There have been many changes and improvements to the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office over the past years but perhaps the most impactful for the inmates housed within the county jail was the creation of a Jail Ministry program created by Sheriff Bobby Rader in 2013. Seeing the need to meet the spiritual needs of inmates, Rader reached out to the very first volunteer, Jail Chaplain Delmar Lee Coward Jr., to form the basis for what is now known as the Chaplains Family Assistance Unit within the LCSO.
Chaplain Coward is a devout Christian who, after retiring from many years as an Electrical Engineer, earned his degree in ministry and now is a rotation pastor for seven churches and functions as an integral team member of the nine-person Chaplains Family Assistance Unit.
Chaplain Coward said he is of the Interdenominational Faith that embraces all faiths so he can reach and serve all the people of various churches. This serves him well in counselling or ministering to inmates, the public he may encounter when called out to a tragic scene, or to department personnel who may come to him for encouragement or a word of healing.
His schedule for the LCSO Jail inmates runs Tuesday and Thursday for male inmates and Tuesday and Saturday for female inmates. Chaplain Coward has received many letters of appreciation from former inmates that expresses how much his words were an encouragement to them while incarcerated. The jail program has been very successful and rewarding.
When asked to explain how he became a LCSO jail chaplain, he said that he had attended a Chaplains Association meeting in Louisiana with a fellow pastor a few years ago and felt God talking to him and telling him he needed to become a Chaplain with the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office. On the following Monday, he received a phone call from Sheriff Rader asking if he would be interested in starting a Jail Ministry for the sheriff’s office. He accepted the offer immediately and has been enjoying serving as a volunteer chaplain ever since.
The Sheriff’s Office Chaplain’s Family Assistance Unit stands ready each day and night to respond to any call a deputy might have where spiritual support is needed for a grieving family or where there is a similar need on a personal basis for any law enforcement agency in Liberty County. Chaplain Coward still finds time to functions as the Jail Chaplain addressing the needs of the inmates.
“It is with sincere appreciation that we thank LCSO Chaplain Delmar Coward for volunteering his time, his teaching and deep faith with all those in need,” said Capt. Ken DeFoor in his statement.