• Tennessee's Lighthouse Missionary Baptist Church donated $1,000 each to the officers of the Jonesborough Department of Public Safety
  • Pastor Perry Cleek told the cops that the church wants to show their support "with more than words"
  • Police Chief Ron Street said it's nice to be appreciated by the community in the wake of protests against the police in other states

Amid calls to defund the police in many states, a church in Jonesborough, Tenn., decided to give $1,000 to each member of the local police force as a way of showing support for law enforcement.

Members of the Lighthouse Missionary Baptist Church held a small ceremony to honor 23 police officers of the Jonesborough Department of Public Safety on Saturday, July 4. Pastor Perry Cleek then handed out the checks and said he believes in the leadership of Police Chief Ron Street.

"He would never tolerate an abusive, racist, unprofessional officer," the pastor said, according to Fox News. "All the personnel of the Jonesborough Police Department, you have our appreciation, our encouragement, our support, and our church wants to show that with more than words."

Cleek said in another interview with The Christian Post that he and his church members felt the need to boost police morale. Weeks of nationwide protests against police force have vilified the enforcers of public safety, following the death of a Black American, George Floyd, under police custody on May 25.

"We wanted to make a bold statement in support of law enforcement," Cleek said. "Our desire was for our action to send a symbolic message of our support to the Jonesborough Police, but to also show our support in a very practical way by recognizing and supporting each individual employee.”

The church picked Independence Day to honor the officers as a celebration of the "birthday of the greatest nation on Earth." Cleek also said Americans have freedom and liberty because of the system of laws and their enforcers.

Members of the Jonesborough Department of Public Safety in Tennessee were given $1,000 each by the Lighthouse Missionary Baptist Church. Creative Commons

In response, Street said the officers are appreciative of the gesture from the local church and its member. He said it's nice to feel the community is behind them.

Following the ceremony, members from the church and the police force also held a block party and activities for the children.