Offering counsel, support to families

DuPont PD chaplain and church pastor is also a military veteran

By Andrew Fickes on May 22, 2015

In times of horrific tragedy and grief, volunteer chaplains assigned to police and fire departments are often called to counsel families in their most trying moments.

Where many would rather turn away, chaplains are tasked to offer pastoral support and aid in extreme crisis calls.

Since 2003, the DuPont Police Department has been supported by Greg Ford, a volunteer chaplain under the Tacoma-Pierce County Chaplaincy.

"Probably the biggest thing I do as a chaplain is being a good listener," said the 58-year-old, who also is the senior pastor at New Beginnings Church in DuPont. "People want to tell their story. There is so much hurt and pain in life and working through it is not always easy.

"As a chaplain you become a confidant and a safe person that people can come to without reprisal and fear of being judged or critiqued," Ford said. "My desire is to always offer people hope and a new beginning."

His interest serving as a pastor led him to serve in a pastor capacity in the military. He served in Army Chaplaincy from 1975-1979 as a chaplain assistant at Fort Carson in Colorado. During a break in military service, Ford completed his Masters of Divinity in 1986. Afterward, he received an appointment as an Army chaplain. He served at Army bases in California, Maryland and Hawaii. He was stationed in Germany for a time and his last assignment was as the 1st Brigade Chaplain at Fort Lewis in Washington state where he retired as a major.

A memory Ford holds dear is serving soldiers in Iraq during the Gulf War.

"Being in a real-world mission was definitely an eye opener to the needs of soldiers," Ford said. "When deployed to Iraq, the reality of being in a team ministry was not only more evident but was highly rewarding."

TPCC provided the training to Ford in 2003 that certified him as an affiliated Tacoma-Pierce County chaplain.

"Greg is a phenomenal chaplain," said Trudy Cane, volunteer chaplain coordinator at TPCC. "He comes with a lot of expertise in caring for others and is a good guy all around."

To donate to the TPCC, a nonprofit organization, visit Monetary gifts are tax deductible and enable TPCC to serve victims, victim families and first responders, without any financial obligation. Donations also help pay for chaplain uniforms, mileage reimbursements, and continuing education and training.