Greenville church holds first ‘Blessing of the Badges’

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – A local church is honoring the daily service and sacrifice of first responders.

In the first ever “Blessing of the Badges,” the congregation at The Memorial Baptist Church recognized Pitt County’s first responders in Greenville on Wednesday.

Clergy offered prayer for emergency personnel and their families.

Greenville Police Chief Marc Holtzman served as the guest speaker.

Lunch was also provided.

Former police officer and now senior pastor Brad Smith said it’s important for the community to see more than a badge.

“They need to know that a badge is worn by a person, a person who hurts, a person who cries, a person who laughs and enjoys life just like the community in which they live,” said Dr. Brad Smith, senior pastor, TMBC.

Chief Holtzman and several officers wore mourning bands over their badges in tribute to Shelby Police officer Tim Brackeen. He died Saturday after being shot while in the line of duty.

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