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September 2015

Family in Focus


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Trading Gold for Silver

By Kerry Steedley


On April 2, 2015, at Fort Benning, Georgia, in the historic Infantry Center Chapel, Free Will Baptist Chaplain David Trogdon was promoted from major to Lieutenant Colonel. His wife Connie and Dr. David Crowe, executive director of North American Ministries, removed the old gold oak leaves and placed new silver oak leaves on his uniform coat. His children and grandchildren assisted in putting the new rank on his uniform shirt.

A financial advisor probably would not recommend trading gold for silver. An Olympic athlete certainly would not trade a gold medal for a silver one. But, for Chaplain Trogdon, it was an exchange to celebrate, one that produced joy, thanksgiving, and praises to God.


Family, friends, fellow chaplains, chaplain assistants, civilian employees, and members of the local community and churches gathered to celebrate this special day with David and Connie. A chaplain assistant, a true “battle buddy,” who had deployed and served in combat in Afghanistan with David, got up early and left Fort Jackson, South Carolina, at 4:00 a.m. that morning to arrive for the 11:00 a.m. ceremony. The senior chaplain at Fort Benning presided, and the senior chaplain assistant published the promotion orders.

How did this day happen? Chaplain Trogdon said it was all about the grace of God. This day reflected years of faithful service to God and country, and David was recognized for his outstanding ministry by an officially appointed promotion board. The board considered two things: past performance and future potential.

While a major, Chaplain Trogdon was requested by name and selected to serve in a lieutenant colonel position as deputy installation chaplain at Fort Benning. Free Will Baptists can be proud of this soldier-servant. He served eight years as an enlisted soldier before he was commissioned as an officer. A native of Fort Wayne, Indiana, Trogden received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Pastoral Administration and Bible from Welch College and a Master of Divinity degree from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Intelligence Center and a host of other military courses. He pastored Tippett’s Chapel FWB Church in Clayton, North Carolina, for nine years before becoming a pastor to soldiers and their families. He is a veteran of multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. He has received a host of awards and decorations, including the Purple Heart (for being injured in combat) and three Bronze Stars.

To this ambassador for Christ to the United States Army, we say congratulations on the promotion, on changing rank from gold to silver. Well done, and well deserved!

We also thank David’s wife Connie, children Joshua and Rebekah, and their four grandkids for providing loving support for Brother David as he works for the Lord.


About the writer: Kerry Steedley serves as the Director of Chaplain Support for FWB North American Ministries.


©2015 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists