December 25, 2016

A Chaplain’s Christmas Story

By Chaplain Greg Uvila, USMC

So greetings from the land of two camels!   Yep, I saw two of these beasts lope by my office door recently, just a few hundred yards away.  I could only see their bobbing heads and their tell-tale bumps because the protective berm was partially blocking my view.  Probably the only two camels in the Middle East!

The Gulf War was just yesterday, wasn’t it?   25 years later I find myself in the same region as Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm, where coalition forces, under General Norman Schwarzkopf, liberated Kuwait* from the occupying Iraqi army, led by someone named Saddam Hussein.   Every day I jog by war-torn airplane hangars riddled with massive holes; decades old reminders of bombs our air forces dropped in the successful effort to push out the invading Iraqis. To say it is very surreal around here is understated.  Who would have known then I would be here now?

On that same dusty trail, I jog inside this air base in the middle east, triple strand barb wire surrounds our perimeter, guard shacks dot the landscape; so peaceful here, the small structures on stilts look more like a cub-scout paradise than buildings to ensure our security.   As safe as we are, every day in intel briefs we are given reminders of the alarming presence of ISIS in nearby Iraq.  My home for the next 8 months is run by the Air Force in cooperation with the local government.  We are here in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.   (Hear the attached CBS radio report by Kami McCormick).

Today, December 23rd, I returned to the same running trail with the nearby bombed out hangers.  I did my pull-ups, sit-ups, and ammo can lifts like a good wanna-be Marine.  As I finished the lifts I looked to the east and was startled by an image that I had seen before.  However, it was in a different locale, but the same war on terror- Afghanistan 2010.  This similar surprise was at Camp Leatherneck.  I saw one of my heroes, a Marine I did not know, an amputee, still serving on active duty- why not?  However, today this was not an unknown Marine; this was a fellow officer I have known since July!  I had no idea of his injury.  Before my run, I sauntered over, “Major, what happened to your leg?”  (I was 95% sure of what happened but I wanted to leverage my curiosity to sincerely thank him for his very personal sacrifice on behalf of our nation).   “I lost it in an ice skating accident doing a triple salchow.”  “Max, what?” “No, Chaps I lost it in Afghanistan in 2011 during a fire fight.”  “Wow, I never knew.”  “That’s good.  I wouldn’t want it any other way.”  I paused, hesitated, and gathered my composure, “Major, thank you, thank you for your sacrifice.”  As I started to jog away, I yearned to say more, so I slowed, and spoke over my shoulder, “Max, that comes from a deep part of me.”  “I know Chaps, thanks.”  Wow, no more frustration over a water heater that doesn’t work in my hooch.  Such is my privilege to serve among nobility!  To quote my brother-in-law drawing from his Viet Nam War experience, “I walk among Heroes.”  Let me back up and add some color to my journey before arriving…


Over Veterans Day I was able to travel to St. Louis and see the medical school that Gregor attends.   The journey was full of simple, sacred events.  Then I had 10 days back home prior to deploying.   Thankfully, the bulk of the time was spent with family, playing Catan with the gang, Candyland with Ashton, basketball, tennis…  Speaking of getting stuffed, we had an early Thanksgiving and even earlier Christmas dinner (luau) with everyone.  It was too much fun and time flew by way too quickly.

After the house emptied, Nancy and I worked on last minute honey dos- Tank and she will be moving down to 29 Palms, California when I return from deployment next August, after Gregor and Britney’s wedding.   Nancy and I made some special memories when I was home… enjoying the hearth our friendship has become.


We departed for the Middle East on the 75th anniversary of D-day, the day that still lives in infamy, the day when Pearl Harbor was crushed by the Imperial army of Japan.  Today another army crushes us emotionally, the loss of life is less, but the emotional toll at the capricious hands of terrorist is so incredibly disheartening.  So to go to the Middle East “to protect those who cannot protect themselves” seems to be just.   I pray for peace in the Middle East every day.”

Surprisingly, JBLM, (Joint Base Lewis-McCord) was our first stop.  As we touched down I noticed it was one of those glorious Northwest winter days, crisp, clear, blue sky, a chilly 37 degrees.   Nancy told me the forecast was for snow, but the weatherman was being sneaky, only a few clouds dotted the clear, dark blue sky.

