of how Rodgers knows that he’s following God’s will.

In his work, Rodgers has a three-rule philosophy: “Is it legal? Is it moral? Will you feel good with yourself when you get home?”

Rick Carder, a volunteer at IWU, said, “Chief Rodgers is a tremendous mentor-leader in his community, his church and police department he leads. He shares his Christian witness through his actions not only his words.”

 

 

Written by Dezaray Barr, PR Specialist for the Alumni Office. Dezaray is a junior Strategic Communication, Journalism and Honors Humanities triple major at Indiana Wesleyan University in the John Wesley Honors College. Visit Dez’s website at www.dezaraybarr.weebly.com.

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Three Time IWU Grad: Jr Harold Davis

By: Kendra Housel

Deputy Sheriff Jr Harold Davis

Jr Harold Davis is a three-time graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University. He obtained his associates degree in Criminal Justice in 2011, his bachelors degree in Criminal Justice in 2013 and then finished by completing his masters degree in Public Administration in 2015. He feels that God chose IWU for him, because he was led to attend IWU at a time where he needed to be closer to Christ. Davis knew IWU was a good fit for him when he experienced the atmosphere and realized the emphasis in biblical studies and Christ-based curriculum.

The time Davis spent earning his degrees was very challenging. As an adult learner, being out of high school for many years, he had to readjust to fast paced learning. The staff and professors at IWU though were very understanding of the unique challenges adult learning presented, and they always assisted Davis in any way he needed. Davis also found the comradery of his peers to be encouraging, as they were all adult learners trying to balance family life, jobs and undergraduate/graduate studies as well. Beyond just working together on assignments, Davis and his peers shared personal stories and dove deep into their personal reflections on assignments together. They became what Davis described as “more than classmates, or cohorts, [but a] family.”

Davis appreciated the required bible courses at IWU, saying that he found them to be “enlightening.” While the coursework was intimidating at first, especially to Davis who did not consider himself “bible savvy,” he quickly realized that he simply had to trust God. When Davis allowed God to take control of his education, he found that he gained more knowledge than he ever would have expected. Davis accredits his time at IWU with allowing him to get into his current daily routine of bible reading and prayer. In reflecting on his spiritual growth during his time at IWU, Davis said “whereas before, [Christ] was just an acquaintance, [now] He is truly my Savior.”

Currently Davis is a Deputy Sheriff for the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department, going on 25 years. He is also the owner of his own risk assessment business, Eagle Eyes Risk Mitigation, LLC, which he started during his time at IWU based on a class assignment.

Davis said, “This little guy came in this gas station one morning wearing this outfit. I made such a fuss over him and begged him to let me get a photo with a super hero. He was so excited, and his mother was happy and actually shocked to see a reversal in roles. She told me her son usually beats the officers to the punch, but I one-upped him that morning and asked him to take a photo with me. I think I had more fun that he did.”

Davis has worked with many school districts and with the Department of Homeland Security, as he has worked with an innovative security system that launches counter measures on active school shooters. One school that has been equipped with this state of the art technology is considered the “safest school in America.” NBC news recently featured this security system with an onsite visit. To watch the whole story, and learn more about the system Davis works with, click here: https://www.nbcnews.com/nightly-news/video/inside-the-safest-school-in-america-1166029891710?cid=eml_onsite.

Davis said that his time at IWU helped to shape his attitude towards helping others so that they could better help themselves. He has been a consistent Eagle Scouts volunteer since he was a youth, and he realized that his attitude towards the students was more joyful and selfless than it had been before. This attitude, of course, has also permeated into his job as Deputy Sheriff. Along with the other virtues, IWU helped him cultivate, Davis also experiences more patience and a greater value in independent learning than he did previously.

Davis also said that IWU helped prepare him for how demanding the job as deputy sheriff can be on a person’s soul. He witnesses some of the most difficult days in people’s lives and has to lovingly interact with people who have made criminal offenses. There is a balance he has to find mentally, between the pain of seeing someone choose a path of crime and the joy of seeing a lost child reunited with his or her family. Davis said that he often prays while on duty, asking “the Lord to give me strength to carry on and work through what I must see or face.” He recalls times where he has been able to pray with those in crisis. With his position as a  law enforcer, Davis has also had the opportunity to mentor students and point them to the loving forgiveness of Jesus.

Outside of his very busy schedule with the sheriff’s department and his own business, Davis is the vice president of a model railroad club. He also spends lots of time with his family, saying that that is his “best time.”

His advice to current IWU students is to “never give up! When you think it is time to quit, DON’T! Many times, during my degree work, actually every year for all six years, I thought I would just drop out and say ‘enough.’ Instead, I listened God, my cohorts and instructors. These God sent individuals kept me going when I was giving up…. When you get to the end, and receive that email to order that cap and gown, WOW, just WOW. You know you made it to the end.” He also added that is is so important to “Enjoy life, [and] don’t sweat the small stuff; life is too long, yet too short to be unhappy. Respect everyone. Don’t run, but walk. Take your time, because everything can wait.”

 

 

Written by Kendra Housel, writer for the Alumni Center. Kendra is a sophomore Education and Honors Humanities double major at Indiana Wesleyan University in the John Wesley Honors College. She is also a member of the University Chorale. She is passionate about serving Christ through writing, singing and caring for others.