Stephen Z. Smith

Stephen Z. Smith

Director of the River Region Chaplain Service. Board of Directors for RRCS. Chaplain coordinator for the Montgomery Co Sheriff’s Office

Occupation: Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office since 2001. Currently works as a Crime Scene Investigator and serves as the Chaplain Liaison for the MCSO

Education / Training / Experience: Graduated from Sidney Lanier High School in 1980, Montgomery, Ala, Served with the Montgomery Police Dept for 20 years (1981 – 2001) before retirement.

Certified as a Law Enforcement chaplain through ICPC in 2007.

Certified as a Fire Fighter chaplain in 2019

Awards, Recognition by professional organizations, military etc:

Graduated Montgomery Police Academy June 1983.

February 2010, Published a book, “It’s More Than Shootouts and Car Chases, Memoirs of a Montgomery Police Officer.”

National Sheriff’s Association – 2018 National Chaplain of the Year

November 2019, Published 2nd book (novel)  “Secret of Winter Place.”

Hobbies: Alabama Football, coin collecting, law enforcement patch collecting, writing

Clubs and Organizations: Member of the International Conference of Police Chaplains (ICPC), International Association of Identification (IAI), started the Cops for Christ program in Montgomery, Ala in 1992

Family Life: Married to Nancy M Smith since 2007 and has two daughters, Stacy and Kelly.

Church you attend: Thorington Road Baptist Church, Montgomery, Ala. Has taught youth Sunday school for over 30 years and serves as the mission team coordinator known as Mission Builders.

Favorite scripture: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding ; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will guide your path,” Proverbs 3:5-6

Why I chose to be a chaplain: I have served in Law Enforcement since 2001 and I have seen first hand the stress it takes on the men and women who serve. I feel the Lord has led me to be a chaplain to minister to these men and women who risk their lives each and everyday to keep my family safe.

Robert Hendershot

Robert is the chaplain for the River Region Chaplain Service.


Tom Gaylord

Tom Gaylord

Chaplain Gaylord primarily serves the men and women of the Wetumpka Police Department.

Occupation: Pastor at Centerpoint Fellowship Church in Wetumpka

Education / Training / Experience: Chaplain Gaylord has a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and two master’s degrees that he earned while serving in the Air Force. He also has a master’s degree in Christian Ministry with a specialty in Pastoral Counseling from Liberty University.  Chaplain Gaylord has four years of experience as a police Chaplain and has completed the ICPC Basic Chaplain’s Academy Course as well as specialized training in Group Crisis Intervention, Basic Life Support, Trauma Care, Human Trafficking, and Officer Involved Shootings.  He has also completed pistol and rifle weapons qualification with the Wetumpka Police Department.

Awards, Recognition by professional organizations, military etc:

Chaplain Gaylord retired as an Air Force Lieutenant Colonel after completing a 22-year career in the military.  While on active duty he earned numerous medals and ribbons including the Meritorious Service Medal (3 OLC), and the Gulf War Campaign Ribbon (w/ 2 Stars).  Chaplain Gaylord was awarded the Wright Brothers Leadership Award as a faculty member at the Air Command and Staff College and was recognized by Federal Computer Week Magazine as one of the Top 100 leaders in the Federal Government for his work in helping Small Businesses compete for government business in the IT industry.

Hobbies: In his leisure time, Chaplain Gaylord enjoys genealogy, shooting, camping, and hiking.

Clubs and Organizations: Chaplain Gaylord is a member of the International Conference of Police Chaplains (ICPC), the Air Force Association (AFA), and holds a life membership in the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) and the National Rifle Association (NRA).

Family Life: Tom is married to his lovely wife Dawn. They have been married for 34 years and have three grown boys and one daughter-in-law.

Church you attend: Centerpoint Fellowship Church

Favorite scripture: “You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others” 2 Timothy 2:2 (NLT).

Why I chose to be a chaplain: As a pastor, I have a passion and call for shining the light of Christ into the dark world and for serving the men and women who protect our communities daily. While I don’t have a law-enforcement background, my military experience is beneficial to me as a police Chaplain because it translates well into the high-risk and high-stress environment of police work and because many police officers today have prior military experience.

John Gallups

John Gallups

Chaplain Gallups serves the men and women of the Wetumpka Police Department, United States Secret Service, and the Elmore County Fire Fighters Association.

Occupation: Sr. Investigator with AIG/GIS.

Education / Training / Experience: Chaplain Gallups has had 30 plus years of investigation experience including 12 years with Montgomery Police Department, 20+ year in the fire service, and 10 years with the Wetumpka Police Department as a chaplain. He is an approved Instructor for the International Conference of Police Chaplains, and an Instructor for the Federation of Fire Chaplains, and an AHA CPR Instructor. He is also certified in ICISF specialized training in Induvial & Group Crisis Intervention, Law-Enforcement Perspective, and Pastoral Crisis Intervention, Trauma Care, Human Trafficking, and Officer Involved Shootings. He is the State of Alabama Chaplain coordinator for ALEA in Peer Support. He is a denominational endorsed chaplain with the North American Mission Board.

Awards, Recognition by professional organizations, military, etc.:

Chaplain Gallups graduated from the Montgomery Police Academy in 1985.

Hobbies: In his leisure time, Chaplain Gallups enjoys scuba diving, cruising, and hunting.

Clubs and Organizations: Chaplain Gallups is a member of the International Conference of Police Chaplains (ICPC), Federation of Fire Chaplains (FFC).

 Family Life: John has been married his wife Angie for the past 20 years. His son David is a staff sergeant with the United States Air Force, and his daughter Ashlee is a registered nurse. He has three grandchildren Elijah, Ruby and Holly.

Church you attend: Mountain View Baptist Church

Favorite scripture: Chaplain Gallups is a “BBFOJC” (If you would like to know what that is just ask him?) His favorite Bible verse is John 14:6. Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

Why I chose to be a chaplain: As a chaplain, I have a passion to share the hope that is in Jesus Christ and His cross. I have been in law enforcement and fire service for 20+ years. I worked alongside these peers for a long time now. I have experienced what causes the stress in my fellow brothers and sisters. More police officers and firefighters die from suicide than line of duty deaths. In 1987 I got to a point in my life where the stress level had built up without any release that I was about to take my life. I realized God had a more specific plan and direction for me. This is one of the reasons I became a chaplain.  Chaplain Gallups is the founder of 1:1 Foundation, a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to helping first responders identify the stressors of the job and learn how to manage them.