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Chaplain Says He Baptized More Than 150 U.S. Soldiers During Basic Training

Southern Baptist Convention-associated chaplain Logan Lair said he’d baptized more than 150 U.S. soldiers at Fort Leonard Wood between July and August, 2023.

“Trainees, typically from my perspective, have been pretty hungry to learn about spirituality and their spiritual strength,” Lair told the Baptist Press. “It’s great to see their spiritual strength grow through basic training. It’s an amazing blessing for me as a chaplain to be able to see where those trainees have come from and then to see where they are going. I get excited every baptism Sunday. … It’s such a joy to see.”

Lair said the high-pressure environment of joining the military following high school graduation is common. The experience often promotes a spiritual awakening in young recruits. (LEARN MORE: Revival At Texas University Shows ‘No Signs Of Slowing Down’)

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“It goes without saying, basic training is stressful,” Lair noted. “[A trainee] graduates high school, maybe a day or two later gets on a bus to go an army base. As soon as they get off the bus, they’re immediately encountering drill sergeants, army structure and discipline, and it doesn’t stop for a couple weeks. That’s inevitably a stressful situation for them.”

“The Chaplain plays a great role in all of that because we create a safe place for a trainee to process and vent. As a Chaplain I get a lot of tears, in fact I carry tissues on my uniform and usually go through about a pack a day. Many times, those conversations are spiritual conversations, and we’re able to talk about that spirituality piece,” he noted.

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