The Forum on the Military Chaplaincy seeks to provide resources and advocacy for a military chaplaincy which is committed to and expressive of the sacred values of personal integrity, selfless compassion, respect for others, and excellence in leadership. As patriots, we support the Chiefs of Chaplains in their constitutional duty to secure the free exercise of religion for all of America’s service members, to achieve denominational balance and symmetry within the Chaplain Corps consistent with national demographics, to provide an inclusive, socially and spiritually responsive program of training and education, and to extend a welcome and affirming presence to the troops and military families they are called to serve.
Co-Chairs of the Forum:
Chaplain Paul W. Dodd, Col (Ret), U.S. Army
Tom Carpenter, Esq., Capt, USMC(1970-1982)
Click here to contact the leadership team
See full bios for the leadership team and other members below:
Last update October 2012
Mike Almy, Major, U.S. Air Force – Mr. Almy is currently an associate in Booz Allen Hamilton’s central Maryland office. He is serving on a team that provides systems engineering support to the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA). As a member of the SLDN (Service Members Legal Defense Network), Mr. Almy was instrumental in the effort to repeal the law known as Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. He served as both a consultant and spokesperson, testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee about his career in the military serving under DADT. He contributed to strategy sessions to successfully move repeal legislation through Congress. He also spoke at several press conferences in the US House of Representatives and Senate. Mr. Almy also spoke at several outreach and grass roots events at colleges and universities and was a key witness testifying in a Federal trial that declared DADT unconstitutional. Military experience: 1993-2006; Mr. Almy was a distinguished graduate of Air Force ROTC. He has served in numerous leadership positions during his military career, with deployments to Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Chaplain (1LT) Chris Antal, USAR – The Rev. Chris J. Antal is a Unitarian Universalist Minister currently serving on Active Duty as an Army chaplain in Afghanistan. He resides in the Hudson Valley of New York with his wife Mitsuko and their five children. In addition to his involvement with the Forum, Rev. Antal presented at the first Annual Outserve Conference in Nevada and Chaplain Antal performed the invocation at the first annual Knights Out dinner at the United States Military Academy.
Chaplain Ronald C. (Ron) Anderson (Colonel), U.S. Army National Guard (Ret). Chaplain Anderson was born in Austin, Texas in 1941. His family moved to the Lower Rio Grande Valley in 1949 where he attended Sebastian Elementary School in Willacy County. He attended St. John’s Seminary (High School), Assumption Seminary in San Antonio and was assigned to the North American College in Rome (Italy) for graduate studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University. e was ordained on July 10, 1966 in Rome. Following ten years in parish and diocesan ministry in the Diocese of Brownsville (Texas), he was appointed to a four year term as Associate General Secretary for the United States Catholic Conference, now the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Washington, D.C. Subsequently, Chaplain Anderson served four years as Director for Policy and Planning for Catholic Relief Services (CRS) the U.S. Catholic overseas aid agency. He retired from military service in 1994 as Division Chaplain, 49th Armored Division, Texas Army National Guard, after twenty five years service in the Texas and District of Columbia U.S. Army National Guard. In January 2008, he retired from Housing and Community Services, Inc., a South Texas nonprofit, low-income housing developer, where he served as as it’s Executive Director. He now lives part-time in San Antonio, Texas and on his ranch outside San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
Chaplain (COL) J. Frederick Barber, USAF – Born in Portsmouth Virginia, August 29, 1944. Graduated from Frederick Military Academy, 1962. Graduated with BA, Atlantic Christian College (Now Barton College), 1966. Graduated Vanderbilt Divinity School, MDiv, 1969, D.Min. 1971. Married to Judith Schweitzer August 20, 1967 with two daughters: Elizabeth and Catherine and two granddaughters. Ordained as Minister, Disciples of Christ, 1969; Senior Minister: Lakeside Christian Church, 1970-1975;Ordained Deacon and Priest in Episcopal Church in 1975 (Deacon: July 6; Priest Nov. 8) Curate: Page County Episcopal Ministry, Luray VA. 1975-1977, Rector: ST. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Colonial Beach VA. 1977-1980, Rector: Christ Church, Lockport, NY. 1980-1989, Rector: Church of the Advent, Buffalo, NY, 1989-1999, Rector: Trinity Episcopal Church, Fort Worth, TX. 1999-2011, Retired from full time Episcopal Ministry, January 1, 2012, Military: Commissioned 1st Lt., February, 1983, Senior Chaplain, Niagara Falls Air Reserve Base, 1983-1996, Staff Chaplain, HQ-Air Force Reserve Command, Robins AFB, 1996-1998, Staff Chaplain, HQ-10th Air Force, NAS Fort Worth, 1998-1992, Command Chaplain, HQ-10 Air Force, NAS Fort Worth, 1992-1994, Retired, August 29, 2004 at age 60, Brite Divinity School, Theological Reflection Group leader, 2002-2012, Brite Divinity School, Director of Episcopal Studies, 2009-2012, Brite Divinity School, Director of Field Education & Supervised Ministry, 2011-1012 (One year, Director on Sabbatical), Standing Committee, Diocese of Western New York, Diocese of Fort Worth, Ecumenical Officer, Diocese of Western New York, Diocese of Fort Worth, Board of Trustees, Diocese of Western New York, Retired living in Fort Worth Texas.
Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, 2010 Graduate, Harvard Divinity School. Ms Beach-Ferrara is a 2010 graduate of Harvard Divinity School, where she focused her studies on chaplaincy and community organizing. A graduate of Brown University, she also holds a Master of Fine Arts from the Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. She is the director of The Progressive Project, a grassroots group that engages people in political action to achieve LGBTQ equality and that develops innovations in community organizing. She is also a recipient of a 2010 Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Her writing about LGBTQ politics and culture appeared in The Democratic Strategist, The Advocate, and Alternet.org. Her fiction has appeared in American Short Fiction and The Harvard Review among other publications. She is currently seeking ordination in the United Church of Christ.
Rev. Dr. Larry Bethune, Senior Pastor, University Baptist Church, Austin, TX. Rev. Dr. Bethune has been pastor of Austin’s University Baptist Church since 1987. He is also the Immediate past President of the American Baptist Churches of the South and former president of its Ministers Council. Raised in the Houston area, he earned a B.A. in Greek and Religion from Baylor University, M.Div. in communication and teaching from Princeton Theological Seminary, and Ph.D. in Old and New Testament Theology, also from Princeton. Dr. Bethune has taught Hebrew, Religion, and Bible at Princeton, Baylor and Southwestern University, and has served as adjunct faculty in New Testament and Homiletics at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Ordained in 1973, he has pastored churches in Texas, New York and New Jersey. His wife, the Rev. Gina Bethune, is the Director of Chaplain Services and Director of the Clinical Pastoral Education Program for the Seton Family of Hospitals in Austin. They have three children: Kara, Zachary and Andrew.
Rev. Dr. Sandra Bochonok, Assc/LSSC. Writer, contemplative evangelist and spiritual activist, ecumenical retreat leader, labyrinth facilitator, former nurse and former Navy Chaplain, the Rev. Dr. Sandra Bochonok is founding pastor of http://soulfoodministry.org, a multilingual international internet ministry of the Metropolitan Community Church of Washington, D.C. Originally ordained in the Evangelical Covenant Church of America, she transferred clergy credentials into the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches in 1996. Rev. Dr. Bochonok lives in Western Washington where she serves locally as president of the Bremerton Ministerial Association and is an associate member of the Little Sisters of Saint Clare. Her daily devotional, Living as the Beloved: One Day At A Time, is available at www.ChiRhoPress.com.
Chaplain (CPT) Russ Boyd, USAR – Bio pending
Chaplain Stephen B. Boyd, (Colonel), U.S. Army Reserve (Ret). Chaplain Boyd served over thirty years in the California Army National Guard and the Army Reserves as a Signal Officer, Medical Officer and as a chaplain. He retired with the rank of Colonel in June of 2011. During those years he served as the Unit Commander of the 143rd Combat Support Hospital, 40th Infantry Division Support Command Chaplain and Division Artillery Chaplain and the Installation Chaplain Camp As Sayliyah, Qatar in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. His final assignment, prior to retirement, was with the Army Chief of Chaplains Office at the Pentagon in support of the Army Reserve Chaplain Candidate Program. In addition to his military service, Rev. Boyd served local churches in the Southern California Nevada Conference of the United Church of Christ for over twenty three years. In August of 2011, he was appointed as the Ecclesiastical Endorser for the United Church of Christ.
Andrew Brooks, Esq. Mr. Brooks has supported equal military service since at least 1993, first through the Campaign for Military Service, and later through SLDN. In his civilian career he is a corporate and securities lawyer. He is a Major in the JAG Corps of the California State Military Reserve (CSMR) where he works closely with the California Army National Guard. The CSMR is a state defense force authorized under Federal and California law. Together with the California Army National Guard and California Air National Guard, the CSMR is part of the Military Department of the State of California. As a commissioned state officer he is subject to California’s non-discrimination law for state employees. He is an active lay member in The Episcopal Church, since 1998 at St. Paul’s Cathedral, San Diego. He is a graduate of the University of California (Berkeley), A.B. Economics (1983), and The Gould School of Law at the University of Southern California, J.D. (1986). He is licensed as an attorney in California and the District of Columbia (inactive), and as a solicitor (inactive) in England and Wales.