The 3-hour layover at Lewis-McCord strains at my soul. I muse to myself why couldn’t we just head straight east?  My emotions are running amuck.   My heart aches as I embrace the glory of Mount Rainier.  I wish I could stay here.  Our JAG (lawyer) leans across the aisle, knowing I ski and that I am from this region, “Hey Chaps, you ever ski Crystal?”  I casually respond that I had, recalling the wide open spaces “the fam” had skied not too long ago.

After leaving JBLM we had a short flight to Germany, Frankfurt I believe, only 11-12 hours in the sky- easy day, hah! Anyway, we spent about 3 hours on ground for fuel and food and off we soared to the Middle East.  We arrive at our destination about 3:30am, 28 hours after gathering in the parking lot of the Marine Corps base, 29 Palms, CA.


The saying of goodbyes for service members, their dependents, for family and friends is one of the hardest challenges of military service.   The cost is clear when you walk through it or observe it.  Many of you know this first hand… Chaplain McCarthy instructed me over thirty years ago that when one says goodbye a little piece of him or her dies.  This lancing of the soul hurts- hurts bad, real bad.  For some reason I have dreaded this deployment more than the others.  Perhaps because I have a better sense of what lies ahead?  Trudging through the sands of Afghanistan in 2010, will there be similar moments this deployment?

There are hidden tolls to these long deployments. It is such an upstream push to know that you are not going to see loved ones for a loooong time.  Emotions brace for shock.   Yet, precious moments are the rich rewards of the knowledge of painful goodbyes and upcoming deployments.  Time crucibles, intensifies, makes precious the moments and memories before departing, minutes count, hours more, a single day is almost as sacred as a Mariners game with my three sons, by the way the guys and I did just that back in the spring, yes!!

Saying goodbye to my sons is a forever imprint. For one it was watching the blue sedan pull out of our driveway and head north up Cascade Circle. For another it was next to the warmth of a wood stove in a small cabin in the woods.  And for the other it was SeaTac, Terminal D, as he waited for me at my gate (working for Alaska has privileges).   Hugs from Ashton, Hadley, Melanie, Britney and Sydney…my heart is full.  And then there was Tank…loyal to the end, I miss my buddy.  But I am thankful that he is there to keep Nancy company in my absence.

Saying goodbye to Nancy who has stood by me through 35 crazy-great-awesome sauce years was insufferably crushing. The memory of her tender eyes as we embraced on the side of the road marked “departures” at SEATAC simultaneously haunts me and woos me; the haunt, the dark shadows that lurked too close, 9 months  away from my bride; and the woo, the precious brown eyes speak for themselves…

Being Chaps…

Ministry in the present takes courage… As the Boeing 747 whisked us away from Puget Sound it tilted its wings to say good bye to the glorious snowcapped Cascades and majestic Mount Rainier under the light of a full moon.  I looked to my left and my long-time friend of all of 20 minutes was bent over, hands in his face. Clearly something was amiss.   I took a guess, he must be afraid of flying.   I gently placed my hand on my fellow traveler. In doing so I honor something deep within me, but I must admit in doing so I was conflicted.  Will he understand my motive?  As I heard the plane’s wheels seat themselves in the belly of jet, I removed my hand from the soldier’s shoulder, and I reflected on how simple ministry can be if we are present in the present, oh presence you waskily wabbit!.

I soon discovered that his name was Jeremy and he was younger, much younger. He was in fact Kramer’s age.   He was Army, I’m Navy.  Doubts returned. What is he thinking?  I fuss to myself.   Does he even know I am a Chaplain?  More fussing to myself, such pointless musing, and nonsense!

An hour or so into our flight Jeremy, turns toward me and softly says, “thank you.” Without immediate context or clarification, nothing more was needed to be said.  Content, I settled back into my chair and remembered once again how much I love my family, my friends, and the great Northwest!  God is good… good all the time!

