By Daphne M. Higgins
Religion EditorJackson Police Chief LeeVance gave the keynote address for College Hill M.B. Church’s Men’s Day Program June 19.
Scripture shares that service is the task with which God charged all Christians.
The police chief for the city of Jackson, Lee Vance, expressed that service has been ingrained in him and this act is what he expects his department to offer to all of the residents of Jackson.
Vance took the podium at College Hill Missionary Baptist Church, 1600 Florence Ave., Jackson, as the guest speaker during the church’s recent annual Men’s Day Program.
Vance, no stranger to working with and for others, acknowledged that he developed his work ethic as a young man while working at United Parcel Service in Jackson. “UPS doesn’t build a tangible product. What they provide is service. Like UPS, our job at the Jackson Police Department is to provide service.”
Vance, a member of Anderson United Methodist Church, was appointed as the chief of the Jackson Police Department Sept. 8, 2014. The Jackson resident declared that he loves the city and wants nothing but the best for it and once named the chief cop, he would work diligently to fulfill a promise that he’d made to himself – help to make Jackson the best that it can be.
“It came to me that we need to lay a solid foundation; we need to build from the bottom up. We have great chaplains in JPD and at my request, we were all called together to pray. In order to build, if you want talent and you want power, why not ask the greatest builder in the universe for help,” Vance said. “You know that it’s controversial to pray in public. Former news anchor, (the late) Bert Case asked me if I was going to get in trouble. I told him, I didn’t’ know and I didn’t care. We moved on with the prayer service and what followed was awesome. Crime has been going down ever since.
“I know that’s hard to believe but mathematics is the most concise science we have, and the facts are there. Unfortunately, there are people who don’t want to see Jackson do well. We’re gonna’ move on, build on and do well.”
Louise Marshall, a long-time member of College Hill, responded with an “Amen” to Vance’s comments and whispered, “He’s preaching from John now.” (John 13:15 – Jesus said, “I have given you an example that ye should do as I have done to you.”)
Vance continued to share his goals for the Jackson Police Department and emphasized that “safety is service.” He ended his presentation by saying, “I’m confident that we’ve got a plan moving forward. Our expectations are high and our goals are achievable. Thank you, College Hill, for supporting us and with God’s help, we are going to reach all of our goals.”
Vance’s message brought an end to the weekend of activities shared among the men of College Hill which was kicked off with a Men’s Day picnic on the church grounds on Father’s Day June 18. The morning of June 19, began with a breakfast and Sunday School. The Sunday School review was given by the Rev. Calvin Peoples, one of the associate pastors of the church. The morning worship service began immediately after Sunday School.
Before Vance delivered his message during the Men’s Day program, the College Hill Man of the Year, Robert Green Jr., was presented to the congregation.
Green, an active Christian man, serves as chair of the Deacons Shepherding Ministry, member of the Sunday School, Male Chorus, the Laymen Ministry and chair of the Outreach Ministry. Along with his wife, he chairs the Couples Ministry. He is also the Deacon Liaison for the Music Ministry and the Beautification Ministry.
Now a retired educator, Green believes that God never says “forward” to his people without leading the way.
At the close of the program, the committee chair, Darryl Jenkins, thanked all of the participants for being committed Christian men. These sentiments were echoed by the Rev. Michael T. Williams, the church’s pastor, who ended the program thanking God for a wonderful message and a glorious day of celebration.