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By Mickey Noah
ALPHARETTA, Ga. – Retired U.S. Army Chief of Chaplains (Major
General) Douglas L. Carver has been appointed executive director of chaplain
services for the North American Mission Board (NAMB) in Alpharetta, Ga., with
the goal of taking Southern Baptist chaplaincy to a “new level.”
In the newly created position, Carver, 60, will lead NAMB’s
chaplaincy team by casting its vision and future strategy. Carver will continue to reside near
“It is not every day that God brings the opportunity to add
a retired, two-star general to your team,” said Kevin Ezell, NAMB’s president.
“Doug is first and foremost a man of God and a humble leader. He has led
chaplains who are serving in the most difficult circumstances. I know he will
help us bring an even greater level of care and equipping to our chaplains.”
The day-to-day operations and management of NAMB’s
chaplaincy group will continue under team leader Keith Travis, who will report
directly to Carver. Although Carver’s experience is specifically with military
chaplaincy, he will bring leadership and support to all Southern Baptist
chaplains endorsed by NAMB.
“This signals the expansion of chaplaincy at NAMB and will
take it to a new level,” said Larry Wynn, the mission entity’s vice president
for evangelism and leadership development. “It will expand our role in our nation
with our chaplains and also with our SBC churches.
“We’re going to be more intentional in encouraging churches
to adopt chaplains and military personnel and to be more involved in our
chaplaincy ministry here at NAMB,” said Wynn. “Doug will be working to
encourage churches to have more communications, programs and ministries for
chaplains and military personnel.”
Wynn said he has “never met an individual who has more
passion than Doug for the Gospel and for sharing it with the world. This is a
huge win for Southern Baptists and the Kingdom.”
Carver said he hopes to forge a tighter relationship between
NAMB chaplaincy and the people of the Southern Baptist Convention.
“Historically, chaplaincy has always been an extension of
the ministry of the local church,” said Carver. “I hope to help churches see
more clearly how God works through chaplains in the military and in other institutions.
“We’ll work on enhancing the relationships between churches
and chaplaincy and the dialogue between chaplains and pastors. Chaplains have a
wealth of ministry experience, professional education and pastoral leadership
that we need to do a more intentional job of tapping into,” Carver said.
Carver said chaplaincy dovetails easily with NAMB’s current overarching
priority of church planting.
“Our chaplains frequently minister in places where the
church hasn’t been or cannot go, especially in dangerous or desperate
situations where people need pastoral care. As a result of their providing what
we refer to as ‘ministry of presence,’ chaplains often find themselves planting
churches where they serve in their various institutional and community
settings,” Carver said.
Before retiring in Summer 2011, the two-star general spent
38 years in the U.S. Army, 27 of them as an Army chaplain. In 2007, he became
the first Southern Baptist in 50 years to be promoted to Chief of Chaplains for
the Army, based at the Pentagon. In that post, he was responsible for some 2,900
chaplains in the active Army, the Army Reserves and the National Guard.
Carver’s four years as Chief of Chaplains came during a time
when the United States was fighting dual wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. During
his tenure, he ensured comprehensive and religious support to a total of 1.2
million soldiers deployed in more than 80 nations, 300,000 Department of
Defense civilians and 700,000 military families.
A native of Rome, Ga., Carver graduated with a B.A. degree
from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and was initially appointed as a
regular Army officer in the field artillery branch of the U.S. Army. After
serving on active duty for six years, he resigned his commission to enter the
ministry. He was later commissioned as
an Army chaplain in June 1984. Carver
also holds a master of divinity degree from The Southern Baptist Theological
Seminary, Louisville, Ky., and a master of science degree in strategic studies
from the Army War College in Carlisle, Pa. An ordained Southern Baptist
minister, Carver has pastored churches in Kentucky, Colorado and Virginia.
Since his retirement, Carver and his wife, Sunny, have made
Waxhaw, N.C., their home. They have two daughters and four grandchildren.
NAMB currently has more than 1,500 endorsed SBC chaplains
serving in the U.S. military, which requires that all of its chaplains be endorsed
and qualified by a recognized denomination. In all, 3,650 NAMB-commissioned and
endorsed chaplains are ministering not only in the military but in correctional
institutions, corporations, healthcare and public safety.
Mickey Noah writes for
the North American Mission Board.
Date Created: 3/15/2012 11:04:28 AM
A Southern Baptist Convention entity supported by the Cooperative Program and the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering®© Copyright 2014 North American Mission Board, SBC