Blessings in a bag: Destiny Church delivers gift bags to Cullman County Sheriff’s Office

​Destiny Church Pastor Fred Rivers unloads boxes of gift bags from the church van Thursday morning at the Cullman County Sheriff’s Office. (Heather Mann for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Bright and early Thursday morning, representatives from Destiny Church arrived at the Cullman County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) with boxes upon boxes of gift bags for everyone working there – including the K-9 deputies. More than 140 bags were put together by the church and brought to the CCSO as a way to bless Sheriff Matt Gentry, all the deputies, and everyone working at the CCSO for the work that they do. 

Janice Rivers, wife of pastor Destiny Church Fred Rivers, shared, “Well, about a month ago, it was like every time I got around a patrol officer, I just wanted to cry and weep over them,” she said. “I just wanted to go up to them and say, ‘Thank you,’ so we were trying to think of a project we could do as a service day for our church, and I felt like this was what we needed to do. Everybody was in agreement since we’ve all been praying for the sheriff’s department.”

Rivers said supplies for the gift bags were gathered by asking local businesses and church members for contributions, and the whole project cost around $3,500. Each bag contained gift cards from local businesses like Taco Bell, Chick-Fil-A and Dairy Queen, insulated tumblers donated by Peoples Bank and bottled water and electrolytes. Gentry received an envelope full of extra gift cards to Newk’s Eatery to distribute. K-9 deputies received bags full of dog treats.

Gentry thanked everyone for their kindness and generosity.

“We are truly blessed to have y’all with us,” he stated. “We love serving the community, and I can’t tell y’all how much this means to me and my deputies.”

Pastor Rivers spoke on behalf of the church at the presentation, saying his congregation had been praying for the officers and just wanted to give back in honor of the great service they do for the community.

Afterward he commented on the project, saying, “We’re just thankful to be in Cullman County, thankful to have the sheriff’s department and the sheriff that we do, thankful to have the team of deputies and support staff that we do. It’s a blessing to have them and we’re blessed to be here.”

“We just felt blessed to be a blessing,” smiled Janice Rivers.

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Cullman County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Brett Holmes helps unload gift bags from Destiny Church members’ cars Thursday morning. (Heather Mann for The Cullman Tribune)

Heather Mann