Airmen Ministry Center to reopen Monday at new location

  • Published
  • By Holly Birchfield
  • 78 ABW/PA
The Airmen Ministry Center has a new place to make Robins military members feel at home. The center, which provides Airmen a place to have a good time in a non-threatening atmosphere, will open its doors at Bldg. 706 Monday.

Father (Lt. Col.) Thomas Fey, wing chaplain at the Base Chapel, said the move is a good one.

"The new location gives Airmen a very convenient place to go," he said. "It's right across from the dorms and provides a good, safe place to relax, have fun, grow and learn without alcohol involved."

Chaplain (Capt.) Paul Joyner said the new facility, located in the former Base Housing Office, will give the ministry about 3,000 square feet to expand its reach to Airmen at the base. The former location in Dorm 798 had become too small.

"As a chaplain service, we can minister to people without including religion into it," Chaplain Joyner said. "I minister to your physical needs by providing food, maybe a little fellowship, and some fun."

Traditionally, the center has offered food and fun on Wednesday nights and provided a place to watch college football on Saturdays, but the center's new space will make room for more programs and entertainment options.

The center, which is run by volunteers, offers what Chaplain Joyner calls "spiritual triage."

"We intend to develop relationships with the Airmen so they can provide informal mentoring, informal counseling, informal connections so that if there are things that cause them to be a little discouraged, defeated, or sometimes homesick, the Airmen Ministry Center opens up an environment where dialogue can take place and they can use us as a sounding board," he said.

Senior Airman Tad Pratt, a help desk technician for the 78th Communications Squadron who helped with the move, said the new location will open doors for the ministry.

"I think that this new ministry center is a great way to pull people together," he said.

The center will offer classes, religious studies and other activities in the future, and plans for a chaplain office in the center may allow the facility to offer lunchtime hours.