Roanoke church serves up free meals to first responders

Pastor: 'We just want to pat them on the back and say thank you'

By Taj Simmons - Reporter

ROANOKE, Va. - Firefighters, police officers and other first responders got a free lunch thanks to a Roanoke church.

New Life Christian Ministries organized its inaugural First Responders Appreciation Day on Saturday. The event featured barbecue made by the church for first responders.

"We just want to pat them on the back and say thank you for what they do for us," New Life Christian Ministries Pastor Tony Atkinson said. "Those who govern and keep law and order are ministers of peace. Think about what our community would be like without firemen, without EMS (emergency medical services), without policemen."

Church members also delivered plates of barbecue to Salem police officers working the Salem Fair.

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