Baptists Focus on Military Chaplaincy
The Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Spring 2014 “Southwestern News” contained a few fascinating articles on the military chaplaincy. The cover, almost ironically, is a uniformed Navy officer holding a cross-emblazoned Bible with the graphic “in Jesus’ Name” in the center.
The subject of the cover is Commander Carey Cash who, as a Navy Lieutenant, wrote A Table in the Presence and would later serve as the chaplain for the Presidential retreat at Camp David. (His service at Camp David was criticized by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s group that attacks members of the Christian faith in the military, with Weinstein saying the President should “publicly punish” Chaplain Cash.)
Noting his service in Kuwait just prior to the Iraq war, Cash was able to capitalize on the “ministry of presence” unique to the military chaplaincy:
During those 40 days and nights, Cash conducted classes and counseled
daily with Marines as they wrestled with the claims of Christ on their lives. Just before crossing into combat, they baptized 60 Marines as new Christians. Several others were baptized while in combat, including one inside Saddam Hussein’s palace on Palm Sunday.
Now, as Deputy Command Chaplain at the US Naval Academy, Chaplain Cash can minister to the other end of the Navy career spectrum:
As a chaplain, you have a very important role to play. [Most] Plebes have never met a chaplain. It’s really an incredible window of opportunity over those six weeks to build relationships with them and in many ways open the door to the Gospel. There will be Plebes who come to church who have never darkened the door of a church until that summer.
In the end, the military and the cadet experience is easily summed up:
It’s a great opportunity for many to meet Jesus.
Also at the Baptist Press.