Becoming the chaplain for the Northeast Police Substation was a calling for Pastor Danny Souder of Northlake Baptist Church.

“After coming to Northlake and settling into Lake Highlands, I stopped by the Northeast Substation to introduce myself,” he says.

After visiting with the officers, he was invited to become a chaplain for the force, which he has been for seven years. He has been pastor at Northlake for nine years. As chaplain of the substation, Souder may be one of the first officials called to a crime scene where an officer has been shot.

“It is a very powerful experience going to the crime scene,” Souder says. “So many of these officers have over the years become close friends.”

Souder spends about 15 hours a month providing services for the police department.

“We recently lost an officer, shot in the line of duty – and there is so much involved,” he says. “From the necessities at the crime scene, to notifying and supporting family members – and then the services. It can at times be difficult.”

But he does the work, he says, because he must.

Sgt. Rector McCollum at the substation says the support rendered by Souder has been valuable to our neighborhood’s 200 officers and their families.

Once a year, Souder dedicated a Sunday to honor police officers patrolling our neighborhood.

“It is a very special Sunday for us,” McCollum says. “It’s an entire afternoon – family, services, a picnic – he really goes all out for us.”

Souder says taking the position at Northlake was like coming home. Two pastorships had taken the Souders to Florida, and it had been 10 years since the family lived in Texas. Souder’s wife is Karen and their children are Shelley and Scott.

“My roots are here,” says Souder, who received his bachelor’s from Texas Christian University and his master of divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, close to his hometown Hurst.

His involvement with ministry doesn’t stop with Northlake and the substation. He serves as a director of the Home Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.

He also is chairman of the Stewardship Committee for the Dallas Baptist Association.

“It is a busy schedule,” Souder says. “But I am blessed with such a wonderful family and my family at Northlake Baptist Church and the Northeast Substation – they are all very important to me. I truly believe in the strength of this community.”