Ministry here is about presence, listening, watching, observing and hopefully asking a good question once in a while.   A few God moments to pass along… encouraged a young officer who is struggling with his wife who is in therapy for abuse; sat with a Marine struggling with a boyfriend who is suicidal; met several times with a Junior Chaplain- helping him with his annual performance review; meeting twice a week with a Marine officer who is mandated to attend AA meetings for a year- AA doesn’t exist here so I am the next best thing?; friendships beginning to bloom with junior and senior officers in the wardroom; mentoring a young Marine who is an Oak Harbor high school grad (Class of 2015), mentoring two junior chaplains in different locations.   I am once again preaching on a regular basis and am really enjoying it, commitments have already been made and faith is forming in the lives of our young Marines.   I was stoked to see several senior officers at the service on Christmas day!

As I wrap up my first update, Christmas 2016 is behind me. A solid 48 hours of hustle and bustle, not through shopping malls, nor up and down I-5; but preparing and performing worship services on the flight line and at the chapel; visiting Marines all over the base…playing Elf as my assistant, Brad Smith of Reno Nevada took the role as Santa.  RP1 used his green sea bag in lieu of the classic white bag.   We hand delivered dozens and dozens and dozens of stockings stock full of candy and snacks and “America Cares” to thankful Marines.  Care packages and Christmas stockings have poured in from every region of the U.S. and almost every state!

I routinely share that military service is a story of extremes, a tale of opposites, tremendous sacrifices and tremendous rewards.  It is very fitting to share a quote that Nancy shared with me; it is something she pulled out of her journal from our days in Camas. “Thank you Father for your goodness to us, we have the commitment from you that you will help lead us and guide us.  Help us learn to walk beside you and trust you and know that our future is in your hands.  You are a God that walks with us thru the difficulties of darkness–thru the deep shadowy places as well as when our hearts are full of praise.  You are indeed a good shepherd.”

Thanks for taking the time to read this novel. Thanks too for your love, prayers and friendship.    I would love to hear from you.  Calling?  I can receive messages and talk on the application called “VIBER”.  I can also facetime and facetime audio at no cost.  I am eleven hours ahead of you, PST.  By the way… today’s high was 70 and the low is to be about 50… niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice!!!! “God is good….all the time.”

LCDR Greg Uvila, Chaplains Office


*It is best to just refer to me as being in the Middle East…

This Chaplain Wears Two Hats

This Chaplain Wears Two Hats:
By Chaplain Nick Dewhurst

This last quarter has been the greatest blessing for me as a chaplain. In August of 2016, I was given the opportunity to guide the Warrior Transition for Naval Mobile Construction Battalion* (NMCB) 133 in Rota, Spain.

This afforded me the opportunity to meet my new RP (Navy Religious Program Specialist/Chaplain Assistant) and spend quality time mentoring him and leading him; as well as having the chance to influence 300 battalion members.

Throughout the course of the two weeks in Spain, I was able to share character building concepts, advice, stories and Scripture to the many members of NMCB 133 who were preparing to return from their arduous deployment. I was also able to help encourage NMCB 133’s own chaplain and assist him in his ministry.

It was an even bigger blessing to go to Gulfport, MS and see NMCB 133 members after they returned home and follow up with them to see how well they had reintegrated with their families. I’m happy to report that there have not been any major incidents upon return. I would call that Mission Successful!

In the civilian ministry with the Fire Department, we have continued to see an uptick in firefighter suicides in the region. This has been such a concern to me and another chaplain that we have started a Support Network Group to help reach out to those who are hurting. Pray that this ministry will continue to expand and we can offer help before it becomes too late.

Also earlier in December, the department suffered a loss when one of our firefighters lost his daughter. It was a call that had a lot of impact on the firefighters. I was able to arrange a GoFundMe campaign to assist the family, and another friend and I were able to provide other ministry during this time.

Doing CPR on someone so young is never good. Continue to pray for ministry opportunities to the family and other firefighters as issues may creep up for the weeks to come.

Chaplain Dewhurst asks prayer for:
• Continued healthy readjustment and reintegration of NMCB 133 Sailors.
• Effective Suicide Prevention and Intervention ministry among local firefighters.
• Ministry balance between both ministries.

For more stories of chaplains endorsed by CBAmerica, go to

*Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB), historically known a “Seabees.”

God’s Hand in Providence…Rhode Island

By Chaplain John Hatfield, 1st Battalion, 103rd Field Artillery
Rhode Island Army National Guard*

“So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.”