Rev. Dr. Lea Brown, Senior Pastor, MCC of the Palm Beaches. Rev. Dr. Lea D. Brown will begin serving MCC of the Palm Beaches in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida in March of 2011. She has also served as the senior minister of the Metropolitan Community Church of San Francisco (MCCSF) and as the senior pastor of Wichita Falls MCC in Texas. Before that, she was the acting executive director of the Metropolitan Community Foundation in San Francisco. In addition to leading the foundation, Rev. Brown served as volunteer clergy at MCCSF following her ordination there in 1996. During that time, she preached, led retreats, served as the pastor of spiritual development, and taught many classes and programs on spiritual growth, and the intersections of gender, sexuality and spirituality, and social justice. Throughout the 1990s, Rev. Brown was a staff member at the Spectrum Center for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Concerns in Marin County, just north of San Francisco. As the program director there, she developed and coordinated an extensive Speakers’ Bureau and numerous community programs for LGBT youth, young adults, seniors and families. During her years in seminary, Brown served as a Chaplain Candidate (2nd Lieutenant) in the U.S. Army from 1988 to 1989. Rev. Brown received her education from Oklahoma Baptist University, Shawnee, Oklahoma; Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, Mill Valley, California; Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley, California; and the Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, MA.
Chaplain Charles D. Camp (Colonel), U.S. Army (Ret). Chaplain Dennis Camp served on active duty for twenty-six years, retiring in 1996. His military education includes, but is not limited to, Chaplains Officer Basic and Advance Courses, Combined Armed Services Staff School, Armed Forces Staff College, and the resident course of the Army War College. During his career, his culminating assignments were: Division Chaplain-First Cavalry Division (Desert Storm), Fifth Army Staff Chaplain, and the Director of Personnel and Ecclesiastical Relations in the U.S. Army Chief of Chaplains Office (The Pentagon). Other assignments included five overseas tours (one combat). His awards include the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal (3 Oak Leaf Clusters), the Army Parachutist Badge, the Air Assault Badge and the Jungle Expert Award. Chaplain Camp is a graduate of Texas Wesleyan University (B.A. English and History) and Southern Methodist University (Master of Divinity – Theology and Pastoral Care). He also did resident Doctor of Ministry studies at Texas Christian University’s Brite Divinity School. Chaplain Camp owns and operates an active cattle ranch in Central Texas.
Chaplain Bob Campbell (Colonel), U.S. Army (Ret). Chaplain Campbell was ordained in 1955, and served twelve years in civilian pastorates in Kentucky and Illinois. Key military assignments have included the Command Chaplain, United States Army Europe, and Command Chaplain of the Army’s Health Services Command, for a total of twenty seven years as a military chaplain. Later, he served five years with Veterans Affairs and hospice, and is now in his seventh year of active retirement. Chaplain Campbell and spouse Renie are the parents of four children, two of whom are in full-time vocational ministry. They reside in Austin, TX. where they are members of the First Baptist Church, and where they are actively involved with church and community.
Tom Carpenter, Esq., (CAPT USMC 1970-1982) and SLDN Board Member. TomCarpenter is a distinguished military graduate of the class of 1970 of the U.S. Naval Academy. He received a regular commission in the United States Marine Corps. After completing infantry training at The Basic School in 1971, he was assigned to the Naval Aviation Training Command and later designated a Naval Aviator. While on active duty he accumulated over 2500 hours in the A-4 Skyhawk. Carpenter resigned his commission in 1976, at the rank of Captain and later joined the Marine Reserves. From 1978 through 1983, Tom was a pilot for Continental Airlines, flying the Boeing 727. While flying for Continental, Tom attended Golden Gate University School of Law in San Francisco. Graduating in 1980, he moved to Los Angeles where he joined the firm of Kern and Wooley. In 1986 he made a lateral move and became a member of Bronson, Bronson and McKinnon, LLP. At Bronson he was a member of the Los Angeles office management committee and headed the Products Liability Group. He has been lead counsel on numerous civil jury trials representing both defendants and plaintiffs. In 2005, after twenty-five years of practice, Carpenter retired as a partner from the law firm of Shaw, Terhar and La Montagne, LLP where he was a trial lawyer specializing in Aviation litigation, products liability, entertainment and commercial litigation. He is a member of the Bars of California and Colorado, and a Judge Pro Tem of the Los Angeles Superior Court. In 2008, Tom became a principal in a strategic consulting firm, Conegy Advisors, which provides assistance to companies wanting to conduct business with California governmental agencies. Tom has served on the board of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network since 1995. He was co-chair of the board from 1998 through 2005. When he was termed out in 2008, he was asked to join the Military Advisory Council of SLDN. He was re-elected to the Board in 2009 and serves on the Legislative and Communications committees. In 2009, Tom organized an Ad Hoc group now known as the Military Outreach Committee (MOC). This group is made up of over 70 veterans representing all the services. The MOC is presently assisting the Pentagon Comprehensive Review Working Group in formulating the implementation plan to be presented to the Secretary of Defense on December 1, 2010. Tom is an Elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and lives in Los Angeles with his spouse of 18 years, Art Andrade.
Julian C.L. Chang, Esq., is principal of his own consulting firm with expertise in telecommunications issues, competitive business policies, operational and sales-support issues, compliance matters, and strategic and tactical advocacy and issue campaigns. Formerly Legislative Affairs Vice President at AT&T, he is a recognized national expert on cutting-edge technology issues, including digital and advanced communication services, cable and video policy, broadband deployment, wireless broadband and telecommunications architecture interconnection. A champion of diversity and inclusion at all levels of society, Chang also currently serves on the board of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund and has also served on the boards of the University of California at Irvine Foundation, Equality California, Asian Pacific American Association for Advancement, Inc., the San Francisco LGBT Community Center, and the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. A member of the California and Hawaii state Bars, Chang earned his J.D. from the University of San Diego School of Law where he was a Dean Joseph S. Brock scholar, and Tournaments Director of the Appellate Moot Court Board. Chang received his B.S. in Biochemistry and History from Pacific Union College.
