First Responders

About First Responders

Our mission is to strengthen and encourage First Responders for the Kingdom of God. You do not need to be a member of our Church. You do not even need to be Christian. We are simply here to ensure all our First Responder brothers and sisters make it to the end of their shift. Whether it’s helping them make it through the day-to-day, or making it the long haul until their retirement and beyond. We want to be there along the way for emotional and spiritual support.

Meetings

In the meetings you will find fellowship, worship, prayer, and teaching. If needed, we offer one-on-one counseling and help with PTSD.

We have opened this specialized ministry to all current and former law enforcement, firefighters, paramedics, EMT’s, and 911 dispatchers.

If you are currently emotionally and spiritually strong, we encourage you to come to our meetings and fellowship. Your strength may be used to help others going through a difficult time. We are a community of current and former first responders working together to be the light in this dark world.

Your involvement in this ministry can make an enormous impact on our first responder community of South Florida and possibly help save a life and a soul.

If you have a question as to whether your profession is considered a “first responder”, simply email us at firstresponders@calvaryftl.org with any questions.

Meeting Times & Location

When & Where

2401 West Cypress Creek Road. Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309

We meet the second Thursday of every month in Meeting Room 1. The meeting starts promptly at 7:00 pm. However, we gather for food and fellowship at 6:30 pm.

Meeting RM 1: Located near the south entrance of “The Grill” restaurant on the Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale campus.

Testimonials

Several years ago I was going through the worst time in my life. I was working as a Deputy Sheriff and my marriage was falling apart. I was struggling financially to support a family of six on one income. I was eaten up with anger and rage. I was taking it out on the ones that I love. My world came crashing down around me and about ten years into the job I placed my service pistol against my head with all intention of ending my life. My wife at the time walked in and even encouraged me to do it. Everything was racing through my head and I felt utterly worthless. I later cried out to God and asked God to give me a greater purpose for my life. My life began to change…
I kept myself in spiritual formation and in accordance with God’s will and plan for my life. Although I am technically diagnosed with anxiety, depression, and PTSD from my military service in the U.S. Marines, I no longer have the thoughts of suicide. I lean on my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for all strength and guidance. God has now placed a vision upon my heart to help the first responder community of South Florida. I give all praise and honor to Him.

Greg- Lead Volunteer “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Romans 12:12

"My Name is Eddie Olmedo. I retired after 22 years with the NYC Police Dept as a Detective. I was present during the horrific attacks of the World Trade Center on 9/11. I was there with my partner Hans Austin (now a Lt. with PBSO). When the buildings came down, we decided to enter a dark cloud of falling debris that was covering everything and we began to search for survivors. As we began to walk into the cloud, we bumped into a tall, authoritative looking officer with medals on his uniform. He stopped us and told us to turn around unless we wanted to die. We felt like he picked us up and turned us around, but after taking a couple of steps, we felt a breeze and the dark cloud lifted. At that moment we turned around, but we didn’t see anyone around. That remained in my mind and I felt that GOD had saved my life for a specific purpose. Three years later, I retired and decided to follow Jesus and spread the Gospel message to all that would listen. I am now part of the First Responders Ministry and Men's Ministry at Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale. I feel now that I have a purpose in my life."

Eddie Olmedo

  • Greg Cherven

    Ministry Leader
Email This Ministry
For more information on Greg Cherven

Greg is a disabled veteran who has been diagnosed with anxiety, depression, and PTSD with the Veterans Administration. He served in many capacities such as patrol deputy, traffic homicide investigator, SVU detective, and hostage negotiator. Greg attempted to take his own life ten years into his law enforcement career. However, God had a greater purpose for his life.

  • He is a former U.S. Marine from operations desert shield and desert storm.
  • He worked as a Deputy Sheriff in Polk County, Florida.
  • He completed his B.S. in Ministerial Leadership from Southeastern University and is currently enrolled and finishing his M.A. in Christian Apologetics from Liberty University.
  • Greg also serves as a deacon for Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale and is a Chaplain with the Billy Graham Evangelical Association Rapid Response Team.

FAQs

Who is considered a first responder?

We understand the term “First Responder” is very broad and it is very difficult to list every single job under this title. However, this ministry is meant to aid the people which respond to trauma, crisis and crime scenes on a daily basis. The main core of people are to include Law Enforcement Officers, Firefighters, Paramedics, EMT’s, 911 Dispatchers, Crime Scene Technicians, Child Protective Investigators, etc. If you have a question as to whether you qualify or not as a first responder please email us at firstresponders@calvaryftl.org.

Is this ministry only for current first responders or does it include former first responders?

This ministry is for both current and former first responders.

What is the purpose of this ministry?

The purpose of this ministry is to strengthen and encourage first responders for the Kingdom of God. Whether you are new on the job and need encouragement to get through the day-today or you are a seasoned first responder with years or even decades of experience needing encouragement to make it through to retirement. We are here to help. You may even be emotionally and spiritually strong and are able to mentor others which may need help. It’s all about being there for each other to ensure a long and healthy career and beyond.

Is there a membership to this ministry?

No. There is not any sort of membership for this ministry. You also do not need to be a member of Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale. You do not even need to be a believer in the Christian faith. However, it is to be noted that the ministry is based on Christian beliefs.

Are there any fees or dues associated with this ministry?

No. There are no fees or dues. We even offer free counseling and help with PTSD if necessary. 

Will my agency or command find out that I attend these meetings?

No. Our ministry is completely confidential. No personal information, conversations, or counseling sessions will be reported back to your agency without your permission. We are not required to report any issues or concerns unless there is an immediate threat to your life or the life of others.

What do the ministry meetings look like?

Our meetings are very similar to a church service. It is a group setting which includes fellowship with food, worship music, prayer, teaching, Table talk, Q & A, and more prayer. If there is someone in need of more help, we will offer one-on-one counseling as necessary and upon that person’s request. No one is forced to do anything against their will. We are simply here to help. 

Live Now!

Watch Live

Watch Live in EnglishTraducción al Español