AG Chaplain Recognized for Outstanding Service
Chaplain James Occhipinti, an Assemblies of God endorsed police chaplain, was recently presented a John A. Price Award, Excellence in Chaplaincy, during the 42nd annual International Conference of Police Chaplains (ICPC).
The ICPC presented Occhipinti the award on July 16 during its conference held in Sacramento, California. Occhipinti, who also marked his 50th year in ministry this year, was senior pastor of Cedar Run Assembly of God in West Creek, New Jersey, for 37 years, and has served as a police chaplain since 1979.
Each year, the International Conference of Police Chaplains selects two chaplains as recipients of the John A. Price Award, Excellence in Chaplaincy. It is the highest honor awarded a chaplain annually by the ICPC.
Chaplains assist law enforcement personnel with job-related issues such as post-traumatic stress, marriage and family problems, and are frequently called out to support and assist law enforcement with death notifications, suicides, fatal traffic collisions, death of a child, and other difficult situations.
Occhipinti was also one of the chaplains who responded and ministered to police officers and rescue workers at the New York Port Authority command center in New Jersey and Ground Zero following the terrorist attack of 9-11.
When the 77-year-old Occhipinti was informed that he had been selected as a recipient of the award, he was momentarily overcome with emotion.
"When I got the call from ICPC telling me of the honor I was about to receive," Occhipinti recalls, "I started to cry. I was just so overwhelmed and honored . . . I felt so humbled by the confidence the ICPC had in me."
Occhipinti explains that the ICPC is a worldwide organization and that 700 chaplains from around the world were in attendance at this year's annual conference. "I praise Jesus every day for His favor in my life," Occhipinti says.
"We are very happy to see that the efforts and commitment of this servant of God has not gone unnoticed," states Manuel Cordero, senior director of AG U.S. Missions Chaplaincy Ministries. "We are very proud of Chaplain Occhipinti. He has dedicated many years serving those in law enforcement in Ocean County."
Occhipinti was also commended for his years of service and recognition by the ICPC in a letter from Assemblies of God General Superintendent George O. Wood.
"The contribution you have made in this Fellowship and to the Lord over these 50 years of ministry as an ordained minister has been so deeply appreciated," Wood wrote. "Only eternity will reveal the many lives that have been touched by you as a minister of the gospel and law enforcement chaplain."