1LT Dan Choi, NY Army National Guard. First Lieutenant Choi is a 2003 graduate of the US Military Academy, where he majored in Arabic Language and Environmental Engineering. He is a combat veteran of the Iraq War. Dan serves in the New York Army National Guard as an infantry platoon leader, a job that allows him to lead soldiers on the ground level and fully utilize his combat training and experience. He says, “I hope to stay a first lieutenant my whole life, to be a platoon leader!” While at West Point, Dan volunteered as a leader in the Cadet Chapel Choir and the Officers’ Christian Fellowship. He resides in New York City, and is a founding member and spokesperson for Knights Out, an organization of West Point Alumni, Staff and Faculty who are united in supporting the rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender soldiers to openly serve their country. On the web at: http://www.ltdanchoi.com/
Commander Beth F. Coye, United States Navy (Ret). Commander Coye’s academic background includes a B.A. in Political Science (Wellesley College), an M.A. in International Relations (American University), and a Certificate in Naval Warfare (Naval War College). She has taught at several colleges and universities, including the Naval War College, Newport, RI; Mesa College, San Diego, CA; San Diego State College, and the University of San Diego. Her academic fields include American Government, International Relations, Women’s Studies and Human Resource Management. She served twenty-one years as a U.S. Navy line officer, and her tours included three tours in Intelligence, and Commanding Officer. She was one of the Navy’s first women commanding officers. Commander Coye has published several articles included in the Naval War College Review, and the Naval Institute’s Proceedings. Since her Navy retirement, she has served on numerous boards, including Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), and has been an active leader in the Rogue Valley Unitarian Universalist Church, where she is Past President and currently Chair of the Council of Ministries. Commander Coye is the publisher and overall editor and creator of My Navy Too, Cedar Hollow Press, 1998, which addresses issues related to minorities in the military. She currently serves with the Forum on the Military Chaplaincy, and is Editor of the Military Outreach Committee’s “We Are Family Too”, 2010 ( http://tinyurl.com/2579qag ). Commander Coye has been featured in military.com, and her most recent Op Ed, titled “It’s About Integrity, Stupid! Time for Senator McCain to Support Ending the Military’s ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ Policy”, has been published widely throughout the United States.
Commander Coye resides in Ashland, Oregon with Esther Bell, her longtime companion of over thirty years.
Mr. Jimmy Creech, Board Member and Former Executive Director, Faith in America. Mr. Jimmy Creech was an ordained elder in The United Methodist Church from 1970 to 1999. In July of 1996, Mr. Creech was appointed Senior Pastor of First United Methodist Church in Omaha, Nebraska. In March of 1998, he was acquitted in a church trial of a charge of violating the Order and Discipline of the United Methodist Church when he celebrated a covenant ceremony for two women in September of 1997. In April of 1999, Mr. Creech celebrated the holy union of two men in Chapel Hill, NC. New charges were brought against him and a second church trial was held in Grand Island, Nebraska, on November 17, 1999. The jury declared Mr. Creech guilty of “disobedience to the Order and Discipline of The United Methodist Church” and withdrew his credentials of ordination. From 2000 to 2005, Mr. Creech was Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Soulforce, Inc., an inter-religious movement using the principles of nonviolent resistance, taught and practiced by Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr., to confront the spiritual violence perpetrated against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons by religious institutions. From December 2005 through November 2007, Mr. Creech was the Executive Director of Faith In America, Inc. (www.faithinamerica.com), an organization dedicated to end bigotry disguised as religious truth and in doing so, ensure full and equal civil rights for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in America. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master of Divinity from The Divinity School of Duke University. Mr. Creech frequently preaches in churches and speaks on college and university campuses, as well as to various community and national organizations, advocating for full and equal human and civil rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens.
Chaplain Michael Curd (Major), U.S. Army (Ret). Chaplain Curd retired as Deputy Staff Chaplain of Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio after a distinguished career in healthcare chaplaincy. He has been an ordained minister with the United Methodist Church for thirty-five years, and was Vice President for Pastoral Care Services at the Methodist Healthcare System in San Antonio. He is Founder and Director of the Institute of Pastoral Care in San Antonio, a licensed psychotherapist with credentials in Marriage and Family Therapy. As a trauma specialist, Dr. Curd provided “Decompression Training” and re-integration services to soldiers returning from Iraq at Fort Lee, Virginia. Under the auspices of the Institute of Pastoral Care, he continues to serve as a consultant to churches in conflict, as well as the U.S. Army Medical Department. He is published in the areas of ministry to burn patients, trauma resolution, Unit Ministry Team Training and weekly pastoral email letters to healthcare employees. Presently, Dr. Curd serves as pastor of the United Methodist Church in Milford, Nebraska.
CAPT Jon Cutler, Chaplain Corps, U.S. Navy, Rabbi. Chaplain Cutler earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts from Temple University in Religious Studies in 1979 and 1981. He earned a Master of Hebrew Letters and ordination as a Rabbi in 1987 from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, Wyncote, PA. In 1996, he earned his Doctor of Ministry from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion, New York City. He served as a congregational rabbi from 1993-99, Congregation Bet Tikva, Flemington, NJ and from 1999-2007 he served as the rabbi of Congregation Tiferes B’nai Israel, Warrington, PA. Presently, he serves a congregation, Darkaynu, in Bucks County, PA.. He also served as Adjunct Professor in 1998-2010 at Holy Family University, Gratz College, and Philadelphia University. He is a full time Hospice Chaplain at the Abramson Center in Horsham, PA. He was commissioned an Ensign in the US Naval Reserves in 1985. CDR Cutler superseded as a Chaplain in 1987. He immediately went on Active Duty and served 1987-89 at the US Naval Station, Subic Bay, PI as the Jewish chaplain for all armed forces in the Western Pacific and US Seventh Fleet. Other Active duty stations from 1989-1992 included Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, NC; 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, Operation Desert Storm, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait; Marine Corps Base, Camp Butler, Japan. After serving on Active Duty, Chaplain Cutler served in the Navy Reserve from 1992-2011. His Navy Reserve duty stations included: Willow Grove Naval Air Station, Willow Grove, PA; CVN Northeast (Chaplain), Willow Grove; Pentagon (September 2001 – served and ministered to military and civilian personnel); Sea Logistics Command, Europe, Adelphi, MD; NR Southeast, Jacksonville, FL; MEFREL 713, Great Lakes, IL. ; Mobilized to Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2008 and served 13 months in Al Anbar Province, Iraq as 3rd Marine Air Wing Chaplain; Voluntary Training Unit, Lehigh, PA.; and mobilized to Combined Joint Task Force, Horn of Africa, as Force Chaplain.
Chaplain Don Davidson (Colonel), U.S. Army (Ret). Chaplain Davidson has served as Ethics Instructor, the United States Army Way College, Director, Armed Forces Chaplains Board for the Department of Defense, and Professor at Howard Payne University and East Texas Baptist University. He holds the BA degree from Texas A & M University, the Th.M. from Harvard University Divinity School, and the Ph.D. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Chaplain Davidson is the father of two daughters and one son, Creighton, who is serving with the Army in Afghanistan.
Edith A. Disler, PhD, Lt Col (Ret), is a 25 year veteran of the Air Force who served as an ICBM crewmember, an Executive Support Officer to the Secretary of Defense, a conventional arms control inspector, a speechwriter, and USAFA faculty professor. She is a communication consultant as well as a scholar in the field of sociolinguistics and the author of Language and Gender in the Military: Honorifics, Narrative, and Ideology in Air Force Talk from Cambria Press.
Chaplain Paul W. Dodd (Colonel), U.S. Army (Ret). Chaplain Dodd served twenty-one years on active duty, and ten years in the Army Reserve and National Guard. Active duty military assignments include the Division Support Command Chaplain, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Area II Support Activity Staff Chaplain, Camp Page, Republic of Korea, Deputy Post Chaplain and Senior Protestant Pastor, Fort Myer, Military District of Washington D.C., Chief, Department of Ministry and Pastoral Care (DMPC),130th Station Hospital, Heidelberg, Germany, Deputy Chief, DMPC, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Chief, DMPC, Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, TX., and Command Chaplain, U.S. Army Medical Command in San Antonio. He is a graduate of the Chaplain Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, the Combined Arms and Services Staff School, the Command and General Staff College, and a Residency in Clinical Pastoral Education at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Among his decorations are six Meritorious Service Medals and the Legion of Merit. His civilian education includes the B.A., Ouachita Baptist University, M.Div. and M.A., Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and the D.Min. in Pastoral Counseling and Psychotherapy from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. He is a Licensed Professional Counselor, a Fellow in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors, and a Clinical Member of the American Counseling Association. He serves on the Military Advisory Council for the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), the Religion and Faith Council of the Human Rights Campaign, and is a Co-Chair and Founder of the Forum on the Military Chaplaincy. Currently, Chaplain Dodd has a private practice in Pastoral Counseling and Psychotherapy in Austin, TX. He is the father of two daughters and three grandchildren.
Johnna L. Faber, Esq. Ms Faber served on active duty with the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General Corps from 1982 through 1988, after having graduated from Law School at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. In addition to the Juris Doctorate, she holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology, and a Master of Arts in Counseling. Ms Faber served as Senior Commissioner for the Navy/Marine Corps’ Court of Military Review, and Command Judge Advocate for the Navy Security Group Activity, and Area Commands at Misawa Air Base, Misawa, Japan. She practiced law in the San Diego County Juvenile Dependency System for almost ten years, and then prosecuted Child Abuse/Termination of Parental Rights cases for the District of Columbia for seven years. She was an Associate Trial Litigator for Bowles, Rice, Mc David, Graff and Love in Martinsburg West Virginia for over two years. Currently, she is licensed to practice law in: West Virginia, California, Washington DC, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. In the Fall of 2008, Ms Faber began full-time study toward a Master of Divinity degree at Lancaster Theological Seminary, Lancaster PA. She holds “In-Care” status with the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC). She resides in Lancaster, Pennsylvania with her partner of nine years.
