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October 20, 2012
Star Features


Happy serving God

The Reverend Courtney Walters - George Henry


The Reverend Courtney Walters has two jobs. His regular 9-5 sees him working as assistant chaplain for the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF). His second job involves winning souls for Christ. However, despite being in two very challenging jobs, they are tasks he relishes.

Rev Walters hails from Linstead in the parish of St Catherine. His walk with Christ started almost 40 years ago. This church leader started out serving Christ from a tender age, and since then he has not looked back.

"I made a decision in a crusade and that has affected my life ever since," said Rev Walters.

Walters has been a pastor for 22 years, serving in the Jamaica Baptist Union before he became an assistant chaplain with the Jamaica Constabulary Force. This minister of the gospel currently serves Area One, which includes Hanover, St James and Trelawny.

Rev Walters considers the work he does as a chaplain to be extremely challenging. He said this is so because there are a lot of issues which he has to be dealing with on a daily basis.

"You have to meet all types of issues that come to you as a chaplain. When these challenges come to me the first thing I do is try not to personalise. It is very important that I remain emotionally out of the fray," said Rev Walters.

He noted that he relies on his training as a pastor and counsellor, along with his interest in psychology and what it does in terms of human relationships, to deal with the problems. Walters further noted that he uses his experience, backed up by the spiritual disciplines of prayer and self-development, to respond to the various challenges associated with his work.

Serving God and humanity

Seeing people transformed helps Rev Walters to keep serving God and humanity. He is energised when he sees human potential being exploited because, according to him, that is the most amazing thing.

Though Rev Walters does not now lead a congregation, he admitted that he is in somebody's pulpit almost every Sunday. He added that he enjoys preaching because for him it is communication and interaction, which gives him the opportunity to interpret what some persons may consider being a 'timeless word in a timely manner'.

"My understanding of preaching is that I bring a perspective from a different place to our place. That is what we try to do in preaching," explained Rev Walters.

The experienced chaplain wants members of the Jamaica Constabu-lary Force to understand that they have a rich heritage, and that they should be mindful of the fact that the force is probably the only institution in Jamaica which can impact the society in a positive way..

"So keep your self-discipline, keep your focus, and be motivated, in spite of the criticisms. You have done an excellent job and you just need to keep on keeping on," encouraged Rev Walters to the members of the JCF.

Rev Walters' favourite Bible verse is Jeremiah 29 verse 11; his favourite chorus is 'Great is the Lord, He is faithful and just'. He says Jamaicans are too polarised as a people. This, he said, is manifested in almost every institution across the country, the church included.

"We are far too polarised; and I believe that the name of the game for Jamaica's future is reconciliation. We need to find a way to come together and to work together. It does not mean that we won't have differences, but how we manage our differences is what is significant," noted Rev Walters.

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