DALLAS—Texas Baptists’ chaplaincy relations program, in partnership with the Baptist General Association of Virginia, passed the 1,000 mark in chaplain endorsement during a Feb. 16 endorsement ceremony.
Texas Baptist leaders celebrated the achievement the next day at the Baptist General Convention of Texas Executive Board meeting.
“This is a milestone for us, and we’re looking to continue to grow,” said Jim Brown, associate endorser of chaplaincy relations. “We have endorsed 1,000 chaplains to serve in a variety of areas. It’s an exciting time to be a part of this and it’s a wonderful ministry.”
To date, Texas Baptists and Virginia Baptists have endorsed 1,011 chaplains, including 51 last year.
Texas Baptists’ chaplaincy relations program began in 2002, under the leadership of Bobby Smith. In 2017, Texas Baptists’ partnered with Virginia Baptists to offer additional training and networking opportunities for chaplains in both states.
‘Pastors without walls’
Currently, there are more than 675 active Texas Baptists chaplains. Brown noted 38 percent of the chaplains work in healthcare, and military chaplaincy accounts for an additional 32 percent.
Texas Baptists are the fifth largest endorser of the United States military chaplaincy, Brown reported. Endorsed chaplains also work in prisons, crisis response, lifestyle, marketplace and public safety spheres.
In addition to serving in Texas, the chaplains also work in 41 other states and six foreign countries. The chaplaincy relations team also works with Baptist entities in other countries to establish training programs and provide support.
Brown described the valuable work the chaplains are doing around the world.
“Our chaplains are out there serving the world. They are around the world, serving our soldiers. Many of them are in your communities, right here in Texas, serving in your hospitals, your correctional facilities, even some businesses,” Brown said. “They are literally pastors without walls.”