Nehemiah 8:8


A few months ago during our Sunday morning chapel service I had the wonderful experience of opening up the Scriptures to soldiers who had no previous exposure to the Word of God. Rather than give a traditional sermon, I gave them all Bibles and asked them to follow along with me line by line as I “gave the sense” of what the Word of God was saying.

After each passage that I preached I would stop and invite them to ask questions or discuss what was said. While none of the soldiers were professing Christians, they were all affected by the Word of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the service was followed by a profitable group discussion.

Many said that this was the first time they really understood what was being preached and some have since been reading the Bible on their own. It was a blessing to see the Word of God affect them the way it did and God causing them to understand many truths concerning Christ.

My hope is that in God’s time they will come to a saving knowledge of Christ.



  • Please pray for the light of Christ to shine in the Rhode Island Army National Guard.
  • Also I need prayer to balance the various ministry obligations with family and to discern what I am called to do and what I am not.

Respectfully Submitted.

Chaplain John Hatfield


For more stories of chaplains endorsed by CBAmerica, go to  

*Historical Note: The Rhode Island National Guard traces its history from the first colonial defensive force established in 1638. On May 13, 1638, the “Traine Band” was formed in Portsmouth, RI. This group of “freemen as a militia subject to call and expected to perform certain military duties in the protection of the people,” was the humble beginnings of the state’s military forces.

Hope in a Hard Place

adam kHope in a Hard Place: Army Reserve Chaplain Ministers in Time of Need

By Chaplain Adam Kawaguchi, USAR

The hardest funeral I have done yet happened over Annual Training (AT) this year; I share the following story with the service member’s permission.

I was providing chaplain support to an engineer company in Yakima, WA. I began my typical battlefield circulation, visiting the Tactical Operations Center (TOC), the cooks, the forward deployed platoon at the bridging site. I was even able to hop on a helicopter flight to make it out to another location where the construction engineers were. We were winding down as AT was only a few more days. I had ministered to several different Soldiers and took a late lunch.

The commander called me and said that he had the First Sergeant (1SG) on the line. The instant I heard his voice, I knew something had happened. He told me that his wife had just called and let him know that their son had taken his own life. I immediately returned to the TOC to meet with him. The commander graciously gave me his office and for the first few moments, we sat in silence without words. I put my hand on his knee as he wept for his departed son. We began to talk about his son’s life and the last conversation he had had with him.

After helping him process the initial shock, I met with the commander to ask that he be released to go home to be with his family. Due to logistics, it was decided that I should accompany him home. Thankfully, the Lord had provided a rental car to me for the duration of AT and I was privileged to spend 4 hours in the car with him, letting him decompress and begin adjusting to his loss. By the time we arrived at his home, we paused to pray before meeting the family. His wife and his son’s fiancé met us and I continued to be present with the family before heading home. Although the family’s background was Catholicism/Mormonism, I was asked to conduct the funeral for his son 3 days later; I felt the Lord’s leading to do so.

Although a very difficult service, I was blessed to be there and believe that I was able to be the presence of Jesus in this situation. Partly, I was able to take the service and bulletin planning over and once onsite, coordinated with the funeral home director. The good that God has brought out of it is that the family has returned to church and the 1SG is a regular part of my suicide prevention briefs. Having been a part of two other memorial services this year also prepared me for ministry in this area.

Pray for Chaplain Kawaguchi, and his wife Shireen, as he was recently promoted to Major and assumes the increased responsibilities of a brigade chaplain. He asks for prayer for the following:

  • For me to remember and pass on all that I have learned to those God has placed under my watch, particularly my chaplain candidate who nears the end of her candidacy and prepares for the accession board.
  • For my assistant who is in training to become a Chaplain Assistant. We will be working closely so that he learns the job and how to provide supervision to our subordinate Unit Ministry Teams.
  • For the increased hours, weekends, conference calls and phone calls that come with the position.
  • For the opportunities to still minister to the Brigade Headquarters Soldiers and not lose myself in the staff work; and to adjust to a new work/ministry/life balance and know when to say enough.

