partners with churches and associations to reach this “white unto harvest” mission field. As far back as the book of Numbers, messengers were sent to represent the presence of God to people in challenging circumstances. North Carolina Baptists have more than 400 chaplains who do that today.
From prisons, hospitals and disaster settings to local businesses, chaplains serve North Carolina Baptists. We support the efforts of North Carolina Baptists to create a disciple-making culture in the environments to which they have been called. Our state also has one of the largest military populations in the world. The Convention’s military and chaplaincy ministry focuses on five primary areas: “Operation Crossroads,” Disaster Relief Chaplaincy, career chaplain network, Community and Public Service Chaplaincy and “Adopt an Armory.” Please let us know if we can help you with these or other emphases.
“Operation Crossroads” is the name given to our ministry with Wounded Warriors. We work with churches, associations and individuals to support the Soldier and Family Assistance Center at Fort Bragg. To date, we have coordinated a variety of children’s activities for their annual Family Day, hosted a spaghetti supper as part of their “Back to School” event, provided sack lunches for holiday travel, purchased materials to teach financial management and collected more than 1,000 cookbooks from North Carolina Baptist churches to stock kitchenettes in the new Warrior Transition housing facility. Our goal is to expand this outreach to build ongoing relationships on post, and extend it to other active duty installations in the state.
Since 2005 we have been training and deploying chaplaincy volunteers to assist with the North Carolina Baptist Men’s Disaster Relief ministry. Basic orientation – offered in the spring each year – consists of modules such as “The Biblical Basis of Chaplaincy,” “The Characteristics of a Good Chaplaincy Volunteer,” “What to Expect on Disaster Relief Call Outs” and “Listening and Caring Tips.” Our advanced training covers a variety of specific topics to help individuals be effective in this outreach. We also work with volunteers to expand their certification to be qualified for service with the North American Mission Board’s Disaster Relief program. Additional information is available at www.baptistsonmission.org.
Career Chaplain Network
We keep a database of all Southern Baptist career chaplains in the state. From time to time we provide seminars and fellowship opportunities for this group. We also relate to the North American Mission Board (our denomination’s professional endorsement agency) in matters relating to ecclesiastical qualifications and credentialing for chaplains and counselors.
Community and Public Service Chaplaincy
We receive quite a few requests from ministers and laypersons who are interested in ministering to local fire stations, police departments and other community agencies. We can recommend training and networking possibilities for these opportunities. We can also offer a Volunteer Chaplain Model for individuals wanting to know how to start such a ministry.
“Adopt-An-Armory” is a program we have developed to minister with local National Guard and Reserve units scattered “from Murphy to Manteo.” All these organizations have access to chaplains, but many of these military pastors are stretched too thin to provide adequate coverage. We pair the assigned chaplains with pastors and laypersons who are willing to share the load. These individuals lead worship services on drill weekends and provide pastoral care to soldiers and their families as necessary. They also help to facilitate mobilization services and other supportive events.