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Backing the Blue

The Cornelius Project provides practical mental and emotional support to our police members.

hadow on the wall of a gun pointed at hands up

From the Bible

Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted in me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance (Psalm 42:5)


Those of us who are old enough to remember the Vietnam War remember the toll born by those who returned home.

When the conflict dragged on with no reasonable end in sight, many who originally supported or accepted our joining the war on the side of South Vietnam either simply stopped their support or joined the opponents. These included Sen. Mark Hatfield of Oregon. Originally a supporter of our role, he turned against the way the war was conducted with no clear objective of winning. This, he said, meant it was no longer a just war.

Many of the soldiers and Marines who fought in the jungles and rice paddies had been drafted. When servicemen returned to the U.S. most were at best ignored by citizens. Often they faced scorn and denunciation, sometimes outright hostility.

The scars they bore were often inside. PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) became a common term and is used for veterans of later conflicts. These wounded warriors needed mental and emotional support instead of neglect or (worse) rejection.

Today, this is the plight of many in law enforcement. The "thin blue line" is in many ways stretched to the breaking point. Instead of widespread respect and support, those who daily work to protect us from crime often face disrespect, scorn, calls for defunding, legal handicaps, and outright hostility (even deadly violence).

An echo of the "unjust war" is the role of those prosecutors and city officials who no longer seek to win a battle against crime, but in many cases even enable it by non-prosecution of criminals or excuse it as "social justice."

Many law enforcement officers bear scars inside, triggering mental/emotional breakdowns, marital problems, health issues, and suicides. They need help and support.

In the News

Charles Town, West Virginia, September 3, 2014 – In a 2014 article in Edge, a publication of American Military University, faculty member Mark Bond calls depression among police officers "The Silent Killer." He writes, "Every year, just as many officers die by their own hand as do officers killed in the line of duty. Yet the silence continues." His call is to openly acknowledge police depression and help officers who are depressed. Frankly, the stress on LEOs has become greater during the nine years since his article's publication.[2]

Buffalo, New York, May 2018 – A retired New York City police officer, Dr. John Violanti of the University of Buffalo, reported on research into how PTSD affects the decision-making process of law enforcement officers. The preliminary conclusion, he reports, is, "Disruptions in rapid decision making by an officer who has PTSD may affect brain systems due to heightened arousal to threats, inability to screen out interfering information, or the inability to keep attention." Admittedly, PTSD among big city police officers has increased since the George Floyd incident.[3]

Tehama County, California, June 13, 2023 - The Tehama County Sheriff talked with a KRCR TV reporter about PTSD among police officers and how his department is helping officers. The report begins with data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration showing that police officers have a higher level of stress-induced mental/emotional health problems than the public in general.[4][5]

A Minister to the Blue

When we hear of ministry to police officers, the first image in our minds is a police chaplain. That is good and well for a department that has one or more chaplains. However, a PD chaplain might not be able to help every officer in his department. Maybe he does not have the needed training or experience for addressing serious mental and emotional challenges, such as suicidal tendencies. There is a person with both ministry and law enforcement experience who has been called to minister to law enforcement officers, offering both encouragement and spiritual guidance.

Jimmy Meeks answered the call to minister to the men and women in blue. He is both a long-time minister (licensed to preach at age 16) and a retired police officer. A graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University, he was ordained as a Southern Baptist minister in 1973 and has been active in ministry since (now over 40 years). He pastored a Ft. Worth church for 11 years.

In 1980, he became a police officer, serving for 35 years, first in Shawnee, OK, then in Hurst, TX (which borders Fort Worth). His Texas Commission on Law Enforcement training has added up to more than 4,500 hours. Besides being a crime prevention specialist, he has also been a detective, a hostage negotiator, a supervisor, and a school resource officer.

1980 was the year of the shooting at the first Baptist Church in Daingerfield, TX. Meeks was part of the 2012 docudrama about that incident, Faith Under Fire. By the way, that church is where Jimmy and his wife were married in 1977.

In 2009, Meeks began conducting church safety seminars. By now, there have been over 400. In January 2014, he and Lt. Col. Dave Grossman formed Sheepdog Seminars, a church security training program. They had been speaking at seminars since the previous May. Meeks retired from police work the next year, 2015, to go full-time with Sheepdog Seminars. He also started the Sheepdog Church for ministering to police.

