New Church Organized on Marine Base

New Church Organized on Marine Base

This was the first time in the history of this movement that a Seventh-day Adventist church had been raised up and organized on a military base through the ministry of a Seventh-day Adventist chaplain.

W. H. BERGHERM, Associate Secretary, National Service Organization

It was my privilege to visit Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and witness a baptism con­ducted by Chaplain Robert Mole at the time of the organization of a church on that base. This was the first time in the history of this movement that a Seventh-day Adventist church had been raised up and organized on a military base through the ministry of a Seventh-day Adventist chaplain. C. H. Lauda, president of the Carolina Conference, was present for the occasion and officiated at the organization of the church and the election of officers. Thirty-three persons were received as charter mem­bers. Our hearts thrilled to watch these young men and women go forward to inscribe their names on the record, thus forming another church in the sisterhood of fifty-three churches in the Carolina Conference.

The work at Camp Lejeune was begun by Adventist marines. Marine Chandler was as­signed to this camp about three years ago, and began giving Bible studies to those around him. Soon there were some who took their stand for the Sabbath. About this time Chap­lain Mole appeared on the scene. In addition to his regular work in behalf of the marines of all Protestant faiths, Chaplain Mole found time to follow up the good work begun by Ma­rine Chandler. He conducted a number of Bible studies and held Sunday night meetings in one of the Marine chapels. The military member­ship varies as the men come and go. At one time there were fifteen or twenty boys assisting Chaplain Mole, but at present there are nine.

I was interested in learning that these ma­rines assisted in one way or another in distribut­ing literature and giving studies. The chaplain himself has baptized fifteen converts during the fifteen months he has been assigned to this camp. It was interesting to find that this activ­ity for the church has not jeopardized the chaplain's other work or rating with the author­ities. He has been able to do in his off-duty hours what few chaplains of other denomina­tions have done. The supervising chaplain told me that our chaplain's work is greatly appre­ciated and that he is highly rated from the official standpoint.

We rejoice to see the soul-winning effort be­ing put forth by Seventh-day Adventist chap­lains in the military service. The church at Camp Lejeune is the first and only Seventh-day Adventist church now meeting as an organized body in a base chapel. This type of ministry is sorely needed in behalf of the three million persons now in the armed forces.


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W. H. BERGHERM, Associate Secretary, National Service Organization

March 1955

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