“Ministering the heart, mind, soul and spirit” is Chaplain David Thornton’s mission with his latest project — starting a church for public safety employees.
Essential Church Rome would be open to anybody in the community looking to worship but it would specifically be targeted towards all members of the public safety community, such as police officers, firefighters and 911 operators.
He’s had the idea in the works for the last few years, but it’s now finally coming to fruition. He feels very passionate about the project, saying he has many ideas going forward.
“I just love it, I breathe this,” he said. “I love serving our law enforcement officers and working with them.”
Right now, they’re using the Floyd County Baptist Association’s administration building as a worship space and First Presbyterian Church of Rome’s space for offices, specifically for any type of counseling someone might need.
To keep numbers down, they are livestreaming all of the services on their Facebook page so that people have the option to worship from their own homes.
“We started the Facebook page three weeks ago and we’re already getting over a 1,000 views on videos,” Thornton said.
Many members of local law enforcement and their families are helping out with set-up, greeting and music. The chaplain described it as “ministering each other.”
Thornton plans to put together small groups and bible study classes for anyone interested. At the Presbyterian church’s offices on Third Avenue, the chaplain will also be hosting PTSD classes for officers experiencing trauma.
“We’ll be using the REBOOT program used by the military,” he said.
The first Sunday service will take place at 10:30 a.m. on Feb. 28 at 308 Redmond Road. You can watch the Wednesday livestream services on their Facebook page at 6:30 p.m.