Chaplaincy and Pastoral Counseling

Spiritual Care Week 2021: Witnessing God’s Hand at Work

By Durrell E. Brown, 2LT, USAF, Chaplain Candidate

Have you ever felt like you encountered a thing that you never thought you needed? That’s how I feel about chaplaincy. 

Durrell Brown

I am fortunate enough to do God’s work and, at the same time, transform myself through the encounter of ministering to people. Those ministered to often have a life-changing story or experience that, while listening, forces you to see the miracle attributes of God. And usually, I leave out of the conversation so renewed. 

Every conversation is different in chaplaincy—because every person has their unique path. Chaplaincy is caring for others, and even as a chaplain, we need to be cared for, too. I am thankful that I have an endorser that pours into my cup. The role of the endorser is in providing a place to be cared for, guided, and supported as I fervently serve out my calling. 

I am blessed to be endorsed by CBF. 

When I found out that I was chosen to be endorsed by the Council on Endorsement through careful and discerning consideration, I did not take this consideration lightly, for their decision impacted the fate of my calling. I could not have fulfilled my kingdom dream as a military chaplain without the support and guidance of the CBF Chaplaincy & Pastoral Counseling Ministries and Council on Endorsement. As a CBF-Endorsed Military Chaplain, I get to live out my calling. 

I have a spiritual gift for counsel. I love advising people into the things of God and allowing others to see where God is speaking in their life when they can’t hear the voice for themselves. I enjoy pouring into empty vessels, learning about myself through others, and sometimes simply serving as a sounding board. As a CBF-Endorsed Military Chaplain, I can serve bi-vocationally through the church and in the air service branch of the United States Armed Forces. Most significant, I witness God’s hand at work in the “marketplace”—outside the four walls of the church. 

My relationship with CBF is a Kairos moment. defines “Kairos” as “the right time” from Ancient Greek, referring to a “spiritual opportunity” in Christian theology. 

I always had a burning desire in my heart to serve as a Military Chaplain. In the Fall of the year 2020, I knew God called me to counsel Airmen, and by the Grace of God, led me to Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. As a CBF-Endorsed Military Chaplain, CBF provides spiritual care to their chaplains through quarterly cohort check-ins, calls, emails, spiritual and personal development.  CBF invests so much into the relational aspect of caring for their chaplains. 

Before I was officially endorsed, I remember staff offering to connect me to two exceptional resources who’ve had military chaplaincy experience. CBF’s investment into people is what fuels me the most. The assurance of wanting me to be the best spiritually, physically, and mentally to advance the kingdom of God. CBF ensures adequate support to their endorsed chaplains, and I feel valued and, forever and ever, have an outlet where I can continue cultivating my growth.

Durrell Brown is a CBF-Endorsed Military Chaplain Candidate commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force Chaplaincy Candidate Program and a 2nd year student at Columbia Theological Seminary.

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