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Chaplain James R. Taylor officially retired from his position as National Associate Director with the National Chaplain Service of the Veterans Health Administration on April 30, 2018. A retirement ceremony was held April 12 in Hampton, Virginia.

MSG News Taylor award 0718-800pxJames recently completed the course work on a Doctor of Ministry with a concentration in Church Ministry and Leadership. He will be teaching at Southeastern University in Florida while concurrently working on his DMIN. His wife, Mary, just finished her Masters of Divinity from ORU and will begin teaching at the SEU extension in Florida as well. James was selected to be awarded an Association for Clinical Pastoral Education Educator Emeritus for his work with the organization and promotion of clinical pastoral education in the Veteran’s Administration on May 9, 2018.

James began his Navy and leadership career in the nuclear powered submarine community. After 12 years he left active duty to teach in a Christian school and eventually entered seminary. During that time, he served 18 years in the Naval Reserve and retired as an E-9 Command Master Chief and Senior Enlisted Advisor. This move started as the result of a vision of Christ during a prayer group meeting in Hawaii where Christ told him to “be at peace.” Meant for James personally, the word instigated his ministry to others.

After seminary, James trained as a chaplain and chaplain educator with the ACPE. While serving as an educator at a Catholic hospital, he was promoted to Director of Pastoral Care for seven years (the first Protestant Director in the history of Daughter of Charity hospitals). Leaving the hospital, James entered ministry in the Veterans Administration.

At the VA, James used his leadership and education skills on both local and national levels and received many accolades. His position as an Associate Director with the National Chaplain Service included multiple responsibilities.

“I believe God has molded my heritage, my character, my careers, and my call to ministry into His plan and purpose for my life,” James said. “Each step along my path has led me to a new opportunity to serve Him as well as a journey of preparation for the next step along the road. I have risked doing things in my career I would never have tried to do under my own power. I have risked trusting God, prayed for His leading, and found success in His plan.”

James and Mary have three grown sons, three daughters-in-law, and three grandchildren.

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