An event that deeply moved Jimmy Meeks was the 2016 Dallas Police Massacre. In one day, five Dallas police officers were murdered while on duty.

Meeks is now a member of the Hurst City Council.

Blue Life Support

The Cornelius Project (Blue Life Support) was started by and is a branch of the Sheepdog Church. Its board is four police officers and one chaplain. They have a combined law enforcement experience of 140 years. The name refers to the Roman centurion Cornelius in Acts 10. His cohort of about 100 or so soldiers served as a police force in Judea. The account in Acts tells of his character of kindness and generosity, his faith in God, and his becoming the first Gentile Christian. He is held up as the model and inspiration for law enforcement officers.

There are several ways that the Cornelius Project ministers to police.


These are testimonial videos in which police officers share their stories. Some faced fatigue and depression, some had to use their weapons, others were shot at, battled alcohol and drugs, faced marital discord, etc. Some simply share their experience of salvation. While recorded as encouragement for cops, these will give those who are not in law enforcement a view of what life is like on the blue line.

Spiritual Growth Page

On the Spiritual Growth page is the video of a message by Rev. Jimmy Meeks, "Heart of the Father." The video is introduced by a statement of Meeks which shows his heart for the spiritual life of police officers:

I have spoken with Christian cops across America and have learned that VERY FEW know Him as their "Father." Too many of them call Him "the good Lord," or some other term they have picked up along the way (as if He were their distant cousin!).

Beneath this video are links to resources of several organizations that officers can use:


The blog is not currently being written. It has 12 articles, posted from mid-February to early December. 2021, which are informative to read and thought-provoking. They are (latest first):


The Resources tab has a drop-down list of 12 categories. (one, Spiritual Growth, also has its own tab):

Of special interest are Cop Wife, Police Library, Police News Sites, and Spiritual Life Library.


Jimmy Meeks visits police all across the country, something he's done for more than thirty years. He goes when a department asks him to come and encourage the force. In recent years, most of these have been to places where police have been facing special challenges, such as Kenosha, Minneapolis, and Portland. In 2020 alone, the miles added up to over 6,000.


The Cornelius Project (Blue Life Support) exists for the encouragement and spiritual guidance of police officers.

Training Notes

The parent organization for The Cornelius Project is The Sheepdog Church, which is related to Sheepdog Seminars. The seminars are for training church safety ministry members in safety and security. The most recent seminar outside the Dallas-Fort Worth area was on November 4 in El Dorado, Arkansas. Scheduled for next year are the California Safety Tour (February 19-24, 2024), Little Rock, AR (March 2, 2024), and Las Vegas, Nevada (April 12-13, 2024). The topics covered in a seminar are:

You may also request "The Bulletproof Mind" presentation by Lt. Col. Grossman.

If you want to host a seminar, text "Seminar" to (817) 437-9693.

Safety Member Certification

You do not have to wait or travel a long ways for a seminar to train your Safety Team members. Certification for church security is available through Sheepdog Church Security's Safety Member Certification program with its eight training modules:

  1. Safety Team Fundamentals
  2. Active Shooter Response
  3. Deescalating Disruptive Persons
  4. Protecting Children from Abuse
  5. Basic Use of Force Laws
  6. Arson and Fire Safety
  7. Storms and Disasters
  8. Mass Trauma Emergencies

This program has three training formats: church-hosted classes (Team Certification), self-paced online instruction (Individual Certification), and live Zoom classes (Online Events). The Online Events school year (September to June) is now in session. It has four quarters with all 8 classes in each quarter.[6]


  1. The Cornelius Project, Accessed November 5, 2023 [].
  2. Mark Bond, "Police Depression: The Silent Killer," American Military University Edge, September 3, 2014 [].
  3. John Violanti, "PTSD among Police Officers: Impact on Critical Decision Making," Community Policing Dispatch, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office), U.S. Department of Justice, May 2018 | Volume 11 | Issue 5 [].
  4. Tyler Van Dyke, "Breaking the stigma: Addressing PTSD and mental health among law enforcement officers," KRCR (ABC7), June 13, 2023 [].
  5. Staff, "Supplemental Research Bulletin: First Responders: Behavioral Health Concerns, Emergency Response, and Trauma," Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, May 2018 [].
  6. Kris Moloney, Safety Member Certification, Sheepdog Church Security, © 2020 [].