17 January 2008

Exciting Announcement

At our meeting last week, the board of directors of the National Civil War Chaplains Research Center and Museum Foundation voted unanimously to accept the nomination of Chaplain (Colonel) John Wesley Brinsfield, Jr., Retired, as a member of our board. Col. Brinsifeld is the Chaplain Corps Historian at the Army Chaplain School, Ft. Jackson, South Carolina.

We are delighted to have Colonel Brinsfield as a board member and know he will bring an added level of expertise to our efforts. He is a true scholar and brings with him quite an impressive resume. His background and experience is listed here and includes the following:

He is a native of Atlanta, Georgia, and a member of the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church. He graduated from Georgia Military Academy summa cum laude in 1962. He has a B.A. degree from Vanderbilt University, a Master of Divinity degree from Yale Divinity School, a Ph.D. in Church History from Emory University, and a D.Min. in Ethics from Drew University. From 1972-73 he held a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship at Mansfield College, Oxford, and a Leopold Schepp Fellowship at Wesley House, Cambridge.

Dr. Brinsfield served on active duty for 28 years as an Army Chaplain. He served in the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment at Fort Bliss, Texas in 1974, and then subsequently in the Republic of Turkey, West Germany, Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan and for two years in the Office of the Chief of Chaplains at the Pentagon. He taught history, ethics and world religions at the US Army Aviation School, the Army Chaplain School, in the Department of History at the United States Military Academy at West Point, and at the U.S. Army War College as Director of Ethical Program Development. During Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm he served in the Army Central Command Headquarters in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

His military awards include a Bronze Star, a Legion of Merit with one oak leaf cluster, six Meritorious Service Medals, two Army Commendation Medals, one Army Achievement Medal, and numerous service ribbons.

Chaplain Brinsfield served two tours at U.S. Army Forces Command in Atlanta, the last as Deputy FORSCOM Chaplain from 1999-2002. He is the author or co-author of seven books including Religion and Politics in Colonial South Carolina; Encouraging Faith, Supporting Soldiers: A History of the Army Chaplain Corps, 1975-1995; Faith in the Fight: Civil War Chaplains; The Spirit Divided: Memoirs of Civil War Chaplains—The Confederacy and the Union; Courageous in Spirit, Compassionate in Service: The Gunhus Years 1999-2003; and A History of the Army Chaplaincy: The Hicks Years, 2003-2007 as well as numerous articles and editorials for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the New York Times. He is a member of the Society of Mayflower Descendents in New York and the Atlanta Civil War Roundtable.

Dr. Brinsfield is married to Pat Tallon Brinsfield, formerly of Chattanooga, Tennessee, who works in the Missions Mobilization Group of the South Carolina Baptist Convention. They have three grown children, Casey, Cindee, and Ben.

The Civil War Chaplains Museum has already received a number of donations; both in monetary and artifact form, and is currently in talks with Liberty University regarding a permanent location. We hope to have definite news on that issue soon. We have a pending grant application under review and others in the works and look forward to a formal opening some time later this year.

(Providentially, I received a copy of Dr. Brinsfield's book, Civil War Chaplains; The Spirit Divided: Memoirs of Civil War Chaplains—The Confederacy yesterday to review and will be posting about in in the near future.)

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