SCV Chaplain-in-Chief: Welcome
Sons of Confederate Veterans Chaplains' Corps
"That in all things Christ might have the preeminence."
"I think it worth a lifetime of hardship to prepare, under God, one of our dear defenders thus to die." Confederate Chaplain J. Wm. Jones
Chaplain-in-Chief Dr. Ray L. Parker
Thank you for visiting the SCV Chaplain-in-Chief's web page. It is our desire that the information here will bring inspiration and motivation. The words of General Robert E. Lee are most appropriate: "Let us humble ourselves before our God, asking through Christ the forgivenss of our sins."
RESPONSIBILITIES OF AN SCV CAMP CHAPLAIN
By Dr. Charles Baker
1. The Chaplain should open and close all camp meetings (both regular and special) with prayer.
2. If the Camp Commander is amiable to the matter, the Chaplain may give a brief devotional at the opening of the Camp Meeting.
3. The Scripture translation generally used by the Chaplains in the Confedeate States of America was the Authorized Version, popularly known as the King James Version. This time honored translation should be given preference above all others in Confederate services.
4. Denominational distinctives should be avoided but a scriptural presentation of the Gospel of Christ should be given clearly without apology. The Confederate States of America was unashamedly a Christian nation as its leaders' statements clearly show. It is equally clear from reading the letters of the humble private.
5. The Chaplain should not be ashamed of that name which is "above every name," that of the Lord Jesus Christ. Every prayer given should be in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. (Do not let some politically correct compatriot dissuade you.) Faith in the Savior is the heart and soul of Southern heritage.
6. Do the work of a colporteur. Tracts are a means of getting the Gospel into the hands of the camp members.
7. "Study to show thyself approved." This statement in II Timothy 2:15, of course, refers to the Word of God, which should be the top priority of any Christian; however, it is useful to familiarize oneself with the history, cause, sufferings, and spiritual life of the Southern people during and after the War Between the States, and, in particular, the CSA Chaplaincy. There are numerous fine books that one may read, but there are three basic books that would be profitable for any Chaplain to read. They are CHRIST IN THE CAMP by J. William Jones, THE GREAT REVIVAL IN THE SOUTHERN ARMY by W. W. Bennett, and CHAPLAINS IN GRAY by Charles F. Pitts. We are indebted to the Rev. Mr. Lloyd T. Sprinkle that Sprinkle Publications has reprinted in good quality bindings all three of these books, two of which are by Confederate Chaplains who were on the field. (Note: click catalog link at top of page for more details).
8. The Chaplain should show a geunine interest and concern for the welfare of the men and their families.
9. Be faithful to obey your duty. One cannot do more, nor should he desire to do less. Fulfill your responsibilities, and be an example of a Christian gentlemen upon which your Camp Commander and comrades can count on as their Chaplain.
10. Pray over your men in private prayer, for their spiritual salvation, growth, and well being.
11. Be not easily discouraged but instead pray for a humble spirit, a servant's heart, a steadfast determination, and godly wisdom. Be a good soldier of the Lord Jesus Christ. Draw your strength from Him, for He cares for you.
From Chaplain's Handbook
Sons of Confederate Veterans
THE CHAPLAIN IN THE ARMY OF THE CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA
By H. Rondel Rumburg
The standard for a Confederate Chaplain was: he must be a true child of God who preaches the Gospel. Stonewall Jackson's question regarding whether one was fit to be a chaplain was, "Does he preach the gospel?"
A Confederate Chaplain was one who preached the gospel which he personally believed. The gospel was/is the good news about Jesus Christ being the only way of salvation, because of His personal substitutionay atonement (John 14:6; Acts 4:12). Faith, which is the gift of God, comes by hearing the Word of God (Rom. 10:17; Eph. 2:8-9). How can men hear without a preacher (Rom. 10:14-15)? The chaplain preached "the word of faith." "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation" (Rom. 10:9-10).
God blessed the work of the Confederate chaplains, and sent great revivals amont the armies of the Confederacy. "Jesus was in our camps with wonderful power, and that no army in all history -- not even Cromwell's 'Roundheads' -- had in it as much of real, evangelical religion and devout piety ..." (Jones, 20). There was a great uniqueness in this regard compared to other armies in the world. Being a chaplain was considered an honor and the one who was a chaplain was to be honorable.
Margaret J. Preston, whom some consider the Poetess of the Confederacy, in Beechenbrook wrote,
The Chaplain advances with reverent face,
Where lies a felled oak, he has chosen his place;
On the stump of an ash-tree the Bible he lays,
And they bow on the grass, as he solemnly prays.
The Bible is open, and stillness profound
Broods over the listeners scattered around;
And warning, and comfort, and blessing, and balm,
Distill the beautiful words of the Psalm.
Then simply and earnestly pleading, -- his face
Lit up with a persuasive and eloquent grace,
The Chaplain pours forth, from the warmth of his heart,
His words of entry and truth, ere they part.
She grants us a brief picture of the Confederate Chaplain doing his duty as a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ our Lord.
From Chaplain's Handbook
Sons of Confederate Veterans
THE CONFEDERATE CHAPLAIN IN MINISTRY DURING A FEARSOME WAR
By Mark W. Evans
Serving the Sons of Confederate Veterans as a chaplain is an immense privilege. The Chaplains' Corps of the Confederacy left a legacy inspiring the highest idelas of Christian service. For those occupying the office of chaplain, the responsibilities may seem overwhelming. The Apostle Paul asked, "Who is sufficient for these things?" (II Cor. 2:16). Utimately, the answer is found in this verse: "Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God" (II Cor. 3:5).
Confederate chaplains were predominantly men who knew by experience the forgiveness of sin through Christ's shed blood, the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, and the assurance of everlasing victory. Their sacrificial service to the Southern cause flowed from deep conviction. What they contended for was founded upon the eternal truths of the Bible. Their part in the struggle was to fortify the souls of Confederate warriors. A man right with God fears no enemy and triumphs over death itself. "As it is written, For Thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us" (Romans 8:36, 37). The South still reaps the benefits of their labors. We are charged to follow their steps.
Confederate Chaplain W. W. Bennett estimated that "nearly one hundred and fifty thousand soldiers had been converted during the progress of the war" (Jones, 390). May the Lord also grant us fruit for our labors. "Be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord; forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord" (I Cor. 15:58).