WASHINGTON — The Rev. Dave Jane is a busy guy these days.
Connect Church, which he founded in 2013, is only about two months away from moving into a permanent home in a 25,000-square-foot portion of the former Walmart and Tractor Supply Company building at 1750 Washington Road.
“Things are moving along faster than expected,” Jane said. “We’re looking to move in sometime in early or mid-June.”
Being busy didn’t prevent Jane from recently accepting another role, and a volunteer one at that. He’s the new chaplain for the Washington Police Department.
″(Police) Chief (Mike) McCoy asked me about becoming the chaplain a couple weeks ago,” Jane said.
“I’m busy, but I won’t be called upon to do something as the chaplain every day and I really appreciate what our police department does. Those officers put their lives on the line for us every day.”
Among Jane’s duties as chaplain will be helping officers when they need to deliver bad news to a family, and being a resource for officers who are having work or personal issues.
“My job as a pastor is a wonderful calling. I get to do a lot of great things,” Jane said. “But another important part of the job is helping people who are grieving or struggling.”
Jane hasn’t been called yet to handle a chaplain duty. That probably won’t happen until he is sworn in later this month.
“Even though chaplain is a voluntary position, having a swearing in is important because it will underscore that the Rev. Jane is a part of our department and he has specific purposes,” said Deputy Police Chief Jeff Stevens.
Stevens, who has been in the Washington Police Department since 1999, said it has been at least 15 years since the department has had a chaplain.
“Our last chaplain was Ron Good, an assistant pastor at Washington Christian Church who had been a police officer in Florida,” Stevens said.
“I remember going out with him the first time as a police officer that I had to tell a family that a loved one had died. In this case, it was the parent of an adult child. The parent had died in another jurisdiction,” Stevens said.
“I was glad Ron was there with me. You have to deliver news like that with grace, but at the same time leave no room for doubt as to what happened.”
McCoy and his wife attend Connect Church, but many officers in the Washington Police Department haven’t spoken with Jane.
“They’ll get to like him,” Stevens said. “First of all, he’s ubiquitous. He’s everywhere in town. And he has a very open, bubbly personality.”
Jane said the upcoming summer months will be a “soft opening” for Connect Church in its new home. A grand opening is scheduled for Sept. 8, the six-year anniversary of the church’s launch.
Good Neighbor Days will be May 29 through June 2 on land just west of the Connect Church space.
Jane said he doesn’t think any activities related to Good Neighbor Days will be held inside the church, but the building’s parking lot will be open for festival-goers.
There was no parking there for the festival last year because Uftring Chevrolet was leasing the Connect Church space and using the building’s parking lot while its new dealership at 1860 Washington Road was being built following a January 2018 fire.
Connect Church delayed its move into its new home for a year and leased the space to Uftring Chevrolet so the dealership could continue operating.
Washington Middle School has been the site of Connect Church services since 2013, and the church also uses space at 104 S. Elm St.
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