Four of the five Frederick County public safety chaplains gather outside the county Public Safety Building (from left): Mark Ransom, Kent Woodward, Darrel Taylor and Victor Gomez. (Photo by Jeff Taylor/The Winchester Star)
Gomez greets 3-year-olds Peyton Carter (left) and Cy Stanley at Mount Olive United Methodist Church. Chaplains volunteer in addition to the regular church duties. (Photo by Scott Mason/The Winchester Star)
Pastor Kent Woodward sings during a recent worship service at Winchester Church of God. He is one of five ministers who volunteer in the Frederick County Fire and Rescue Department Chaplaincy Program. (Photo by Scott Mason/The Winchester Star)
“So many of the calls, they’re very hard, but you’re thankful that God allows you to minister to someone in a time of need.”— Kent Woodward, care pastor at Winchester Church of God
“We represent the things of God where we can; we try to bring a spiritual dimension to the scene as we can.”— Darrel Taylor, a pastor at Blue Ridge Grace Brethren Church
“I am so excited about how well we work together, and it’s just absolutely amazing.”— Victor Gomez, a senior pastor at Old Bethel United Methodist Church and Mount Olive United Methodist Church
“We’ve talked to everybody from Muslims to Wiccans; you name them, we talk to them — we work with just about everybody, including atheists.”— Mark Ransom, a pastor at Wesleyan Fellowship
Public safety chaplains offer a shoulder for victims to cry on, a hand for the injured to hold and a sympathetic ear for first responders under stress.