GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - It may be a strange site to see two fire trucks at a place of worship, but Morning Star Baptist Church in Gulfport invited the local fire department to its service Sunday morning.
Several first responders, including Fire Chief Beyerstedt, attended the church's Family and Friends service lead by Rev. J.L. Franklin
"Church, next time you notice a police officer or fireman, simply give them a 'Thank you for your service'. It is very easy. It's a meaningful way to let you know that we appreciate you and we support you for what you're doing for our community," said Bernell Kelly.
The congregation took several minutes to thank and honor the first responders with certificates of appreciation.
Deputy Chief of Police Chris Loposser accepted the honor on Chief Papania's behalf.
"We feel blessed everyday to wake up in Gulfport. The chief always says our community is like a gumbo. Nothing's the same that you put in the pot, but when you finish, it's wonderful," Loposser said.
Loposser also used the opportunity to ask the congregation to take a survey to determine the location of a new police station in the works.
"We feel like we are a large part of your community, and we feel like your community is a large part of what we do everyday. That's the way it works," Loposser said.
The deputy chief says the growth is all part of a strategic five year plan to help improve the Gulfport community.