Two evenings of “Honoring the Boots & the Badge”

Patty Hullett
The Daily Light
Back row, from left: Kit Van Arsdale - Chief Information Officer and Jeremy Lampier. Front row: Bill Glass, founder (front and center) - former Baylor All-American and NFL player, and Michael Nolan - BGBTW new CEO.

On Thursday, Sept. 10, and Saturday, Sept. 12, two separate Appreciation Dinners were held for deputies of Ellis and Navarro Counties, as well as jailers and other detention officers. The special two-night event was sponsored in partnership with Bill Glass Ministries (“Behind the Walls”), the Ellis County Chaplains Ministry, and the “Love Your Neighbor” campaign, and was hosted by Waxahachie Bible Church.

The “Day of Gratitude Event” was dedicated to feeding and honoring the Ellis and Navarro Counties “unsung heroes” that sometimes get overlooked. The honorees and their families were treated to a free dinner courtesy of Tacos 4 Life in Waxahachie.

Also in attendance was Chaplain Stephanie Brewer, who heads up the Chaplaincy Division of Ellis County, as well as the Freedom Declared Ministries, as she and her associates work in and for the Wayne McCollum Detention Center in Waxahachie.

Special guests for the program were singer/ songwriter Jenn Harris and well-known college and NFL player Keith Davis of Bill Glass Ministries. Both shared their talents, their stories and their Christian testimonies with those in attendance.

Keith Davis, football star for USC Trojans and New York Giants of the NFL

Davis is a former All-Conference player, and leading tackler from the prestigious Rose Bowl Champion USC Trojans. He was also selected to the All-American Strength Team (bench pressing over 515 lbs.), and signed his NFL contract with the New York Giants in 1988. Unfortunately, after a few pre-season games, he suffered a career-ending knee injury that halted his pro career. Today he is a motivational educational speaker, a sports entertainer, and works often with the Bill Glass Ministries.

At the “Honoring the Boots and the Badge” nights, Davis told some humorous stories from his college football days at the University of Southern California and how then-USC Defensive Coach Bill Belichick (now New England Patriots head coach) told Davis to get out on the field and replace the original starter who couldn’t seem to stop his opponent. He simply told Davis to “fill the gap.” Davis tied that experience to help the crowd realize that we all have “lots of gaps” in our lives. But Davis says, “Thankfully, God gives all of us a second half in life.” To conclude his portion of the program, he took a large metal skillet and bent it in half, wooing the crowd with his great strength.

Jenn Harris Music – guitarist, singer, and songwriter

Jenn Harris has been an active part of the Bill Glass Ministries for 15 years. She has written more than 200 songs, including songs with the late Van Stephenson of Black hawk, Anthony Smith, Gary Burr and Grammy Award winning songwriter, Dave Menander, composer of “I Will Remember You” for Sarah McLaughlin.

Harris used one of her songs from her current CD titled “I’m Not Dreaming Anymore,” at the Saturday night Appreciation Dinner. All of the event volunteers were called up front and honored as she sang a tearful version of “I Salute You.” Each volunteer then saluted all the officers and deputies and staff in a memorable moment.

The sponsors featured bonus giveaways during both evening events, including twp Smithfield 9mm handguns and $50 gift cards. The “Boots and Badge” donors were: Best Western Hotels; Butter and Grace Restaurant; Comfort Suites Hotels; Connilyn Coressett; Elf Boot & Repair; Holiday Inn Express Hotels; Infinite Care; Ollie Cakes; Napa Auto; The Greenery; Vineyard Care; and Waxahachie Sun. The official Event Sponsors were: “Love Your Neighbor” campaign; Waxahachie Bible Church, Bill Glass Behind the Walls, and FDM, Inc. (Freedom Deliverance Ministry).

To close out the evening, Pastor Bruce Zimmerman of Waxahachie Bible Church commented, “I particularly ask that the people involved in these Appreciation Dinners please continue to be in prayer for this much-needed outreach. While there are no scheduled ministry events being done directly to assist the inmates during this time of COVID-19, we CAN help the jails and prisons by ministering and impacting the officers who serve in the area county jails.”

Jailers, detention officers, chaplains, Ellis & Navarro County deputies were honored at Appreciation Dinners at Waxahachie Bible Church earlier this month.