Sheriff’s office welcomes clergy into chaplaincy program

jeroline mccarthyFlagler County Sheriff James Manfre thanked family members for supporting the ordained clergy recently sworn in the chaplaincy program. Carmen Caldwell, Angel Ruiz-Perez and Juan Schembri had taken account of the gravity of their decision.

Caldwell, a former youth care director and associate minister at Cathedral International of Perth Amboy, New Jersey, had invited me and her mom, First Church Steward Naomi Hargrave.

The sheriff affirmed that the chaplaincy program was one he was most proud of.

Ordained clergy members - Carmen Caldwell, Angel Ruiz-Perez and Juan Schembri – were sworn in the chaplaincy program by Flagler County Sheriff James Manfre.(PHOTO BY JEROLINE D. MCCARTHY/DAYTONA TIMES)
Ordained clergy members – Carmen Caldwell, Angel Ruiz-Perez and Juan Schembri – were sworn in the chaplaincy program by Flagler County Sheriff James Manfre.

“Before, our chaplaincy program only ministered to our inmates and did not really have a presence for deputies and/or civilians,” he said.

Manfre continued that on a daily basis, they see horrible things.

He cited their responding to a suicide, where the gentleman had hung himself in a wooded area and was there for some period of time.

“That’s something that stays with you and never leaves you,” he said, “and these are the types of things that employees are faced with on a daily basis.”

The intent of the chaplaincy program makes a way for the staff to open up with these stories that are put behind and not talked about with their family.

The chaplains “provide confidential, emotional and nondenominational, spiritual support to the Sheriff’s Office and citizen victims of crime, or tragedy, in Flagler County.”

Reception to honor Mayor Jon Netts
Join the City of Palm Coast as “We Honor Your Honor” at a public reception Oct. 13, celebrating Mayor Jon Netts’ 16 years of service to the city as a Code Board member from 2000-2001, a city council member from 2001-2007 and mayor since 2007.

The reception will take place 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. with the formal program beginning 5:15 p.m. in the Community Wing of Palm Coast City Hall, 160 Lake Ave., Palm Coast.

Mayor Netts and his wife, Priscilla, with members of the City Council and Palm Coast employees, will welcome residents. Fire Chief Mike Beadle will emcee the event and Council Member Jason DeLorenzo will be the main speaker. Several fun surprises are planned during the reception! Light refreshments will be served.

Ahead of that, the mayor and Mrs. Netts moved to Palm Coast in 1992 from New Jersey, where he served in local government.

Mayor Netts was a professional educator, retiring as director of the Northern New Jersey Provisional Teacher Training Consortium for the New Jersey State Department of Education. He was a licensed real estate broker, and taught courses in real estate law and investment.

He started his public service with the City of Palm Coast shortly after incorporation. He has had a statesman’s presence in Palm Coast since that time. His term will wrap up Nov. 15 when Mayor-Elect Milissa Holland will be sworn in.

Mayor Netts, a boater, often tells audiences that he loves Palm Coast because it is “clean, green, serene and marine.” He is active in many community, regional and statewide organizations, including a member of the Northeast Florida Regional Council and the Florida Inland Navigation District.

He has received numerous awards, including the 2015 Regional Leadership Award from the Northeast Florida Regional Council, a network of local governance serving seven counties and their 27 municipalities.

In the upcoming issue of the city’s “Palm Coaster” newsletter, the mayor shares some words of wisdom from his career, including these all-time favorites: “If you don’t care where you’re going, it doesn’t matter which path you take,” and “Even if you’re on the right path, you’ll get run over if you don’t keep moving.”

According to the city’s press release, the city charter limits the mayor and council members to two consecutive terms per office, so it is time for Mayor Netts to “keep moving” along. But, we feel fortunate that Palm Coast has been such a major part of Mayor Netts’ “path,” and the city invites everyone to join them Oct. 13 while “We Honor Your Honor.”

For more details, contact Communications and Marketing Manager Cindi Lane at 386-986-3708 or

AACS to celebrate 25th anniversary
The African American Cultural Society, Inc. (AACS) will be celebrating its 25th Anniversary with two exciting events.

On Oct. 15, a Youth Cultural Challenge will be held at 3 p.m. at the AACS Center, 4422 North U.S. Highway 1, Palm Coast. This event will feature selected students from the African-American Mentoring Program Boys vs. Girls and students from the African-American History class of Flagler Palm Coast High School vs. Matanzas High School.

The students in a “Family Feud” type contest will answer questions about the AACS and African-American culture in general. Prizes will be awarded. The guest motivational speaker will be Dr. Terence Culver, principal of Belle Terre Elementary School, where “Excellence is the norm, not the exception!” The program is funded in part by a grant from the City of Palm Coast. It is free and open to all.

The AACS will present its Celebration Program on Oct. 23, 3 p.m. at the Pirate Theater of Matanzas High School, 3535 Old Kings Road North. A video depicting the organization’s 25 years of progress will be featured, along with other entertainment.

The guest speaker will be Val Demings, Orlando’s first woman police chief and current U.S. congressional candidate. A VIP reception will be held following the program at the AACS Center, 4422 North U.S. Highway 1, Palm Coast.

Tickets for the program are $25. Program and VIP reception tickets are $50. Tickets may be purchased at the AACS Center, Mondays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and online at EventBrite.

For information, call 25th Anniversary Chair Stephanie Robinson at 386-439-7174 or the AACS at 386-447-7030.

Entrepreneurs workshop Oct. 11
Join the African-American Entrepreneurs Club for a workshop with Founder/CEO Leslie F. Giscombe, MBA, and speaker Parker Van Hart, Entrepreneurship MSE Program Director, Warrington College of Business Administration at the University of Florida.

Parker was born in the Bahamas. He has a passion for working with the African-American community. His goal is to impart passion for creativity in business by teaching others and helping to explore the entrepreneurial spirit!

The topic will be “Entrepreneurial Competencies.”

Don’t miss the opportunity to network and sharpen your entrepreneurial skills on Oct. 11, 6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. at the African American Cultural Center, 4422 North U.S. Highway 1, Palm Coast.

The cost is $15 for members, $10 for students with IDs. The attire is business casual.

For further details, call 386-931-4637.


As always, remember our prayers for the sick, afflicted and bereaved.

Birthday wishes to James Sims, Violet Gordon on her 100th birthday, Oct. 7; Clifford Josey, Oct. 8; Ray Sheldon Henderson, Oct. 10; Nicole McGlown, Floyd Thorpe, Luther White, Oct. 12.

Happy anniversary to Lawrence and Dr. Pamela Smith, Oct. 6; and Luther and Wanda White, Oct. 12.



  1. So much for separation of church and state! Is the chaplain relevant to ALL faiths? Shouldn’t it have been a trained psychologist as a better choice for Manfre? Or is this merely a vote-getting ploy?


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