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On February 6-9, Clearwater Christian College served as host for the annual meeting of the Associated Gospel Churches (AGC). AGC started in 1939 by Dr. W.O.H. Garmin as an endorsing agent for men who wish to serve as a chaplain in the United State Armed Forces. Today, while they continue their ministry with the military, AGC has also expanded to endorsing men who serve in our federal and state penitentiaries, as well as police and fire districts. Presently, there are over 160 chaplains serving under the auspices of the AGC.

Nearly 60 chaplains serving throughout the United States and in countries such as Costa Rica and Germany came together on our campus for this year’s event. Dr. Carl Martin, CCC Bible professor, brought three messages to attendees from the book of Jeremiah comparing the prophet’s ministry in pre-exile Judah with the role chaplains are facing in our nation and military today. A representative with the Alliance Defense Fund gave a presentation entitled ‘Ministering Wisely on Mars Hill’ where chaplains were admonished to be ‘wise as serpents but harmless as doves’ in their quest to present Christ in a growing hostile political environment. In addition to the preaching services, Dr. Martin and Dr. McEntire, CCC business faculty and retired USAF officer, joined other AGC members on a panel discussing specific issues of religious liberties in the workplace.

Dr. Carl Martin speaks to chaplains.
Miss Josi Martin, daughter of Dr. Carl Martin and 2010 general studies graduate, said, “The Chaplain Conference was a blessing in many ways; I met chaplains that are surrendered to the Lord and were serious about sharing His love with our soldiers around the globe. It was refreshing to know that they're human and enjoy having a good time, but also enjoy sharing how the Lord led them to be part of the AGC. I was particularly encouraged by the messages brought by Dr. Martin on Jeremiah. They were timely reminders of God's faithfulness to Jeremiah as Israel rebelled and turned against God, similar to what we face in present-day America. The encouragement to press on in the face of opposition was especially timely as I live overseas and also face a number of challenges with my area of work. I know many chaplains were also encouraged and have been refreshed by the ministry of the Word.   One man commented that the final message preached by Dr. Martin was the most spot-on message he's ever heard at an AGC conference for what they face.   Many other chaplains mentioned how encouraged they were by the messages and how they enjoyed getting to know the Clearwater Family.”

During breaks and over meals, AGC members were able to fellowship with fellow chaplains and encourage one another in the things of the Lord. Many of the chaplains broke from their activities to give presentations in CCC classrooms or to meet with ROTC cadets. The week ended with a banquet in the CCC dining hall where our music department provided a selection of patriotic and religious songs and a tribute to outgoing AGC President Dr. Billy Baugham and his wife Eva.