Adam k 2


For more stories of CBAmerica chaplains go to

The Fox Report

Fox1The Fox Report: 785 Visits in 2016 – Report on Two

Chaplain Andy writes: “Chaplain Gerry Fox has served Military, Veterans and Family members of the Southern California VA Healthcare System for many years. He graduated from the US Military Academy at West Point in 1967, and spent 8 years as an infantry officer. Following that he served 20 years with Overseas Servicemen’s Services Centers (Cadence Int’l). He became an Army Reserve Chaplain in 1989 and served 15 years, the last five which were full time. All that experience prepared him for ministry to Veterans and their families. I was encouraged by his biannual ministry report, and want to share it with you.”


Sowing and Reaping – Fertile Soil:

Fox2Chaplain Fox: “I was so encouraged with a post-op patient named Mike. He was located in the Community Living Center recovering from a knee replacement surgery. He mentioned that the surgery had gone well and mentioned how thankful he was that a chaplain had prayed for him. His inference was that he needed someone like a chaplain to pray on his behalf. I explained to him that if he had a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, he could go directly to God in prayer even when a chaplain or minister were not available.

I shared Revelation 3:20 with him and explained that God wanted that special relationship with him and it was up to him to open the door of his heart to Christ. He explained that even as I was sharing this Scripture he was desiring to come into this relationship. I was able to lead him in prayer in which he committed his life to Christ.”

Watering & Cultivating – Hard Soil:

“Recently I have been encouraged by more open discussion with a patient whom I have seen sporadically over a few years. A few years ago he adamantly insisted on being in the status of not wanting to see or have visits from a chaplain.”


Prayer Requests:

Chaplain Fox asks prayer for:

  • Continued open doors in sharing the gospel with patients during spiritual assessments and follow up visits, especially with patients I visit weekly in the Community Living Center.
  • Pray that relationships would be deepened, especially with some who are not particularly interested in or have been resistant to God and the spiritual dimension of their lives.
  • Wisdom in challenging patients to a deeper relationship with God.


If interested in reading more stories of God’s amazing work in and through our CBAmerica chaplains, go to For information on endorsement for chaplaincy, contact Andy Meverden, Director of Chaplaincy at

A Funny Thing Happened to Me on the Way to the Pentagon

By Chaplain Andy Meverden, Director of Chaplaincy

111On January 12th, I attended the annual Armed Forces Chaplains Board (AFCB) in Washington, DC.  It is the one time each year that the military Chiefs of Chaplains (Army, Navy – including Marines and Coast Guard, and Air Force), all their deputies of the Reserve Components, and lead chaplain recruiters gather together– in short, the whole gang is there.  Their purpose; to brief the sage assembly of chaplain endorsing agents from 200 different faith groups who endorse chaplains for the US military.  It is an important meeting, and one that I enjoy attending each year.  This was my third time and I had a fresh note pad ready to take down the latest information.

112All the chaplain generals (one and two star) filed in; and the executive director of the AFCB, Navy Chaplain, Captain Jerome A. Hinson, began his opening remarks. “This year’s theme is ‘The Chaplain the Military Needs.’”  As he continued, he explained how this topic meant a lot personally to him this year, because, at the very moment he spoke, his young Marine infantryman son was deployed to the island of Okinawa, with the 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines.  A “chaplain’s kid,” his young Marine son had inside knowledge of professional ministry, growing up in the home of a Navy chaplain.

Chaplain Hinson was concerned about the wellbeing of his son, and all the other US sons and daughters with him.  Checking on his son a few days prior to the AFCB, he asked him about the unit chaplain.  His son said: “We got us a good one.”  When Chaplain Hinson asked whether he’d spoken with the chaplain, his son replied, “No, but a couple of my buddies have.  One was struggling with the breakup with a girlfriend, and another had some other issues the chaplain helped him with.”  When Hinson asked what was the chaplain’s name, his son replied, “I don’t know.  We just call him ‘Chaps.’”  “That’s the kind of chaplain we need you to send us,” Hinson said, as he introduced the devotional speaker.

