SEOUL, South Korea (BP)–Chaplain (COL) Kenneth Kerr, as 8th Army Command Chaplain, is the senior chaplain serving in South Korea. In addition to providing pastoral care to the 8th Army senior staff, Kerr is responsible for the training, mentoring and supervision of 62 Army chaplains across the peninsula.
Kerr describes success for a chaplain as effectively providing pastoral care and religious support to soldiers, civilians and family members.
He said he encourages evangelical chaplains within the command not to be ashamed of the Gospel but to preach the truth. All chaplains come from some denominational background, he said, and every chaplain is encouraged to faithfully represent those who sent them into the Army. For Southern Baptist chaplains, that means they should be preaching the Gospel and inviting soldiers and family members to put their faith in Jesus Christ.
“I want the chaplains to share with soldiers the love of God found in Jesus Christ and the hope of the resurrection,” Kerr said.
Personally, Kerr is motivated by the words of a former brigade commander who often reminded the chaplains that the soldiers they knew could die in battle. The commander wanted the chaplains to tell the soldiers how to have everlasting life.
Kerr encourages Southern Baptist churches to pray for their military chaplains serving not only in Korea, but around the world.
“Invite our chaplains to come to your churches to share their story,” Kerr said. “Pray for our chaplains. Pray for our soldiers and their families as they make many sacrifices every day. Pray that we, as Southern Baptist chaplains, will be effective in reaching our soldiers with the Gospel.”
Ann Lovell is a media worker based in Seoul, South Korea, with the Southern Baptist International Mission Board.