Major General Carver speaks at SBTS

Communications Staff — April 2, 2008

Major General Douglas Carver, Chief of Chaplains for the United States Army, challenged students to faithfully pray for America’s service members and passionately serve the Lord in all circumstances at a chapel service March 25 at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Carver said if God matters to a person it should show through passionate pray, praise and service.

“Does God matter to you? If He matters to us we need to always recommit ourselves to be passionate for Him in the good times and bad,” he said. “All of the seasons of our life are in His hands. We must praise Him with a pure and holy heart. We must love Him intently, with our mind, body, spirit, soul and strength. And may we never forget to pray for others.

“Let’s continue to pray for our brave men and women in uniform. They faithfully protect and defend the freedom of our great nation, standing watch 24/7.”

Carver was appointed the Army’s 22nd Chief of Chaplains on July 12, 2007. A native of Rome, Ga., Carver earned a master of divinity from Southern Seminary, bachelor of arts in religious studies from the University of Tennessee and a master of science in strategic studies from the Army War College in Carlisle, Pa.

R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Seminary, welcomed Carver back to the seminary and thanked him for his faithful ministry of the Gospel.

“I am very glad to welcome General Carver to Southern Seminary this morning with the words ‘welcome home,’” he said. “He represents thousands of military chaplains serving around the world. With so much on our minds and hearts, with so many hundreds of thousands of United States military personnel serving all over the world, with millions of men and women in uniform … what a debt we owe General Carver [and other military chaplains] as he represents today those who serve on that mission field.”

In June 1973, Carver was recognized as a distinguished military graduate and appointed as a regular Army officer in the field artillery branch of the United States Army. After serving on active duty for six years, he resigned his commission to enter the ministry. He was subsequently commissioned as an Army chaplain in June 1984. An ordained Southern Baptist minister, Carver has pastored churches in Kentucky, Colorado and Virginia.

Carver’s military awards include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal and Ranger Tab. He received the Clyde T. Francisco Preaching Award in 1982 from Southern. In 1995, he received the Witherspoon Chaplain’s Award from the Layman’s National Bible
Association for outstanding service rendered by a military chaplain in the promotion of Bible reading and study among military families.

Carver noted that he was in the Middle East five years ago at the commencement of the war in Iraq. The United States recently lost its 4,000th service member in the war, and Carver said he is often asked about the morale of troops serving in the conflict overseas.

“Having made frequent trips to Afghanistan and Iraq, I can honestly make this simple statement: God matters to our service members,” he said. “God matters so much to soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and coastguardsmen.
They are not shy about their faith. They are not afraid or prevented from praying in Jesus’ name or the name of their particular choice. They are not bashful about their faith.”

Mohler prayed for chaplains, military servicemen and servicewomen and the families of military personnel, and noted that each of the 4,000 service members who have died in the war willingly sacrificed their lives.

“This past Sunday (March 23) marked the fifth anniversary of the war in Iraq and the 4,000th casualty was recently reported,” he said. “I was very frustrated that on the television news programs all day Sunday it (the war) was instantly turned into a political question and I wondered when someone was going to stop and say ‘those are 4,000 human beings made in the image of God who gave their lives willingly.’ It seems incomprehensible that something like this could happen without a nation saying ‘thank you,’ especially to the families and loved ones of those who have fallen in battle.

“One of my humble reflections this morning is that I have never been in a bunker. And I realized this morning how many thousands of our fellow citizens — brothers and sisters and fathers and cousins — are facing thing we never have to face. I’m sure no words can fully express [what they are going through].”

Carver said when we pray to God and praise Him in every circumstance and situation it changes us.

“It is kind of sad and pathetic that we wait until those ‘concrete bunker moments’ to cry out to God,” he said. “The Lord would want us to have that same sort of passion all the time.”

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