Curious of the name of the obviously effective Marine chaplain, Hinson decided to email his son to ask him to find out his name. At about 10:00 o’clock, after the first session of the AFCB was over, before dismissing the group for a break, Chaplain Hinson said, “Oh, by the way, my son’s chaplain is Jon Uyboco.  Is his endorser here today?”  I proudly stood, introduced myself and our church group, and claimed Chaplain Jon Uyboco as one of CBAmerica’s twelve endorsed Navy Chaplains.

113A 1999 graduate of the US Naval Academy, Jon entered the submarine force and was assigned to the USS Louisville.  There he served as Protestant lay leader while on undersea operations. (How many of us can say we’ve led a Bible Study under water?)  He then became the Nuclear Engineering Officer Program Director at Pearl Harbor.  There he started and co-led a Bible Study under the auspices of Officer’s Christian Fellowship. Along the way, he met Suzanna, who was raised in a military family.

In 2006 Jon deployed to Afghanistan as member of an embedded training team where he coordinated improvements to three US/Afghan bases in northern Afghanistan.  While there, he led Bible Studies and conducted a memorial service for a suicide while awaiting the arrival of a military chaplain.

Eventually, Jon left active duty and moved to Southern California to attend Talbot Seminary and begin professional ministry in our Pacific Church Network (PCN). There, he served on the staff of Grace Church of Glendora, and then as Interim Pastor of San Antonio Heights Community Church in Upland, where he was ordained and commissioned into the Navy Chaplaincy in 2014.

Following this overseas deployment, Jon and Suzanna will be assigned back to Jon’s Alma Mater, the US Naval Academy at Annapolis to minister to the midshipmen and staff of that venerable institution.

114Until then, will you join me in praying for Jon, as he serves his deployed Marine battalion in the Pacific, and for Suzanna, as she cares for their four children outside Camp Pendleton? You can pray for health, stamina, loving long-distance relationships between Chaplain Uyboco, Suzanna, and their growing family.  While at it, remember the other 11 CBAmerica endorsed military chaplains serving Sailors and Marines around the world.  They are part of some 178 chaplains endorsed by CBAmerica.


For more information about CBAmerica chaplaincy ministry, go to to find other inspiring stories of faith on the front lines of ministry; in the military, and in civilian sectors.   If you sense God calling you into chaplaincy, contact our Director of Chaplaincy, Andy Meverden, at





New Video on Chaplain Page


Across America, and around the world, CBAmerica chaplains serve in a wide variety of ministries, Federal State, and Civilian. Our chaplains serve in all branches of the US Military, (Navy, Marine, Coast Guard & Air Force) and its components (Active, Guard & Reserve); plus the Federal Bureau of Prisons and the Veterans Health Administration. Other serve in civilian chaplaincies in hospital, hospice, prison, law enforcement, fire, Veteran, and Wounded Warrior settings.

Visit our Chaplain Page at to see the video.

Rev. Andy Meverden, Director of Chaplaincy
3686 Stagecoach Rd Unit F
Longmont, CO 80504


Wolves, Sheep, and Sheep Dogs

jimCurrent challenges in Law Enforcement Ministry

By Pastor/Chaplain Jim Lightle with Chaplain Andy Meverden

We live in a challenging world. Church ministry is especially challenging; but imagine, as pastor, balancing the merger of two churches, and serving as a volunteer chaplain in your local Sherriff’s Department.  Pastor Jim Lightle finds himself exactly there: We have merged two churches together and I am now the Senior Pastor of FBC Oroville while Victory Christian Fellowship is being dissolved. There are many blessings as well as challenges in this merger.”  There’s a list of prayer concerns a mile long right here.

If that weren’t enough stress and time pressure, Pastor Jim also serves as a local volunteer Law Enforcement Chaplain. “Meanwhile in the area of Sheriff’s Chaplain we have had a lot of tragedy in this time. Three line of duty deaths in neighboring counties that we have participated in the memorial service and processions; these have caused the surviving deputies and officers to work under constant stress. Ride-alongs have become like counseling sessions more in these times than usual.”

jim1We all have seen the uptick in police shootings. How does this impact these Public Servants? “All of our active duty LE members see themselves as targets for ambush and hate crime. Theirs is a thankless job too much of the time; but meanwhile they continue in the role of Sheep Dog.”*

Chaplain Jim Lightle is one of seven Law Enforcement Chaplains endorsed by CBAmerica. These Chaplains serve at the Federal, State, County and Municipal levels. This year, they were there at the Orlando Nightclub shooting massacre, and at other tragedies in our counties and cities. Pray that God would give them the eyes and ears to assess the needs of those men and women – “Sheep Dogs” who protect us from the Evil that would destroy us and our loved ones; and may they be available to respond when the call goes out; as ministers of the Gospel to a lost and dying world.


