Regular Baptist chaplains gathered for an annual day of training prior to the beginning of the GARBC conference on Monday. This time together provides instruction on current issues that chaplains face as well as encouragement and fellowship. Chaplains gather first on Sunday evening at 6:00 and begin to renew friendships with other members of the Regular Baptist chaplaincy family. Some of them meet fellow chaplains for the first time. Not infrequently one chaplain preparing to move to a new post learns that another chaplain in the room has already served at that post and is happy for the opportunity to ask questions about his upcoming location. After the sessions, the chaplains gather in groups of two or three to discuss their respective assignments, mutual friends, and common concerns.
“Effective Ministry in a Changing Marketplace” was the theme of the day. Chaplains discussed changes in military policies as they relate to chaplaincy. Special guests were retired chaplains Stan Beach and Glen Crabb. A highlight was the session with Beach, who spoke from 1 Thessalonians 1:1–7 on the character of effective chaplains. He also addressed “moral wounds” and the chaplain’s role in ministering to them. At the end of the day, chaplains had a question-and-answer time with Chaplain John Murdoch, Senior Chaplain David Carr, and Beach.
The Chaplains Professional Development and Training Conference is held each year for military, institutional, and community service chaplains. The chief of each chaplain service encourages the chaplains to attend and participate in their endorsing agency conferences, though assignments and budget cuts often make it difficult for chaplains to attend. Chaplain Mark Worrell says, “I enjoy the opportunity to be reminded of what is important and to get different perspectives on some of the challenges that face each chaplain that we endorse.”