To support all of the Santa Barbara County’s Fire and Law Enforcement personnel and their families; spiritually, emotionally, and physically through the use of a qualified chaplain.
What We Do
Chaplains in Santa Barbara County individually provide care in a number of settings, but all share the common goal of providing mental, emotional, and spiritual support to those in need.
No one is confronted with more situations that create emotional, mental, and spiritual burdens than today’s law enforcement officers, emergency medical, and firefighter personnel. These burdens also affect the families of officers, medics, firefighters, as well as other members of their department.
A law enforcement / fire chaplain is a clergyperson with special interest and training for providing pastoral care in the high powered and dangerous world of the first responders. This pastoral care is offered to all people, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, creed, or religion. It is offered without cost or the taint of proselytizing.
The fire / law enforcement chaplain is led in his or her own faith to be available and ready to serve those in need. The chaplain’s ministry provides a source of strength to the medical /fire/ law enforcement personnel and their families, other department members, and the community.
The medic, firefighter, or law enforcement officer may have a clergyperson or religious advisor in private life, that, although trained in ministry, is not necessarily abreast of the particular problems and dangers faced by firefighters, officers and medics in the field.
Chaplains listen and participate in the workplace of law enforcement officers, firefighters, and medics with empathy and experience, advising calmly in the midst of turmoil and danger, as well as offering assistance when appropriate or requested.
More of What We Do:
Fire Department and Law Enforcement chaplains do some or all of the following:
- Counsel law enforcement officers, emergency medical, and firefighter personnel
- Counsel other members of departments if requested
- Counsel the families of law enforcement officers, emergency medical and firefighters
- Visit sick or injured personnel in homes and hospitals
- Give or assist in death notifications
- Teach personnel in the area of Stress Management
- Serve as part of a department’s Crisis Response Team
- Serve as liaison with other clergy in the community
- Perform funerals, memorials, and weddings
- Furnish responses to spiritual questions
- Offer invocations at special occasions; such as recruit graduations, awards ceremonies, and building dedications
- Serve on review boards, award boards, and other committees
- Provide assistance to victims and their families of our community in the event of crisis; such as fire, suicide, auto or plane accident, earthquake, or in times of serious illness, injury, death or significant trauma.
- Counsel correctional facility personnel
- Minister to the incarcerated
Chaplain Jerry Gray
Chaplain Jerry Gray has served as a Chaplain for the Santa Barbara County Fire Department since March of 2004. Over those years he has spent many hours visiting stations, building relationships with personnel, encouraging each, as they continue on in their career as First Responders. He’s been privileged to perform marriages, provide invocations at graduations, promotions, and special events. At time of loss, Chaplain Gray has presided over funeral services for the Department, along with responding out to our citizens, in their time of need. He has also taken part in the newly developed Peer Support program.
He is the founder, and Director of “Chaplain 24/7” a non-profit, established to support all Santa Barbara County Chaplains, and it’s First Responders. He received his “Senior Chaplain” accreditation from the “International Conference of Police Chaplains” in 2007, and is a member of the “Federation of Fire Chaplains. Jerry also serves as Chaplain for the Santa Barbara City Fire Department, Montecito Fire Protection District, and the Santa Barbara County Sheriff Department.
In the past, he has been privileged to serve as the “Civilian Chaplain” for the 425th Army Reserve Battalion, Spiritual Care for the American Red Cross, and Santa Barbara Response Network.
Chaplain Jerry is ordained through his home church, Calvary Chapel, Santa Barbara, in which he has held the positions of Deacon, Elder, Ministry Leader, lead married couples groups with his wife Gail, along with providing pre-marital counseling.
Chaplain Drew Kawiecki
Chaplain Drew Kawiecki has served as a Chaplain for the Santa Barbara County Fire Dept. since September of 2003. He has served our community in many difficult events such as the Goleta Postal shooting, the shootings in Isla Vista, and the Montecito Mudslides. He has helped many to cope with the loss of their loved ones and how to move forward after these difficult events. He has also participated in many invocations and promotional ceremonies.
Born and raised in Santa Barbara, he has a long history of bringing care and comfort to those in our city and county. He also serves as a Chaplain for the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department, and Santa Barbara City Fire Department.
He is accredited through the Federation of Fire Chaplains and ordained through Calvary Chapel and now serves at Associate Pastor at Oaks Bible Church.
Chaplain Keith McLellan
Chaplain Keith McLellan has served as a Lompoc Police and Fire Chaplain since July 2013 and provides chaplaincy mutual aid to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff/Coroner’s Office, providing personal, emotional and spiritual care for police and fire personnel, their families, and community residents in times of grief, trauma, and loss. As a Santa Barbara County Fire Chaplain, his primary service area will be the Lompoc-Santa Ynez corridor.
As a certified American Red Cross Disaster Spiritual Care (DSC) volunteer, he has served on regional, state, and national disaster deployments including deployments to the Conception Boat Fire Family Assistance Center, the Paradise-Camp Fire, CA., the Santa Barbara Mud Slide Family Assistance Center, the Thomas Fire, CA, Hurricane Florence, S.C., and Hurricane Matthew N.C. He also serves as a Red Cross Government and Community Liaison with County and Regional EOCs, Public Safety agencies, FEMA, VOAD and non-government disaster response and recovery organizations (NGO) with deployments to Nebraska, New York, and throughout California.
He is a graduate of the Police and Fire Chaplains Academy, Tacoma Pierce County Chaplaincy Training Division. Washington State Justice Training Commission, WA., and is a candidate with the International Federation of Fire Chaplains (FFC) and is a member of the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation (ICISF).
Keith has served as youth minister with Hill Side Evangelical Free Church, Riverside CA and as a college counselor with Trinity Western College, B.C. Canada, California Baptist University, and Westmont College, CA. Prior to retirement in January 2012, he served twenty-five years as the Dean of Counseling and Student Development with Santa Barbara City College.
Chaplain Keith is an affiliate with Santa Barbara County Chaplain 24/7 and serves in lay ministry with, and receives his ecclesiastic endorsement from, the Lompoc Foursquare Church, Lompoc, CA.