One of the many manifestations of God’s providential hand at work during our National Event in Orlando this year was dealing with several different Police Departments across central Florida.  There were so many because some of our teams were traveling coast to coast.  Chet Gallagher, our police liaison, wrote a letter thanking the Orlando Police Department in particular for their help in enabling us to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.  They were truly an aid and a blessing in helping us to live out the theology of the church house in the streets of several cities.  Rather than adversaries, they became our friends.

“When a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies live at peace with him.”  Proverbs 16:7

 Enjoy!   ~ Flip

Brethren, Flip and I asked Brother Chet Gallagher to write a letter of commendation to the Orlando police department. They treated us with great professionalism, courtesy, and respect. Many folks in our line of ministry complain when mistreated by police and rightly so in many cases. It is also important to commend them when they do well. Here is our commendation. ~ Rev. Rusty Lee Thomas

Dear Gentleman,

This is a followup to our recent Operation Save America outreach regarding the varied contacts with law enforcement officers within your respective departments who protected and served us so well while we were in both Orange and Seminole Counties and within the City of Orlando.

Since it was a joint effort between the Orlando PD and the respective Sheriff’s Offices we have decided to write one letter of thanks and commendation; not because it is easier to do so, but because we would also like each agency to know just how effective their cooperation was in several venues during the week of July 16-24, 2011.

For the past 22 years Operation Save America has traveled to nearly 20 major US cities publicly proclaiming the Gospel and exposing specific national sins of abortion, homosexuality and also the lies of Islam. Our message is not always well received by the public and making such proclamations, exercising our freedoms and preaching the Gospel of Life in Christ Jesus, often disrupts the statues quo. Not every agency elsewhere has dealt as objectively and professionally as yours and for that we are especially grateful and want to commend your officers and yourselves for your leadership.

As you may be aware I met first with Detective Jorge Carbonell from OPD who was accompanied by his Sergeant, Roger Brennan, Det. Rich Ruth and Orange County Deputy Marcel Caron. Later Det. Carbonell, connected us with Det. Ray Greathouse and Deputy Tony Moncion, both from Seminole County SO. Finally, when it became evident later that we would also be at the Orange County Courthouse Det Carbonell connected us with the Courthouse Intel Deputy and OPD Sgt Grorge Payne, both of whom were especially helpful. We also want to acknowledge the Orange County Booking and Release Center Commander, I believe Captain Gillespie. Finally, kudos go to to one Orange County Deputy SO, Corporal “Peter” (sorry, I didn’t get his last name) who single handily managed a very intense, and potentially confrontational venue on Friday while we were in front of the Islamic Mosque in Orlando. His professionalism under fire, so to speak, was a tremendous asset.

Our success in the streets was due, in no small part, to the on going communication and professional expertise of all of these fine men (and many others we met) and we were encouraged by each officer during every public outreach within each of your respective jurisdictions.

While we hope all of the officers and deputies named above will be commended for their service during our week long national event, a need for one primary contact, not only with OPD, but to act an inter agency liaison as well, was required. That role was filled by Det. Jorge Carbonell. Frankly, there is not sufficient space in this letter to detail everything he was able to accomplish, often at a moment’s notice. He was at every venue, nearly every day, ensuring any and all concerns were addressed. He even answered one of my phone calls to him at 2:00 AM! Now that was impressive. It was also evident to me that his supervisor, Sgt Roger Brennan had anticipated nearly every scenario and planned for every contingency. This was most evident because of his very apparent confidence in Det. Carbonell who handled every situation that arose with the professionalism you certainly expect.

As a former career police officer myself, I appreciate what can be required when OSA comes into a city. Today, as a minister of the Gospel within this prolife arena for over 20 years, I can say with confidence that we have not had the cooperation, communication and protective service that we received by your officers and deputies, the best example of that Det Carbonell. We all hope the appropriate commendations will be extended to him. It certainly is our heartfelt desire that he, and all officers named, be appreciated in some way by all their superiors for a job very well done.

In closing, gentlemen, let me say on behalf of 200+ out of town visitors and countless local Central Florida participants, “Thank You.” We will continue to pray both for you and your families that the Lord’s hand will be upon you as you both serve and protect those who look to you for help.

As you may know, the Bible makes your duty and responsibility clear in the book of Romans, chapter 13, which reads in part that you are to be “ministers of God for good and an avenger of God’s wrath on those who are wicked.” A challenging task, to be sure, in such evil days. Therefore we will pray that the Power of Jesus Christ, our only God and King, will be made manifest as you perform your duties to be a terror to the wicked while acting as ministers of God to those who do good. If this sounds like I am preaching, pardon me for not apologizing, because as one fellow preacher reminded me in our meeting with the local police and FBI in Jackson, WY, “Preaching is what we do.” We declare Jesus as Lord and expose the wicked deeds of darkness in a world that desperately needs Him as Savior.

In closing, let me say, too, that we also have the power to bless and so…

Bless you, everyone, in Jesus Name,

Rev. Flip Benham

Rev. Rusty Lee Thomas 

Rev. Chet Gallagher

Operation Save America