Church celebrates police, firefighters and first responders during Sunday service

Pastor: "This church honors you because of what you do to protect us"

CLIFTON FORGE, Va. – The Lord always comes first during Sunday service, but the First Assembly of God Church in Clifton Forge spent part of this Sunday's ceremony honoring someone else.

First Assembly of God organized a special service to celebrate first responders in and around Alleghany County.

"This church honors you, not because you carry a Taser or a gun, but because of what you do to protect us," said First Assembly of God Pastor Teddy Joe Bias.

Several first responders showed up to the service, such as Alleghany County Sheriff Kevin Hall and an assortment of Clifton Forge firefighters, including James Smith.

"People do appreciate what you do out here," Hall said. "People in this community have always supported us, and it's always a great feeling."

"In small towns, like we are, it's nice to hear that encouragement from them," Smith said.

The church has organized a service honoring first responders every year for the past six years. Bias says he is already planning on bringing back the tradition next year.