Consider Joining and Supporting AGC’S Ministry
The military provides unique ministry opportunities because sailors, soldiers, marines and airmen are often in harms way and are open to spiritual considerations. AGC has been and remains true to Dr. Garman’s mission, to endorse fundamental men whom the Lord calls to minister to the Armed Forces by providing examples of a scriptural life and faithfully representing their sending fundamental churches. The Lord has blessed AGC since its founding in 1939 by providing outstanding fundamental men committed to ministering to military personnel in a pluralistic environment while remaining true to their fundamental beliefs. However, some AGC chaplains have paid a price for doing so.
Jesus said his disciples would suffer persecution and that is a reality. Sometimes the Services or commanders forget that chaplains are representatives of their sending churches and place unconstitutional restrictions on the chaplain’s ministry. This requires AGC to take active measures to defend its chaplains from such hostility or ignorance. When AGC endorses a chaplain, it assumes the responsibility to represent the chaplain and his sending church to the Armed Services when situations arise which attempt to limit chaplains, expressions of fundamental beliefs. In recent years there haves been direct attempts to reduce Christian influence in the military and blur faith distinctives.
In 2005, the Air Force published guidelines prohibiting chaplains from praying in the name of Jesus. Following objections by AGC and other evangelical endorsers, including the International Conference of Evangelical Chaplain Endorsers (ICECE) of which AGC is a member, the Air Force modified its guidelines, but left the basic restrictions in place. In early 2006, the Navy followed the Air Force’s lead and published regulations prohibiting prayer in the name of Jesus at official military ceremonies and functions. At the same time, the Army published confusing guidelines which left many chaplains in doubt. These regulations by the Armed Services placed evangelical chaplains, careers at risk, because the only authority we have to seek God’s favor and blessing is "in the name of Jesus."
AGC, in conjunction with ICECE, worked tirelessly with supportive members of Congress to address this unprecedented attack on the constitutional rights of chaplains and the Armed Services, attempts to establish an official religion of non-sectarianism. AGC recognized this as the initial official step down a slippery slope which could later lead to more restrictions on other matters of religious speech, including counseling, preaching and worship. These opposition efforts were successful and Congress directed the Navy and Air Force to rescind their restrictive regulations. However, the threat to chaplains, free religious speech still remains.
One AGC chaplain was removed from his chapel in Iraq for praying in the name of Jesus. AGC’s intervention resulted in the chaplain being restored. Recently a liberal brigade chaplain, with the approval of the command, suppressed a Fundamental Baptist service at a forward operating base in Iraq because the AGC chaplain preached the necessity to be born again and the inerrancy of scripture. AGC again intervened, the fundamental service was restored, the chaplain allowed to resume his ministry, and at AGC’s request with Congressional support, the matter was referred to the Department of Army Inspector General for investigation. AGC wants to ensure such suppression will not recur and its chaplains are not persecuted for being faithful witnesses to the Gospel. The AGC chaplain whose service was suppressed in Iraq led many to Christ, encouraged believers and impacted many through his godly counsel despite the official opposition to his ministry.
An AGC chaplain in Naples, Italy alerted his evangelical congregation to the command’s efforts to establish a teen clinic which would issue birth control without parental knowledge or consent. The chaplain incurred the wrath of the base commander and AGC made a trip to Naples to intervene on behalf of its chaplain.
These interventions and efforts to defend chaplains, constitutional rights require significant expenditures of time and funds to cover travel. These expenditures are unprogrammed and are in addition to AGC’s regular operating expenses, which include recruiting, visits to seminaries, and running an office, which is necessary to support and respond to the needs of AGC chaplains and their families whose duty assignments take them throughout the world. Currently, AGC has 108 active duty and Reserve military chaplains and 29 chaplain candidates; 20 others have applied to the chaplaincy. AGC also endorses chaplains for the Civil Air Patrol, hospitals, federal and state prisons and other civic organizations such as police and fire departments. AGC has a global ministry through its chaplains and is a leading defender of fundamental Christian beliefs, although it is a small organization. AGC is proud that it provides, encourages and supports messengers of the Gospel, it has challenged efforts to remove the name of Jesus from the public square and defended its chaplains and the fundamental Christians they represent against discrimination and prejudice.
AGC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose income depends on gifts and donations. We would ask you to prayerfully consider supporting AGC as a missionary outreach and join us in our ministry through your prayers and offerings.