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Sheriff Kimbrough delivers powerful message to Ministers’ Conference

Sheriff Kimbrough delivers powerful message to Ministers’ Conference
October 09
17:51 2019

“What’s calling you? What’s your responsibility to this community?”

Those were the questions Sheriff Bobby Kimbrough raised while speaking to members of the Ministers’ Conference of Winston-Salem and Vicinity last week.

While delivering the “Order of the Day” during the Ministers’ Conference meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 1, Kimbrough said for the first time in life he has the ability to speak freely. He said because of the type of jobs he has held in the past, he never had the opportunity to speak his mind, but as sheriff, he has the opportunity to speak truth and share his thoughts openly.

Kimbrough said at times while serving as a police officer, state officer and special agent, he questioned why he was stuck in a place of silence, but he soon realized why and thereafter he found his own calling. He said, “Throughout my life, I’ve never had the ability to be as free as I am now. As a special agent with the federal government, I had to be especially careful of what I said because not only could I have been fired, I could have been arrested.

“What I realized is, that sometimes God holds you in a place until you’re ready,” Kimbrough said. “Sometimes God holds you until he can shape you. And as I ran this race for the office of the people, I realized why God kept me where he kept me because the place I’m in now, I only have to answer to the people and God. And I’m grateful for that place and that space because now I have the ability to speak truth.

“Whether you agree or disagree, I’m going to give you what’s moral, right and legal.”

Born and raised in Winston-Salem, Kimbrough began his career in law enforcement with the Winston-Salem Police Department (WSPD). He then went on to serve as an arson investigator with the Winston-Salem Fire Department (WSFD). After a stint with the North Carolina Department of Probation and Parole, from 1995 until his retirement in 2016, Kimbrough served the United States Department of Justice as a special agent in the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

In 2018 Kimbrough made history when he was elected as the first African American ever to serve as sheriff of Forsyth County.

Since assuming the role as sheriff, Kimbrough has been outspoken with his stance on a number of topics, including the Forsyth-ICE (Immigration Customs Enforcement) jail agreement. Kimbrough has also made some major changes within the department and made the FCSO more visible in the community by making donations to local schools and hosting a quarterly town hall where citizens have the opportunity to discuss any issues they may have.

While addressing local clergy and others with a vested interest in the Ministers’ Conference, Kimbrough said the church is one of the most powerful entities in our society and what we do with that power is up to us. He said at a place in time where people seem to be distancing themselves from each other, it is our responsibility to tear down those barriers.

“We have got to find a way as people, as human beings, regardless of our race, religion or creed, we’ve got to find a way to bring back cohesiveness and kindness because we are moving to a space that is dangerous. And it’s incumbent upon the church to lead that fight,” Kimbrough said. “What’s calling you? It has to be your responsibility.”

The Winston-Salem Ministers’ Conference of Winston-Salem holds meetings every Tuesday at 11:00 a.m. at Emmanuel Baptist Church, 1075 Shalimar Drive. For more information visit the Ministers’ Conference Winston Salem Vicinity on Facebook.

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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