Base chaplains build relationships, shed light on Robins mission through base Clergy Day

  • Published
  • By Amanda Creel
  • 78th ABW/PA
May 3, as thousands of people gathered throughout the U.S. to pray, clergy from around Middle Georgia joined chaplains from Robins to learn about the mission of the base.

Though the Clergy Day event took place on the National Day of Prayer, the event not only allowed the ministers to learn what to pray for when it comes to the members of the local community but how to minister to the needs of those who work here.

"I think it is good community outreach. It shows they (the base chaplains) really care about what's going on with the people who are taking care of their people outside the gates," said Daniel Rios, youth pastor at New Hope International in Perry.

The event allows the local clergy and base chaplains to develop relationships where they can call upon each other in a time of need.

Chaplain (Capt.) Joshua Payne said, "The local clergy are an integral part of spiritual wellness on base."

If someone from Team Robins needs counsel or assistance from one of the various faith groups we don't have chaplains on base to represent we already have a connection from the community who can help them, added Chaplain Payne, a protestant chaplain.

During the bi-annual event local clergy had an opportunity to tour an E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System, attend a 116th Air Control Wing mission briefing and learn about the mission of the chaplain and the chaplain's assistant both when they are at Robins and when they are deployed.

"The people they (local clergy) support can be our active-duty members, contractors, civilians and our retired members," said Chaplain (Maj.) Glenn Page, senior protestant chaplain. "We just want to let them know we appreciate them and what they do."

Chaplain Page added, it is important for ministers in the community to understand the role of chaplains and to see what chaplains do for the Air Force community.

"They have a great mission of ministry to the troops even in a combat field," said Daniel Jackson, pastor of Greater Springfield Baptist Church in Warner Robins. "They minister from the sanctuary to the combat field."

Other ministers said the event was a great way to understand the daily stresses for members of their congregations who serve their country as civil servants or active-duty members at Robins.

"The word that comes to mind is exposure. It is easier to minister to people who come to our church, if we understand what their lives are like," said Andy King, campus pastor at Christ Chapel in Warner Robins.

Justin Laughridge, an assistant to the pastor at Mount Calvary Lutheran Church in Warner Robins agreed the chance to see the mission of the 116th Air Control Wing helped him understand the plight of the church's members.

"Seeing where some of my members spend their day and what they are doing during the day adds to my ability to attend to them," he said.