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October-November 2021

Celebrating 100 Issues of ONE Magazine


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Chaplain's Journey

By (2 LT) Elliott J. Deilus


My journey as a chaplain candidate began in 2006 when I enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserve as a chaplain’s assistant at age 17. In 2008, at only 19, I deployed to Iraq and served alongside chaplains and other members of the Unit Ministry Team. Throughout the deployment, my chaplain and I visited units outside the wire (off the secure base) to provide religious support.

Over the years, I served under many different chaplains and learned from them in various ways. Some were true men of God I desired to emulate. Others seemed to struggle with their role as chaplains and spiritual leaders. My main takeaway from those years, however, was that I could serve God in the chaplain role, if it was His calling for me. After completing nine years in the Army Reserve, I concluded my contract, was honorably discharged, and turned my focus to a career in law enforcement.

After my wife and I married, we both felt a strong conviction from the Lord that He wanted more from us. We attended church faithfully, had Bible study together, paid tithes, and gave to missions. But overall, we lived the typical American lifestyle with a nice home, plenty of money, and eating out whenever we wanted.

During our daily Bible studies, my wife and I read passages of Scripture and wrote what we learned from those passages in our journals. Then we shared with each other and discussed what God had placed on our hearts. God repeatedly put missions and ministry on our hearts, and we began to seek ways to serve Him in that capacity.

In 2016, God led us to Good News FWB Church in Chesterfield, Virginia, where Pastor Glen Johnson trained and molded me to be a better servant of Christ. He provided multiple opportunities for me to preach and encouraged me to participate in outreach. He also gave me the position of missions director, where I acted as a liaison between our church and missionaries. In 2019, I left the police force, and my wife and I moved to Ecuador to serve as missionary teachers in an international Christian school. During this time, God continued to train me to serve Him as I taught middle school and high school Bible classes to international students. While in Ecuador, God placed a U.S. Air Force officer in our path. That interaction once again stirred my heart towards the U.S. Army.

God blessed us with two children while in Ecuador. He took the first home with Him in March 2020 and allowed us to keep our second. In the early stages of the pregnancy, my wife and I began praying about how we would provide for this special gift from God. We had prayed for children for six years, and desired my wife stay home to raise our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Once again, God placed the U.S. Army on my heart, and my wife and I prayed earnestly about the possibility of the chaplaincy. After much prayer, research, and contacting chaplains, we reached a peace that this was God’s direction.

We returned to the States in early 2021 due to medical complications with my wife’s pregnancy, and God allowed me to use that time to complete the requirements necessary to become a chaplain candidate. I was ordained while on furlough in December 2020 and was administered the oath of office at Good News FWB Church by a close friend, a retired colonel in the U.S. Army, February 28, 2021. I am currently assigned to a military intelligence unit as a second lieutenant where I am being supervised by a God-fearing chaplain who loves God and soldiers.

My journey is not over, but today, I have a clear mission before me. I look forward to seeing where God continues to take me on this chaplain’s journey.

About the Author: Elliott J. Deilus (2 LT) is the newest member of the Free Will Baptist chaplains sponsored by North American Ministries. Learn more:


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