Ms Andrea Ferguson – Bio pending
Richard (Dick) and Jimmie Sue Francis. After an initial one year Navy ROTC Scholarship at the University of Texas, Dick spent the next five years in the U.S. Navy Reserve. After marrying his childhood sweetheart, Jimmie Sue, the couple has invested over forty-seven years of married life raising their two children, Riely and Anne — the apples of their eyes, and working for American social justice and fundamental human rights. Riely, their 43-year old gay son, now a free-lance musician living in Austin, was Assistant Principle Percussionist with the Honolulu Symphony for 13 years prior to that organization filing for bankruptcy in late 2009. He is Percussionist with the Grand Teton Music Festival Symphony each summer in Jackson Hole, WY, and currently is playing contract jobs with the San Antonio Symphony, The Midland Symphony, and is Principle Percussionist with the Mid-Texas Symphony. Anne, who lives in Seattle, runs her own consulting business, currently contracted as the acting West Coast General Manager for Broadway Across America, a national organization committed to “sharing the magic” of live musical theater. Jimmie Sue, a protégé of Governor Ann Richards who was her 7th grade social studies teacher, is a 1965 graduate of the University of Texas, with a B.S. in elementary education. An avid tennis player and breast cancer survivor, Jimmie Sue has long been instrumental in the fight against breast cancer. Dick also graduated from the University of Texas with a B.A. in Math, and later earned his M.B.A. from the University of Texas. His career in financial management spanned thirty-two years with Exxon. Retiring in 1999, Dick finished his 32+ year career in his final 6 years as Controller and Assistant Treasurer for Sea River Maritime, Inc., Exxon’s domestic shipping affiliate. Jimmie Sue and Dick were actively involved in the statewide campaign against passage of Amendment 2, the “Texas Marriage Amendment.” Jimmie Sue and Dick attend the First United Methodist Church of Austin.
Brenda S. “Sue” Fulton, Executive Director of Knights Out. Former Army Captain and 1980 West Point graduate, Sue Fulton was part of the first class to admit women. In 2009, she became a Founding Board member of Knights Out, an organization of LGBT West Point grads and their allies. She is also a Founding Board member and Communications Director of OutServe, the Underground Network of active-duty gay and lesbian service members. A Florida native, Fulton was commissioned in the Army Signal Corps and served for five years in Germany. She commanded a Military Intelligence company before leaving the Army at the rank of Captain. Upon returning to the States, Fulton began a career in brand management. In 1993, she became active with the Campaign for Military Service, later SLDN, and has devoted her free time in support of gays in the military since then. Fulton was most recently a brand director at a pharmaceutical company and lives in North Plainfield, NJ, with her partner Penny Gnesin. Fulton has guest-blogged for the Washington Post; NPR’s The Takeaway; and Lez Get Real, among others. She has been featured on numerous radio programs, including NPR’s The Takeaway and Sirius’s The Bill Press Show. She has debated “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” with retired Major General Hugh Overholt (at Penn State’s Dickinson Law School) and U. Penn’s Professor Amy Wax (at St. John’s Law School), and was part of a story on gay athletes at West Point on ESPN’s Outside the Lines. In July, 2011, President Obama appointed Fulton as the first openly gay member of the Board of Visitors for the U.S. Military Academy.
Dr. Susan Gore, Ph.D., Executive Director, The Mentor Group. Dr. Gore is an educator/activist whose commitment to social justice became clear when she wrote the Board of Directors of the Soap Box Derby in 1961, asking them to allow girls like her to compete. They declined to do so until 1972. Growing up, Susan also wanted to be “a psychologist in the WAVES.” In college, she changed course due to heterosexist stereotypes of WAVES she had internalized. Susan gained exposure to the military through marriage and, after her divorce, by teaching military personnel for the University of Maryland-European Division. By the age of 30, Susan had worked in television, earned her Ph.D. in psychology, taught in the United States and Europe and become Executive Director of the National Women’s Studies Association. She transferred the same energy into corporate marketing for two Fortune 500 firms, in addition to opening the Washington, DC office of a socially responsible money fund. In 1991, Susan established The Mentor Group, specializing in strategic leadership development, diversity and inclusion, and mentoring. Clients range from international organizations such as AT&T and US government agencies (Coast Guard, IRS, USPO) to faith-based organizations (Baylor Hospital, Unitarian Universalist Association) and non-profits (Society for Human Resource Management, PFLAG). Susan received her B.S. from Florida State University and her Ph.D. in social psychology from Vanderbilt University. She has written on a variety of topics, most recently Generational Differences in the Workplace: Collaboration or Conflict? (2009) and Cultural Detective: An International LGBT Curriculum (2010). In 2008, Susan co-produced a DVD entitled How to BE With Someone Who Is Dying. She is currently working on two books, an edited collection with Reverend Keith Kron, Voices of LGBTQ Unitarian Universalists, and a guide to SANE© dialogue, Gays God and the Workplace: Not Mutually Exclusive. Susan is a founding or charter member of seven (7) non-profit organizations and has served as an openly lesbian member on the board of the Dallas Women’s Foundation, Leadership Texas Alumnae Association, and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. She is a member of First Unitarian Church of Dallas and a charter member of Celebration on the Lake Church, an interfaith welcoming congregation in Gun Barrel City, Texas. In September 2008, Susan and her partner of 19 years, Dr. Ann Wigodsky, were married in California and remain among the 18,000 same-sex couples who are recognized there as legally wed. Susan and Ann split their time between Dallas and Cedar Creek Lake in East Texas.
