First Baptist Church of Wickliffe hosted a prayer service Wednesday night for Kentucky State Police Trooper Cameron Ponder. More than 50 people attended the service, including Ardena Chaston and her husband.
They don't know Ponder personally, but for her, it doesn't matter. "It's hard to believe that something that serious could happen so close to your home," she said.
Trooper Ponder died Sunday night - shot while on duty in his patrol car. Chaston said while the shooting was tragic, overcoming the pain through prayer is what gets her through the heartbreak. "You never imagine something like that happening. Never," Chaston told Local 6.
First Baptist Church Pastor Lynn Releford felt compelled to host the service because he said it's the community's and church's responsibility to pray for those who risk their lives to protect our own. "I really felt for Trooper Ponder," Releford said. He also said he prays for the other officers and deputies who recently died while on the job. He said churches need to set the example by supporting those who wear the badge.
"What's going to happen next? Honestly, nobody knows. But, we know Psalm 46 tells us God is our strength and refuge in present day of help," he said.
Chaston is now concerned about the next generation, including for her future kids. "It scares me though to have, to take that chance on one of my children wanting to go out there and be involved and working with the law enforcement," Chaston said.