THE CHAPLAIN-IN-CHIEF'S MESSAGE
Another grand spiritual and historic truth is the mighty spiritual awakening that occurred in the Southern armies. Southern chaplains and ministers preached in the camps. The Spirit of God moved in the camps. Hundreds of Southern soldiers in the camps believed and were baptized. These young men were enabled to face the horrors of an enemy practicing total war with the peace of God reigning in their souls. From battle fields long since silent, many gallant souls were ushered into the presence of the living God.
As chaplains serving the descendants of those noble warriors, we are challenged to do as the faithful ministers of the 1860s. Let us make Christ known in the camps. When we give the invocation and the benediction, let us point our compatriots to Christ the Savior. When we present a camp program, let us point our compatriots to Christ the Savior. When we present a devotional thought, let us point our compatriots to Christ the Savior. When we visit the sick or sorrowful, let us point our compatriots to Christ the Savior. When we counsel the hurting, let us point our compatriots to Christ the Savior. We do this with the prayer that the Lord who worked so mightily in the midst of our ancestors, would work in our midst.
May our Lord bless and guide you in the challenges of this age. May spiritual and historic truth prevail in the midst of cultural correctness.
Dear fellow Chaplains and Friends of the Corps:
It is an honor to greet you in the name of our Lord and in service with the Sons of Confederate Veterans. I want to thank Commander Tom Strain for allowing me the opportunity to continue this minister in his 2016-2018 administration. In addition, I want to thank past Commander-in-Chief Kelly Barrow for the great honor of serving in his 2014-2016 administration. Our past is a strong foundation upon which the future will be constructed. Commander-in-Chief Strain is a strong leader with unparrallel ability for responsibile decisions and a dynamic vision for the years ahead.
Many have influenced me in the brotherhood of our Confederation. George Bryant invited me to my first Camp Meeting. Dave Wires, my first camp Commander, was a solid leader for the Camp (Colonel Robert Martin Camp, Evansville, Indiana). Past Adjunct-in-Chief Steve Ritchie is truly a Southern gentleman and is a constant inspiration for me. Past Indiana Divisional Commander Gordon Flick guided the Confederate State of Indiana well and current Indiana Divisional Commander Alan Losure continues in that same direction. These men, and certainly others as well, have been an inspiration and motivation for me.
My current Camp is the Captain J. J. Dickison Camp # 1387, Melbourne, Florida. Camp Commander Marc Thornton is an outstanding leader and truly appreciated by all Camp members. It is also good to have the current Florida Divisional Commander, Don Young, attending our Camp. In addition, past Florida Divisional Commander Jim Davis is a constant motivation for all Florida SCV members.
My hometown is Winston-Salem, North Carolina. My family and I worshiped at Marshall Baptist Church. The Rev. Milton Frazier was pastor of the church when, as a nine year old lad, I accepted Christ as Savior. Rev. Ryland Rock became pastor of the church shortly after my salvation and remained in ministry there until his retirement.
I graduated from North Forsyth High School in Winston-Salem and attended Bryan College (named for William Jennings Bryan) in Dayton, Tennessee (where the famous Scopes evolution trial occurred). Following graduation from Bryan, I attended Temple Baptist Theological Seminary (a division of Tennessee Temple University) in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
With you, I can rejoice in the Lord's providence. He has allowed me to pastor churches in Tennessee, North Carolina, Kentucky, Virginia, and Indiana. For six years, I had opportunity to serve as a Salvation Army officer. In addition, I have ministered in Christian higher education serving on faculty at Bryan College, Tennessee Temple University, and Trinity College of the Bible and Theological Seminary. Presently I am Vice President for Academic Affairs at Master's International University of Divinity, Evansville, Indiana (see this link for more information: http://ims.mdivs.edu/).
Dr. Ray L. Parker