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Capt. Steve Peters Joins 185th As New Chaplain

  • Published
  • By Cpt. Kevin Heineman, PAO
  • 185ARW
The 185th Air Refueling Wing (ARW) recently introduced their newest Chaplain, Capt. Steve Peters from Ft. Dodge, Iowa. Peters enters the Iowa Air National Guard at the ripe young age of 42, but he is eager and ready to serve both the Lord and his new unit in ministry services. It has been a strange road that led Peters to his duties as Chaplain for the 185th.

"When I was 24, I had considered the Navy Chaplaincy, but with young kids at home, I did not think it was the right thing to do at the time," said Peters who was finishing his Masters of Divinity degree from Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. And so he continued on his road of ministry and in 2003 became the Pastor of Trinity United Methodist Church in Ft. Dodge, Iowa. About four years ago, Peters was approached by Chaplain Muller of the 185th to be an auxiliary chaplain for the 133rd in Ft. Dodge, Iowa. Peters accepted without reservation. As an auxiliary chaplain, Peters provided chaplain support to military members as a civilian. He respected and appreciated the military member's sacrifice to their country.

"Then about a year ago, I was reading an article about a severe shortage of Chaplains in the military. I called Chaplain Muller and asked him if the same was true for the Air Guard. When Muller said it was, I asked him how I could get signed up," said Peters. And a year later, Peters is the newest Chaplain.

Peters says it is an extreme honor to put on the uniform worn by so many great people in today's military, and hopes that putting on the uniform will help him carry out his ministry duties with the 133rd and 185th more effectively. "Putting on the uniform has already made a big difference," said Peters. "People seem to open up and be more accepting if you have something in common with them."

When asked why he wanted to join the Guard at this time in his life, Peters says he is just following Jesus' Last Command to "Go into all the world and make disciples." And what better way than to do that in the military? "The global force of the military and the fact that the military can go anywhere in the world," said Peters. "Is the reason I knew the Guard was the right fit."

"I think it is a tremendous honor to serve the military and our Lord both at the same time. I wasn't mature enough at the age of 24 to be a chaplain in the military," said Peters. "But now, with my many life experiences, I hope I am able to relate with the military members to carry out my duties. And, I hope the experience I gain from the military will add to my abilities of being a Chaplain."

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Matthew 28:19 Go into all the world and make disciples.

Rev. Stephen R. Peters, Chaplain 185th ARW, was commissioned to Captain on January 5, 2008. He is the pastor of Trinity United Methodist Church in Fort Dodge, Iowa where he has served since 2003. He is a graduate of Newton High School, Newton, Iowa; Central College, Pella, Iowa; and Candler School of Theology, Atlanta Georgia. Prior to moving to Fort Dodge, Chaplain Peters served St. Paul's United Methodist Church, Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Ankeny 1st United Methodist Church and Bedford/Gravity United Methodist churches, all in Iowa. Chaplain Peters will drill with both the 185th and the 133rd TS in Ford Dodge, Iowa, providing chaplain support at each unit.