Lindstrom recognized as Master Chaplain

Published 2:24 pm Monday, September 14, 2009

At the July Annual Conference of International Police Chaplains in Louisville, Kentucky, Fr. Fred Lindstrom, St. Thomas Episcopal rector in Greenville, was recognized as a Master Chaplain.

Lindstrom began his service as a police chaplain after resigning from the Atlanta Police Department to return to full time ministry in the Episcopal Church. Monsignor Don Kiernan, a Roman Catholic priest and Chaplain to the Georgia State Patrol, asked Lindstrom to help form a chaplains program for the Atlanta Police. “Father Fred”, as he is known in Greenville and Butler County, jokes that he was a paid Detective Sergeant with the APD, but skipped Lieutenant to become an unpaid Captain as a chaplain.

He later served as Chaplain with the rank of honorary Major for the Meridian, Mississippi Police, the Lauderdale County (Mississippi) Sheriff, and the area Post for the Mississippi State Troopers.

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He was appointed chaplain to the Butler County Sheriff’s Office by Sheriff Diane Harris and Chaplain to the Greenville Police Department by Chief Lonzo Ingram.

He currently serves as Chaplain to the Greenville Police Department and South Central Lodge 39 of the Fraternal Order of Police.

Lindstrom explained that there are over 2,600 ICPC police chaplains world wide in 20 nations serving police departments, sheriffs offices, state police, the FBI, Secret Service, ATF and other law enforcement organizations. The ICPC provides credentialing, training, certification, and establishes requirements and guidelines for chaplaincies. Some larger departments are able to have full time paid chaplains while most of us serve as volunteers.

“Some larger departments are able to have full time paid chaplains while most of us serve as volunteers,” he said. “We offer confidential pastoral support to the police personnel and their families. We respond to community crisis situations, serious accidents, and other needs as called upon by the Chief of Police. The job is exciting and sometimes dangerous. The Congress included law enforcement chaplains in the Bill which provides compensation for law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.”

Lindstrom said it is a rewarding and meaningful ministry.

“It puts you in contact with every part of the community and opens opportunities for ministry far beyond the normal parish ministry,” said Lindstrom. “I have really enjoyed law enforcement ministry in Greenville and the officers and their families I have come to know.”