Update from Dr. Samuel Lee

By Samuel Lee

Dear friends,

It is with a mix of emotions that I bid farewell after four meaningful years of service to the SBC Chaplaincy. Reflecting on this time, I am grateful for the opportunity to have interviewed 297 applicants for Federal Endorsements, each one a testament to the excellence and commitment of our chaplaincy.

During my tenure as the Federal Endorser, I have advocated for transformational leadership, believing it to be not just an option but a necessity for our chaplaincy’s future success. My proposal for the 25/25 plan in August 2020 aimed to guide us beyond 2025, ensuring a market share of 25% in the federal government chaplaincy. This comprehensive strategy emphasized three key areas:

  1. Endorsement: We have taken a proactive approach to endorse capable, competent and character-ready candidates for vocational chaplaincy.
  2. Mentorship: Shifting from a culture of individualism to one of community, accountability and support has been a priority.
  3. Education: We have strived for excellence through lifelong continuing education, coordinating scholarships and opportunities with SBC-affiliated schools.

While I cannot claim to have achieved all I set out to do, I am proud of the progress we have made. One notable success has been the establishment of regional cooperative fellowships between SBC Chaplains and local churches, significantly boosting morale and effectiveness. I extend my heartfelt thanks to senior chaplains like Jason Noble, Steve LaPack, Jeff Nevin, Darren Chester, Gerry Thornton, Clark Sneed and others who have been instrumental in these efforts.

I am also deeply grateful to three senior mentors whose wisdom and care have shaped our chaplaincy’s future. CH (COL-R) Jim White, CH (COL-R) Pat Hash, and CH (COL-R) John Barbee have been pillars of support and prayer, ensuring that our chaplaincy remains strong and faithful.

To our dedicated office staff, thank you for your cooperation and support. Your commitment to enhancing the quality of our chaplaincy and caring for our chaplains and their families is invaluable.

As I depart, I leave with a prayer in my heart. May you all walk in righteousness, focusing on the Cross of Christ, and may you honor the Lord without compromise. Our chaplaincy has a bright future because of each of you, and I am grateful to have served alongside such remarkable individuals.

With warm regards and prayers,

Chaplain Samuel Lee

Published April 7, 2024

Samuel Lee

Dr. Samuel Lee, NAMB Director of Chaplaincy, serves as the Federal Endorser for Southern Baptist chaplains.