Fayetteville, NC (PRWEB) August 8, 2006
“The sheriff told me with this kind of work you need carry a gun in one hand and a Bible in the other!” laughed Dr. Norman E. Mitchell, known in the Fayetteville, North Carolina, area as “the Pistol Packin’ Preacher.”
In 1984, Mitchell was asked to come on board with the local sheriff’s department as a chaplain. Rev. Mitchell completed the law enforcement academy and became a sworn officer. The local news dubbed him the "Pistol Packin’ Preacher" because he kept his gun with him at all times since he was called out so much. The moniker caught on, even with the congregation of his church. "So I guess I'm about the only one in North Carolina that's a preacher and carries a gun and Bible at the same time," said Mitchell.
Rev. Mitchell was tested to be sure that he would indeed use the gun if the need arose. "I promised them that I would if it meant defending another officer. I am that committed to do it. Of course, I've never had to fire it, but I have thanked God that I had the gun and my Bible together.”
He explained, “I had one man threaten to hit me with a baseball bat and kill me. I told him he didn't want to do that, and he asked me why? I told him he just didn't need to do it. So we kept talking and he said he couldn't hit me because I was a man of God. And I asked him if he was a child of God, and he said 'No' but he ought to be. I said that was exactly right. So, I went over and took his hand and was able to have prayer with him and calm him down until we could get him to the jail.”
Mitchell is executive director of the North Carolina Sheriff Chaplain's Association, which he organized in 1985 to put a chaplain in all the police departments, jails, prisons and sheriff's departments. “In 1990, the National Sheriff's Association asked if I would come on board and help them go nationwide with the idea that I had put together in North Carolina. We did, and now it's going strong. Out of the 5,000 sheriff's nationwide, about 2,500 to 3,000 now have a chaplain. So it's growing fast with the federal agencies, and also the county and city departments.”
Recently, Mitchell’s work has taken him away from Fayetteville, “We're in the process of moving to another town simply because it's giving me a better opportunity to work with the sheriff's department and the police department.”
Although he is excited by the new opportunities that await him, he is sad to leave the Fayetteville community and the home he loves. “This place is very isolated and very quiet. We just fell in love with it, but the Lord has other plans for us.” Mitchell and his wife have renovated their place in the country, a 3.66 acre estate situated 16 miles Southeast of Fayetteville. “There are a lot of farmers and cattle in this area. It's a very lovely community. Everyone here looks out for one another. It's a very warm place to live.”
The Mitchells decided to take advantage of the latest trend in real estate sales by auctioning off their property, which is dotted with large oak trees in the front and the back. “It's a typical plantation home without the large columns in the front,” said Mitchell. There are actually two homes on the site, a 3-bedroom, 2-bath main house, plus a 3-bedroom, 2-bath “in-law” or guest cottage. There is also a large barn or workshop with animal enclosures and pens, plus a greenhouse.
Also up for auction will be the Mitchell’s lifetime collection of antiques and primitives, including a 1910 Ford model tractor, a Stradivarius violin with case, solid wood butcher block, wood-burning cook stove, primitive tools, Hoosier cabinet, Depression glass, Carnival glass, leaded glass, quilts, steamer trunks and more.
The home and property auction is scheduled for Saturday, August 12, at 12 p.m., with the antiques and collectibles going first at 9 a.m. For more information and directions to the sale, call 910-483-1043 or visit http://www.hbsauctioncompany.com/index2.html.
Fayetteville is located in the coastal plains of North Carolina, 60 miles south of Raleigh, the capitol city. The climate is moderate year-round. Residents enjoy access to some of the world’s finest golf at Pinehurst and Myrtle Beach, which are less than two hours away. Fayetteville is also less than two hours from the coastal towns of Wilmington and Morehead City, with beautiful beaches and excellent fishing. Just a three-hour drive to the mountains offers skiing and winter sports. Military retirees are attracted to Fayetteville for access to Fort Bragg, which has the state-of-the-art medical care and other support facilities.