Christopher Ward : Service above self
CASTLETON, St Mary:
According to Matthew 6:24, it is impossible for a man to serve two masters, but the officer in charge of Castleton Police Station in St Mary, Sergeant Christopher Ward, appears to be managing the task quite well.
As the First Elder, Sabbath school teacher, personnel ministry director, and life director of the Post Road Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Woodside, near Highgate, St Mary, Ward has developed a formula to successfully balance his policing and ecclesiastic duties.
Speaking to Family and Religion earlier this week, Ward, who became a police officer 10 years after devoting his life to Christ in 1996, said: "After reading the Bible, I decided that Christianity was the right way for me. I think Christianity reorganises your life and gives you a better appreciation of humanity.
"As a Christian, sometimes it is challenging to know what it is like to police this nation because you are confronted with all different levels of provocation. Sometimes, the issues you deal with make the old person really want to come out.
"But what keeps me restrained most of the time is the understanding that I am representing not only the Jamaica Constabulary Force, but I also have a mandate from the Lord to be true to God and be civil to humanity."
Ward, who, last year, came second in Lasco's 15th annual 'Cop of the Year' competition, was grown and schooled in St Mary, and, therefore, has a very good understanding of the many issues affecting the parish.
He believes one of the biggest problems St Marians face is caused by the proliferation of different religious organisations in the parish, which has led to schisms and discord within the communities he serves throughout the central and western regions of the parish.
"I think the biggest religious problems we have are denominational issues," the affable police officer said. There are so many churches in St Mary, and everybody has a claim on their own church as to what is right versus what is wrong.
"I don't know if disunity is too strong a terminology, but as Christians, in spite of our denominational differences, there really should be a better connection and greater cooperation instead of divisions. The oneness that should exist among the Christian body is just not there.
"There really needs to be more unity. I just believe that we should come together and realise that God has called us in spite of who we are, the divisions, and our denominational practices and beliefs. There is one cause, which is Jesus Christ, and if we can try and come to and accept that one realisation, some of the issues we are facing should be minimised."