Belhaven’s Ron Pirtle Named Chaplain of Chattanooga Police Department

Ron Pirtle has cared for many students at Belhaven University. But after a personal tragedy where he saw the impact that chaplains had, he knew he wanted to serve in a similar capacity.

Shortly after his little sister passed away in 2010 and while working with a focus on student success at the main campus in Jackson, he inquired about serving in the Chaplaincy with the Mississippi National Guard.

“I originally thought this would be a perfect fit,” said Pirtle. “I have always wanted to give back to others in some form. Since my family was impacted by various chaplains when my little sister passed away, I wanted to serve with the National Guard.”

While in the process of joining, regulations changed that prevented Pirtle from serving with the Mississippi National Guard. Shortly after, Pirtle had an opportunity to move to Belhaven’s Chattanooga campus, where he now serves as the Dean of Faculty.

One of those faculty members was Tuwan Ussery, who teaches Social Work at Belhaven’s Chattanooga campus. Ussery also serves as the lead chaplain with the Chattanooga Police Department.

“After speaking to him, I became interested in serving as a chaplain again,” said Pirtle. “I will be ministering to police officers, their families as well as victims of crime and their families.”

“Being able to serve the officers of CPD will allow me to lice out Belhaven’s motto of ‘To Serve, Not to Be Served,’ “ added Pirtle. “I consider it an honor to be able to serve the men and women who have dedicated their lives to protect and serve us all. I’m grateful that God has given me the opportunity to work at an institution like Belhaven that encourages service to others.”