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Double Life Serves God’s Purposes

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“That’s why I say, I used to lock people up, now I’m trying to set people free.”

From buying cocaine as an undercover mob boss to preaching about Jesus, Dale Sutherland worked as both a pastor and an undercover narcotics officer in Washington D.C. for 22 years. In his words, “I'd be in the office counseling, working, and then in the evening I'd go to the police department and buy drugs and arrest bad guys.” As part of his undercover persona, he was presented as several different roles to entice perpetrators to sell and buy drugs from them; one of those roles was as a pimp. He would often have prostitutes surrounding him, while also preaching on holiness at church as a pastor, so he found his unexpected job duo often challenging.

In his early 20s, Dale felt the call to minister to urban youth. However, growing in a Christian home within a safe and secure neighborhood, Dale didn’t have much experience with life on the streets, so after a few years in Bible college, he enrolled in the Washington D.C. police academy. Shortly after graduating, he was introduced to the undercover department, fell in love with the work, and most importantly God revealed to him a new way to minister to the urban communities he felt called too. 

Following a close call dodging his own murder by 45 minutes, Dale’s desire to evangelize on the force significantly increased. He began sharing the gospel more and more on the force, and many former drug dealers, including his friend Javier, who he initially arrested, credit him for leading them to Christ and getting them off the streets.

After 22 years on the force, 12 of those years balancing both jobs, Dale retired from the police force. Today, he is an associate pastor at his local church in Washington D.C., where he become known as the Undercover Pastor. He’s also the founder of Code 3, a non-profit organization that provides training and programs to police and citizens so they can work together to build safer, more connected communities. His goal of sharing the gospel remains the same. 

In his words, “The only thing that matters is that I can reach more people for Christ, for eternity. That’s why I say, 'I used to lock people up, now I’m trying to set people free.'"

Connect with Dale’s nonprofit community organization, Code 3 at  

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About The Author

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Kane Lewis

Kelly Kane Lewis joined CBN as a Features Producer after over 15 years in the Media, Film, and Live Entertainment industry as a producer, director, and as on-camera talent, most recently in the New York City metro region. She served as Associate Media Director for multisite megachurch Christ Church, in Northeast New Jersey where she produced several human impact stories. Kelly’s on-camera hosting talent can be found on such platforms as Lowe’s Home Improvement, Tidewater Community College, and Virginia Tourism. Kelly holds a Master of Arts in Journalism from Regent University and is currently