Dr. Sharon Groves, Ph.D., Deputy Director, Religion and Faith Program, Human Rights Campaign. Dr. Groves joined the Religion and Faith staff of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) in September 2005. Her impressive academic and organizational skills have proved invaluable, along with her years of experience editing, writing, and managing print and online publications. She has overseen the creation of numerous new resources, including a weekly preaching resource, a guide to living openly in your place of worship, a curriculum that follows the movie For the Bible Tells Me So, and another that helps congregations wrestle with issues of gender identity within their faith communities. She has published a number of articles on such topics as religion and marriage equality, the importance of religious advocacy within the LGBTQ movement, and the struggle for equality within world religions. Dr. Groves previously served as managing editor for Feminist Studies, an interdisciplinary scholarly journal housed at the University of Maryland, where she also taught courses in English literature, literature and social change, and women’s studies. She is a lay leader at All Souls Church, Unitarian, where she has chaired the Committee on Ministry and worked extensively on issues of racial justice, community voting rights and neighborhood outreach. She received her Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Maryland in 2000 and since then has engaged in extensive course work in theology and sexuality from Wesley Theological Seminary and the Chicago Theological Seminary.
Captain John Gundlach, Chaplain Corps, U.S. Navy (Ret). Chaplain Gundlach served on active duty 23 years and retired in 1997. During his naval career his assignments included Senior Chaplain of the aircraft carrier USS FORRESTAL (CV59); Advanced Course Officer at the Naval Chaplains School in Newport, Rhode Island; Director of Manpower, Community Management, and Recruiting on the staff of the Navy Chief of Chaplains, where he also served on the Personnel Advisory Group of the Armed Forces Chaplains Board; Claimant Chaplain for the Chief of Naval Operations and District Chaplain for Naval District Washington. He is a graduate of Catawba College, Salisbury, North Carolina (A.B. in Religion and Philosophy); Lancaster Theological Seminary, Lancaster, Pennsylvania (M.Div); and Pepperdine University, Santa Ana, California (M.A. in Counseling). Chaplain Gundlach has served civilian pastorates in Pennsylvania and North Carolina. In his current position as Minister for Government and Professional Chaplaincies for the United Church of Christ, he is the Ecclesiastical Endorser and pastor for denominational clergy serving in the military, Department of Veterans Affairs, and Federal Bureau of Prisons.
Ms Mary Harris. Ms Harris was Commissioned (ROTC) as an Officer in the Adjutant Generals Corps in 1982, with active duty from 1982-1987, and Army Reserve from 1994-2002. Assignments included Assistant Personnel Officer, Army Training Support Center, 13th Transportation Group and the Army Broadcasting Service, Action Officer for the US Army Community and Family Support Center, and Commander of the 345th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment. She completed her B.A. at the University of Dayton, Ohio, M.B.A., Brenau University, and is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of Texas. Ms Harris is currently Executive Director for Grants Development at Austin Community College. She and her partner of thirteen years reside in Austin, and are the proud parents of a four year-old girl.
Jeff Hersh, Esq. Mr. Hersh has been an active supporter of SLDN since 1996, despite not having a background in the armed services. He just began a criminal-defense law practice in Austin, along with related civil litigation (e.g., suing police for abuses). He previously specialized in patent law, including as an associate at Fish & Neave in New York, as Chief Intellectual Property Counsel for a Silicon Valley company, and as a sole practitioner. Prior to practicing law, Mr. Hersh was a newspaper reporter at the Belleville New-Democrat, in Southern Illinois, and a news assistant at the Washington bureau of the New York Times. He received an AB in mathematics from Grinnell College in 1983, and a J.D. from Boston University in 1990. He is admitted to practice in New York, California, Texas and the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.