For more stories of God’s amazing work in and through our CBAmerica chaplains, go to For information on endorsement for chaplaincy, contact Andy Meverden, Director of Chaplaincy at

Note: *Chaplain Lightle is referring to the analogy popularized by Dr. David Grossman, LTC (Retired) Army Ranger, professor and author of two authoritative books, “On Killing” and “On Combat.” In them he likens the role of the Police and Military as “Sheep Dogs” in a society filled with generally docile, defenseless “Sheep,” who are occasionally victimized by “Wolves,” society’s predators. Sheep Dogs live peaceably among the Sheep who, when attacked by Wolves, call for rescue by their Sheep Dogs. David was an Old Testament “Sheep Dog” (See I Samuel 17:33-35 for his after-action report to King Saul).


Urgent Text from Chaplain Brian Hargis

hargis1Chaplain Brian Hargis, Schofield Barracks, HI

Sunday, November 27, 2106 (11:12 AM MMS)

Bro. Andy, [and members, friends & supporters of CBAmerica Chaplaincy]

Today I become the senior pastor of a new congregation/Chapel here in Hawaii. Blessed to see it grow from 15 to 66 in two months.  The command chaplain (Colonel) for the post was going to shut it down, but God sent me to plow.

Expecting 100 today and so much more as we launch a new theme for all the Army Installations in April. This is a huge project – eventually every US Army base will use our template to grow a congregation like ours.  Talk about church planting in the Army!

hargis2I’m bringing in the Deputy Chief of Chaplains (Brigadier General Solhjem – a Baptist) at the Pentagon, and the installation Chaplain at Fort Campbell, KY (Colonel Murphy, another Baptist) and some other heavy hitters in the Chaplain Corps to preach a revival and to help launch it.

The theme is IMPACT.  God making an impact in us so that we can IMPACT our community and the world.

The last time a [US Army] Chapel theme was launched was 1999. The theme was “Chapel Next,” taking the “next step.”  Chapel Next is still around at most every Army Installation, but IMPACT Chapel will be the new theme encouraging a deeper relationship with God, a deeper dive into Scripture, and a deeper concentration on Service.  Time is short, and it’s time to get off the pews and make an IMPACT.

hargis3I can’t tell you how big this may be as God gets behind our prayers to work by, with, and through us to IMPACT the Army.  I’m super excited and humbled to have this opportunity.

Please tell CBAmerica that I need them now more than ever, because Satan certainly wants to keep our IMPACT minimal. But…greater is He who in in us….


Brian Hargis Chaplain, Captain, US Army Senior Pastor (Protestant) MHR Chapel Schofield Barracks, HI


Chaplain Andy adds:  Please join me in praying for the Holy Spirit’s guidance, empowerment and blessing on this new “Army Chaplaincy Initiative.”  For more stories of God working in and through CBAmerica chaplains, go to

Now Hear This: Ministering on a Floating City

carlton1By Chaplain Aaron Carlton, US Navy – afloat, as reported to Andy Meverden, Director of Chaplaincy.


The location and ministry of military chaplains are often shrouded in secrecy. As a result, I am sometimes surprised by their location and ministry activity.  From somewhere in the Pacific Ocean, I received a ministry report from Navy Chaplain Aaron Carlton, assigned to a large amphibious task force steaming to a volatile part of the world.

Chaplain Carlton writes:

One of the great blessings that I am thankful for as we start our deployment is the quality of fellow chaplains we have on board.  We all seem to get along well and I think each is open to listening to each other and truly doing the best.  Also, we are all open to personal growth and accountability.  This is not as common in the chaplaincy as one would hope.  So this is a blessing.

