Ministry to the Armed Forces
Our pastors of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod serve honorably and with distinction as military chaplains. From the time of the Civil War through both World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, and current areas of conflict, our chaplains bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to those protecting our great nation.
The LCMS Ministry to the Armed Forces supports almost 200 chaplains. These chaplains represent the church on active duty, the reserves, the National Guard, and Civil Air Patrol.
Chaplains meet the needs of God’s people (military personnel and their families) where needed most and who serve in the vocation as members of our Armed Forces.
Some chaplains serve on forward bases in harm’s way, others onboard ships maintaining vigilant watch over the seven seas, and others walk the flight line on isolated Air Bases engaging Airmen on faith and family as they load fighter aircraft for combat operations. These “pastors in uniform” provide Word and Sacrament ministry while enduring hardship, constant peril and danger.
The LCMS cares deeply for those who currently serve, for all those who have donned the cloth of our nation in uniform, and for those who served our nation and live in our communities.
The LCMS Ministry to the Armed Forces assists and trains congregations through project Operation Barnabas. The goal is to equip and encourage local LCMS members in compassionate care and witness by training outreach to all military connected people (active, reserve, retired, veterans and their loved ones).
Our LCMS Barnabas congregations and chapters reach out to these families through witness and mercy at the local level, whether it is the families of loved ones deployed or assisting those who have served to reintegrate back home with their family, their church and their community.
Operation Barnabas is a network of care to our nation’s military members, families and veterans. We reach out to all branches of the military, with a special emphasis on our Reserve members and their families. You may ask: “Why is it called Operation Barnabas?” Barnabas was Paul’s companion, who helped him in his missionary journey. His name means “son of encouragement.” We hope to encourage our military and their families with the Gospel in action.
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Help our Lutheran servicemen and women stay spiritually strong by enrolling them in the Ministry-by-Mail program. The LCMS is the only denomination to support its members serving in the Armed Forces in such a direct way. Servicemen and women receive materials in an initial packet when their name is put into the program, then they regularly receive copies of Portals of Prayer. To add a member or update an address, call 800-248-1930, ext. 1337 or complete the online form.
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