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CHAPLAIN MIKE

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Early Foundations
Michael's childhood was filled with love and laughter. He and his brother were raised in a loving Christian family, and enjoyed being a close-knit family through the years. After graduating from high school, Michael attended Ferrum University, where he was known as the lovable geek who didn't party, but was always ready to pray with you.

When he graduated in 1999, he returned to his childhood church and began feeling the calling to enter ministry. He began seriously praying about entering the ministry. In 2003, he started taking classes at Johnson University, majoring in Biblical Studies. While there, he was ordained as a pastor in the Christian Church.
 
Church Ministry
In 2006, he received a calling to be the senior pastor at a mid-size church in southwest Virginia. During this time, he also began serving as a volunteer chaplain for local police departments. That ministry has grown significantly over the past 10 years. 

In 2014, Mike was called to a small country church in Bedford, Virginia. During this ministry, Mike committed to seeking a graduate degree and began attending Liberty University's online program. He also started growing a chaplaincy in Bedford, providing them with volunteer services over the next seven years.

Covered Chaplaincy
In June of 2019, Mike left church ministry to regroup and refresh as he looked at future goals, including creating Covered. In 2021, he committed himself full-time to this ministry and has logged hundreds of hours in service to Bedford County law enforcement. He is a member of the Fraternal Order of Police, the Virginia Sheriff's Association, and the International Conference of Police Chaplains. 
 
In January 2022, he partnered with EastLake Community Church to provide chaplain services in the county. He works with them on-staff to promote this ministry.

Credentials and Memberships
Mike is a member of and receives his credentialing and training from the International Conference of Police Chaplains, under which he has received his "Senior Chaplain" endorsement. He is also a member of the Lynchburg-based John Lynch Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police.

Family
Chaplain Mike is married to his wife Sara and they have four little boys. They live on a small hobby farm in Bedford County. 

Pastor Michael Smith is the full-time chaplain with both the Town of Bedford Police Department and the Bedford County Sheriff's Office. He has served as a volunteer Chaplain with these offices for several years, and in 2021 he launched Covered as a means to provide permanent full-time Chaplain services

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