A second blessing is that our church on board this ship is rocking and rolling, literally and figuratively.  We have had packed services each weekend and are considering adding another Christian worship service.”

carlton2Please pray for:  My family (wife, Lily and 3 young daughters, Mayah, Noelle & Sophia) and their emotional and spiritual health during this time.  The safety and protection of all the Sailors and Marines on board the 3-ship group.  Especially as we will be in the Middle East during a season of political change at home and international turmoil abroad.

Ministry Activities:  Worship Services: 13, One-On-One Visits: 158, Bible Studies: 15, Other small groups: 3,  Outreach: First Time Decisions: 3, Rededications: 18, Baptisms: 1”

I asked Chaplain Carlton to tell me about the ship’s “Evening Prayer.”  The evening prayer over the ship’s intercom is one of the enduring US Naval traditions.  It is also one that is still being fought against, by anti-religion groups like the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

carlton3Chaplain Carlton sent three of his recent “Evening Prayers:”

“Good evening, friends.  This is Chaplain Carlton.  Think of the wisest person you know.  I would venture to guess that they are also the most humble.  If we would aspire to greater wisdom in our work, in relationships, in life, one of the best ways to get there is to pursue genuine humility.

Genuine humility listens to others’ perspectives and treats each person with elevated dignity and respect.  Instead of just looking at another’s flaws, we become honest and aware of our own shortcomings.  Instead of demanding respect, we earn it by showing it to others.

Pride and ego elevates the self at the expense of others, humility gets low and lifts others up.  On the path to becoming wise, let us learn to be humble.”

“Living God, help us to not think more highly of ourselves than we ought, but in sober judgment, let us put others first. Help us to see correctly our own weakness, before we see the faults in others. In Your Name, Amen.”


“Good evening, friends.  This is Chaplain Carlton.  As we end our day, I would invite you to consider the power of our words… have you ever been around someone who was negative all the time? At best it is unpleasant, at worst, it is destructive to the morale and well-being of those around us. Have you ever been around someone who was positive and uplifting? Which one are you? With our mouths we bless or we curse, we provide hope or we extinguish it, we uplift or we tear down. Often times we do both within a matter of minutes… tonight as we close the day, let us be resolved to choose our words wisely and in doing so give life and strength to those who hear us.”

“Living God, refresh those who refresh others.  Replenish the inner storeroom of their souls.  And grant us all wisdom in our words and in our deeds.  In Your name we pray, Amen.”


“Good evening, friends.  This is Chaplain Carlton.  Moses once prayed, ‘Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.’ One pathway to a wise life is a healthy perspective of each day that we are given on this earth. Each day is a gift. Let us receive each moment then with thankfulness and resolve to do as much good upon this earth as we can, while we can, for as long as we can.  If you are here today, you are here for just that reason.”

“Living God, help us to take nothing for granted. Each day we are here is an opportunity to use our time wisely and to make a difference.  Each moment is a chance for us to improve our souls, to right our wrongs, and to make the world a better place by exerting our influence.

For this ship, for each aircraft and landing craft, for every soul on board, grant us an extra measure of your unseen protection and care as we learn to number our days.”

Respectfully submitted,

Chaplain Aaron Carlton, USN (Deployed)

Chaplain Andy concludes: Please join me in praying for the health, safety, and success of Chaplain Carlton and his task force.  Thank God for his obvious hand working while “under way.”


carlton4Photo Caption: Chaplain Aaron Carlton on the far right with Aviation Supply Officer, in blue. Aviation Maintenance Division Officer in white.  And a supply tech rep… we’re all on the flight deck somewhere in the south pacific.


Care Packages

For those churches and individuals interested in supporting the ministry of this chaplain team, Care Packages can be sent per the following guidelines to the address below:

Care Packages, absolutely we will accept… some standard that are always good are:

– ATT Calling Cards

– Snacks/Goodies/Treats

– Candy/Mints

– Nuts/trail mix

– Cup of Noodles/ramen

– Crossword books/Sudoku books

– Magazines

– Dried fruit

– Cards/UNO/Card games

– Blank birthday/Christmas/greeting cards


Some things that really won’t work in shipping to us on board the ship:

– NO Liquids

– NO Wipes

– NO gum

– NO soap


Mail to:

Chaplain Dept.
Unit 100222 Box 802
FPO AP 96672