JONESBOROUGH, Tenn. (WJHL) — National Police Week just wrapped up, and one church made sure local police officers felt appreciation.

Church members applauded officers from agencies around the area, including the Jonesborough Police Department, Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office and more.

Lighthouse Missionary Baptist Church holds a service to pray for police officers

The church hosted a luncheon afterward for officers and their families. Pastor Perry Cleek said this was the first time the church held a law enforcement appreciation service.

“Really, what brought it on was the atmosphere that’s today. So many people seem to be against law enforcement and want to defund them and criticize them,” said Cleek. “And we want to show our local police departments that we sure appreciate them, and wouldn’t want to live in a world where they weren’t here.”

In 2020, the Lighthouse congregation donated $23,000 to Jonesborough Police Department employees. Officers, administrators, and dispatchers were gifted $1,000 each.

The move got national attention. Cleek was later invited to the White House to participate in a Roundtable with then-President Trump.