Do we have a.m.e chaplains in the arm forces? : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

Each day more of our military personel are being deployed for Iraq I think the last no. I heard was 150,000. The work of chaplains will be very important for morale. Do we have a.m.e chaplains? And if you have served in the armed forces what role does the chaplains play. Let's lift our soldiers and chaplains up in prayer.

-- Anonymous, January 04, 2003


Denise: The Doctrine & Discipline of the AMEC provides a special section which describes both the Commission on Chaplains and full time/retired chaplains of the AMEC. You can find this information on pages 592-596 in the 1996 edition. QED

-- Anonymous, January 04, 2003

I never met one during my Air Force career, but I'm sure the AME has chaplains. The military has positions for all officially recognized religious groups. The number is based on that denomination's share of the US population. Some denominations have waiting lists of ministers wanting to enter the service, while others have vacancies. It depends on the number of slots, and the willingness and qualification (education, physical fitness, age, etc) of that denomination's minister's to serve.

Chaplains are most valuable overseas. In the states GIs can usually find an off-base church to their liking, but overseas the chapel is sometimes all there is. Many churches are sending missionaries to set up off-base churches overseas too though.

Where I served the chapel had Catholic services and General Protestant services where Protestants of all denominations worshipped together. It was basically a mainline-type service.

Often the chapel will also offer Traditional Gospel and Contemporary Gospel services. Traditional Gospel services were attended mostly by African-Americans, and Contemporary Gospel were attended mostly by Charismatic, Pentecostal, or other more lively Evangelicals. If a chaplain from one of these denominations was available he'd pastor these services, or the servicemembers would hold their own services. Whatever the case, the chapel recognized that these were two groups of non-Catholics that often didn't like the General Protestant format. One way or another they try to accomodate everyone, including Wiccans at Ft. Hood Texas.

One of the primary missions of the chaplaincy is to ensure the free exercise of religion wherever the US Military finds itself.

-- Anonymous, January 05, 2003

Rev. Rogers,

The first African American to serve as a Chaplain in the US Armed Forces was our own Bishop Henry McNeal Turner. He was never a slave but did not let that make him so comfortable as to fail to speak out and challenge all wrong. Because Abraham Lincoln appointed him to this post, he was an active member of the Republican Party. Even though he remained in the Republican Party he was very outspoken in Civil Rights. Thus he challenged the Republican Party for being indifferent to blacks. As a result he wrote and published, "The Outrage of the Supreme Court of the United States upon the Black Man.". He followed it with the publication entitled "The Negro Should Not Enter The Army." He was also served in the Georgia Legislature. In this position he sued the Georgia Government and won.

Bishop Turner was a colleague of my own Grandfather whose name I bear. They pastored many of the same churches in Georgia. When Bishop Turner became Bishop of Georgia he appointed my Grandfather as Presiding Elder of the Griffin District of the newly formed Atlanta Georgia Confernce.

A well knows A.M.E. Pastor of Big Bethel Church in Atlanta; the Reverend Ruben Thomas Bussey was a lifetime Chaplain. Upon his retirement from the active ministry he became an Associate Minister of my own church, which he had pastored when he was young. Also a member and Associate Minister of my own church was the first ever female Chaplain in any branch of the US Armed Forces, the Reverend Alice Henderson Howard. She was also my classmate at Morris Brown.

As Bill has said, all of our chaplains, both active and retried are listed in the Doctrice and Discipline of the A.M.E. Chruch.

-- Anonymous, January 05, 2003

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