By Kinnidy Thoreson, Staff Writer
Earlier this year, the Woodruff city council appointed its first city chaplain. At the January 2020 city council meeting, local businessman Reverend Derrick Scurry was appointed to this new four-year term position.
The council, according to Scurry, felt that this position was needed for the city. Two years ago, Scurry began opening the monthly city council meetings in prayer on a regular basis. In this new role, Scurry acts as chaplain for the city, council, police department and community.
“My duties are to be there for the needs of anyone in the city who needs my assistance. I pray for the police department every morning that they make great decisions. I pray for the police department that they make it home to their families,” said Scurry.
Scurry said he is also responsible for sending out group texts of devotions to the city council, police department, and parks and recreation department daily. Scurry takes it on himself to pray for them and call them, ask how they’re doing spiritually, and make sure they know that they have someone praying for them and all that they are responsible for in the City of Woodruff.
Lee Bailey, Woodruff’s City Manager, explains that the city chaplain is appointed like the city judge and attorney, but it is not paid position. He adds that it is common for most municipalities to have a chaplain. “[Scurry] has been very loyal to our council meetings. I think that was the reason council asked and appointed him to the position,” said Bailey.
Scurry explains that he is working on a proposal to the council that outlines the duties of a city chaplain. Right now, his responsibility is to pray for the city and be there for whoever needs his assistance.
“I pray for the city that everybody just tries to work together and be on one accord to keep the town peaceful. That is my duty at this point,” Scurry adds. “There are so many things I want to pursue. One of the things is to keep the unity and peace in our city.”
Scurry plans to pursue a seminary degree next fall which he hopes will help him master this position. “It’s like being a pastor of the city. I know a majority of the people and I know a lot of the things that they’re dealing with because I have been on both sides of the tracks.”
Next year, or whenever the pandemic subsides and restrictions are lifted, Scurry promises that the community will see the chaplain of Woodruff a lot more in the city and doing things to gather everyone together.
Scurry, who turns 49 this month, is originally from Enoree and has stayed in the area his whole life. He owns Scurry’s on Main, a barber shop in Downtown Woodruff. He also serves as a pastor at Greater St. John AME Zion Church in Winnsboro, SC, and is a member of the board for the Woodruff Community Center.
“It really is a blessing to me to be able to serve as the chaplain of the city of Woodruff, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I don’t know where God is going to lead this to, but I can only believe that it is going to lead to greater things.”