Approximately 35 people filtered into the Harborview room of the Hilton Bayfront Hotel Wednesday, June 25, to hear chaplains expand on the ministry report they had just given during the GARBC Conference. Representatives from GARBC churches are gathered in St. Petersburg, Fla., this week for the association’s annual conference. Chaplains representing the military, institutional, and community service arenas of chaplaincy joined John Murdoch, director of Regular Baptist Chaplaincy Ministries, to interact with guests and answer their questions during a Chaplains’ Hour workshop.
Guests commonly inquired about how to become a chaplain and asked about the role of the endorser. They also asked, Do chaplains face the same issues in every arena of chaplaincy? What are the benefits for pastors who are volunteer chaplains to be endorsed by the GARBC? How do chaplains meet ministry requests from people of other faith groups? Additional questions dealt with gender issues and reports of chaplains’ diminished freedom.
The chaplains took turns answering the questions and reiterated the freedoms they continue to enjoy in their ministry, sharing some accounts of lives that God has changed.
Chaplaincy, says the chaplains, is about meeting people where they are, at a point of great need, whether those people are in the military, in a hospital bed, or in a prison yard. Everyone has needs, and chaplains have the opportunity to bring God’s answers to people’s needs in every area of life.