JONES COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - Emergency responders were honored at Eastview Baptist Church Sunday morning for their work protecting the community.
Dozens of first responders like police, firefighters and paramedics bowed their heads during the service while members of the church lifted them up in prayer.
"We appreciate you being here, just remember we always life you up in prayer and love and appreciate all that you do," said the Rev. Thomas Montgomery.
Jones County Sheriff Alex Hodge said this church service meant a lot to him.
"We do the job because it's what we said we would do," Hodge said. "We don't expect this type of thing in return, but it's always appreciated to know that people care."
The church choir sang songs to show appreciation for the men and women who put their lives on the line every day. Montgomery said it's important to host services like this to recognize the men and women who keep us safe.
"They have families, and they go out each day and risk their own safety, personal safety, you know for us," Montgomery said. "They run to trouble when we run away from it."
The service also included a guest speaker Lt. Tommy Neiman, a firefighter, paramedic and chaplain from Florida. He spoke to the congregation about the importance of praying for first responders.
"There is that realization that this shift could be our last, and yet we go forward know that God is calling us to do this type of work," Neiman said.
After the service, first responders enjoyed meal and talk with members in the community.
"I had a lady that told me as we were standing in line for lunch today that every time she hears the sirens she stops what she's doing and prays for our safety and the people we are responding to, so what an awesome thing," said firefighter Lance Chancellor.
Eastview Baptist Church said they plan on hosting more events that honor first responders in the future.