Category Archives: Chaplain Ministries

Navy Chaplain: Don’t Just Thank Me for My Service

Chaplain Travis Coffey

By Carl Stagner

November is known for Thanksgiving. It’s also known for Veterans Day. This is the time of year that people count their blessings and name them one by one; certainly, we consider our men and women in uniform a tremendous blessing. But according to one Church of God chaplain to the U.S. Navy, being thankful isn’t enough. It’s great, but it stops short of what they need most. Travis Coffey gives us a glimpse of life as a Navy chaplain, how the Lord is working in the midst of his ministry, and how the Movement can best demonstrate true gratitude for those who serve God and country. Continue reading

Pastor Engages the Enemy in Adventure of a Lifetime

Chaplain Miller prays with a Marine Corps Special Operations Team prior to a mission in East Africa.

By Carl Stagner

Calculated risk. Often used in the financial sense, Baron Miller uttered the term in the context of fear. Every time you take a drive in the car or catch a flight on an airplane, is there a chance you might not make it back? Sure, there is. But that doesn’t cancel your travel plans. When firefighters have to rush inside a burning building, or law enforcement are called to a chaotic scene, they don’t hesitate. There’s risk involved, but these community heroes trust their training and their gear to help them stand strong in the heat of the battle. The parallel to the Christian experience is inescapable; the soldier of the cross must engage the battle, must reclaim what hell has stolen. Might it get scary? Possibly. Could it get dangerous? Certainly. But at the fingertips of every believer is an arsenal of spiritual weapons and an array of training options to fully engage in the fight. Engaging the enemy—that’s what Baron Miller’s life has been about—from the halls of the Church of God he founded in Bellingham, Washington, to the shores of Guantanamo Bay. Continue reading

Veteran Church of God Pastor Honored by West Point

danwhiting_speaks_westpoint2016_forweb

Photo: Dan Whiting speaks at West Point in late October 2016.

By Carl Stagner

Being accepted for admission to the United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point is an exceptional honor reserved for our nation’s most promising students. But it takes more than excellent grades to be accepted for admission. West Point wants leaders who are not only intelligent, but those who are physically fit and of outstanding character.

Those are pretty high standards expressed on the front page of the West Point website. Still, Dan Whiting, executive pastor of Clarkston Community Church in Clarkston, Michigan, was one of those exceptional students to receive the honor of admission to West Point. Recently he was honored again by the prestigious institution when asked to speak at the chapel of his class reunion. Dan’s remarks at the special service reflect the heart of a man shaped by his military experience but transformed by Jesus Christ. Continue reading

CHOG Chaplains Cross Denominational Lines for Renewal, Fellowship

Chaplains_breakfast_2016_crop_FORWEB

Photo: The five who sat at the Church of God table.

By Margaret Kirby

This summer I had the great privilege of attending the Annual Conference for the Association of Professional Chaplains in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. The theme this year was “Together at the Table.” Chaplains bring the heart of care and compassion to many tables. We are participants and team members in burn units, oncology units, on palliative care teams, and in the intensive care units. Chaplains provide direct ministry at the bedside to the very young in the Neonatal Intensive Cares and Pediatric hospitals, and to the very old at all levels in a variety of settings: acute care hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation units, hospices, and in the workplace. Chaplains walk alongside our military units and our police and fire departments. Chaplains come to the table from all faith backgrounds and walks of life to assess and consider the spiritual impact of life events and encourage each individual and family group to lean into their own spiritual resources for health and healing. Continue reading

Church of God Navy Chaplain Retires, Honored for Faithful Service

KimHouse_and_RyanChapman_crop_FORWEB

Photo: Ryan Chapman awards Chaplain Kim House on behalf of Church of God Ministries.

By Ryan Chapman

The Church of God is greatly honored to have had someone of such exceptional character, skill, love for people, and love for Jesus, serve those in the armed forces. Her name is Kim House, and she ended a very successful twenty years of Navy chaplain service on April 30, 2016 in Jupiter, Florida, at a gathering of family, friends, and military ministry peers. Kim has a BS from Penn State University and an MDiv from Azusa Pacific University, Haggard School of Theology, and is an ordained Church of God minister. Continue reading

Church of God Corrections Chaplains Deliver Hope Behind Bars

prison_fence_stock_FORWEB

By Carl Stagner

They’re drug dealers. They embezzled funds. They’re kidnappers, rapists, and murderers. Upon re-entry into society, however, they’re also the ones some churches would rather not welcome into their congregation. But these men and women were created in the image of God. Family and friends have written them off, but God’s hand of unconditional love stretches out to them. Called beyond the familiarity of local church ministry, Church of God corrections chaplains are ordained ministers who have instead been led to “remember those in prison” (Heb 13:3), accept them, and share with them the hope of Jesus Christ. Continue reading

The Not-So-Glamorous, but Vital Ministry of Hospital Chaplaincy

hospital_stock_FORWEB

By Carl Stagner

Saying just the right thing to a mother whose child was just murdered. Maintaining peace between family members feuding over medical decisions. Sharing the hope of Christ with both dying and recovering patients. Hospital chaplain ministry may be more challenging than you can imagine. David Harness knows. He has served as a chaplain for seventeen years. Kristen Higgins has served as a hospital chaplain for more than nine years. Mark Eberly has served as a hospital chaplain for six years, following eleven years of pastorates at two Church of God congregations in western Pennsylvania. In the following interview with these three ordained Church of God chaplains, David, Kristen, and Mark offer valuable insights into the not-so-glamorous, but vital, ministry of hospital chaplaincy. Continue reading

Church of God Honors, Prays for Veterans

veteran_stock_FORWEB

By Carl Stagner

They put their lives on the line for you and me. With courage, they served to protect the freedoms we take for granted in the United States of America. Since their days in the military, these gentlemen have committed their lives to another kind of battle—a battle for souls. Military veterans Gary Campbell and Gerald Rudd are just two of the numerous examples of those who started out in the armed forces before joining the Lord’s Army. The two thousand Church of God congregations in the United States are indebted to their service to God and country, and we honor and pray for them—not just today, but every day. Continue reading

Honoring Our Chaplains, All Veterans This November

Veteran_morguefile_FORWEB

Photo: Veterans Day is November 11.

By Carl Stagner

How much do you know about our Church of God chaplains to the military, hospitals, and correctional facilities? David Erb knows a lot about them. He serves the Church of God as its chaplain endorser. As Veterans Day fast approaches, he urges the Church of God to remember not only our country’s men and women in uniform but also those who minister to them in the role of chaplain. Continue reading

Chaplains Meet at NAC

By Tori Allen

Chaplains do not always receive the same recognition as their brothers in arms, yet they remain an important component of the armed forces. David Erb, military and Veterans Affairs endorser for Church of God Ministries and the host of this year’s Military/VA Chaplain Dinner and Annual Meeting, explains how valuable these leaders are: “They facilitate the faith needs of others, provide God’s love and care to all, and provide wise religious and ethical guidance to their commanders.” Offering assistance during all hours of the day, these leaders are dedicated and deserving of a day of honor. Continue reading