Rev. Dr. Jo Hudson, Senior Pastor, The Cathedral of Hope United Church of Christ (UCC), Dallas, TX. Rev. Dr. Jo Hudson is a spiritual leader, pastor, mentor, and community builder who serves as Senior Pastor of the world’s largest liberal Christian church with a primary outreach to lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people. She joined the Cathedral of Hope in August 2004, after seven years as pastor of Friends Congregational Church UCC in College Station, Texas. She was overwhelmingly elected to serve as the Senior Pastor of the Cathedral in February 2005, making the Cathedral of Hope UCC the largest church in the State of Texas, and one of the largest in the United States, to have a woman Senior Pastor. A native Texan, Rev. Dr. Hudson received her Ph.D. in Educational Administration from Texas A&M University in 1993, and graduated with honors from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in 1994. She was ordained into the United Church of Christ in 1997. She is the former President of the South Central Conference of the UCC, served for ten years on the Board of Directors of the UCC Justice & Witness Ministry, and has been elected to the UCC Pension Board on which she will be seated later in 2011. Rev. Dr. Hudson is a member of the Forum on the Military Chaplaincy, and currently serves on the Board of Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri.
Fr. Larry Johnson, San Diego, CA. Chaplain Johnson is a native of St. Paul, Minnesota, and was ordained in May 1976. He was commissioned a US Navy Chaplain in December 1988 and held various assignments from the Marine Corps Recruit Depot to Al Anbar Province, Iraq. He is a veteran of Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom. His awards include the Navy Achievement Medal, Navy Commendation Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal. He has a Masters of Arts in Systematics from St. John’s University and a Post Graduate Certificate in Developmental and Abnormal Psychology from the University of Notre Dame Center for Human Development. He retired from the US Navy in January 2010.
Sergeant Pepe N. Johnson, U.S. Army Veteran. A native of Clarksburg, West Virginia, former SLDN client and U.S. Army Sergeant Pepe N. Johnson is a 1999 graduate of Fairmont State College where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. Sergeant Johnson served as a field artilleryman at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, from 2000 until 2003 when he was discharged because of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” While serving at Fort Sill, he was selected as Fort Sill’s Soldier of the Year in 2001.
Ms Karen Kalergis. Ms Kalergis has worked on social justice issues for more than 20 years, first focusing on rights for victims of crimes. She was the Director of the Texas Crime Victim Clearinghouse in the Office of Governor Ann Richards and communications manager at the Attorney General’s Office where she provided training and program development assistance to non-profits and local victim service organizations in Texas. In 2005, she served as the Communications Director for the statewide campaign against the Texas Marriage Discrimination Amendment. She is proud of her subsequent affiliation with the Atticus Circle as Director of Communication Strategies. Her 25 years of communications experience include work on both sides of the microphone. She was a broadcast news reporter in Iowa and a media spokesperson for a governor, two attorneys general and the nation’s 3rd largest lottery. She now serves as the Associate Director of the Institute on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault at the University of Texas at Austin.
Rev. Stacy A. Kenney. Rev. Kenney graduated from Mississippi College with a BA in 1990. She received her Masters of Divinity in May 2007 from Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry and was ordained in July 2007. Her professional qualifications include: Clinical Pastoral Education Supervisor; Ecclesiastically endorsed all Nations Anglican Church; Individual and Group Ministry; Pastoral care – psychiatric, addition, hospice/palliative care; maternity; neo-natal, ICU/CCU, pediatrics, geriatrics; completed 14 units of Clinical Pastoral Education; and is eligible for APC Board Certification. Rev. Kenney is currently serving as the ACPE Supervisor/Staff Chaplain of the Louis B. Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center.
Brigadier General Keith H. Kerr, CSMR (Ret). General Kerrentered the U. S. Army as a Private at Fort Ord, California, on 21 September 1953. After completing basic and advanced training, he served with the 513th Military Intelligence Group in Germany during the Cold War. Upon release from active duty, he continued to serve in the U. S. Army Reserve and was commissioned a First Lieutenant in June 1960. His principal assignments were with the 228th Military Intelligence Detachment (Division), Company B, 12th Special Forces, the 91st Maneuver Training Command, the 351st Civil Affairs Command, the 419th Military Intelligence Detachment (Strategic), and the 221st Military Police Brigade. He also was on the staff and faculty of the Sixth US Army Intelligence School (6A ITAAS). General Kerr is a graduate of the Intelligence Orientation Course, the Imagery Interpretation Course, the Army Intelligence Advance Course, the Special Forces Officer Course, the Civil Affairs Advance Course, the Inspector General Course, the Command and General Staff College, and the U. S. Army War College. He retired from the U. S. Army Reserve in 1986 with the rank of Colonel and was commissioned in the California State Military Reserve of the California National Guard on 15 March 1986, where his assignments were Inspector General and later, Chief of Staff. He was appointed Commanding General, Northern Area Command, CSMR, with headquarters at Alameda Naval Supply Depot, Alameda, CA and promoted to Brigadier General on 21 February 1991. He held this position until reassigned to State Headquarters on 31 July 1995. General Kerr retired on 1 June 1996 after 43 years of service to the United States and the State of California. General Kerr has been active in professional, community, and church affairs in San Francisco where he has served as board member and president of Canon Kip Community House, trustee of the United Way, President of Episcopal Charities, and President of San Francisco Higher Education Association. He is a Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary, International. In civilian life, he was employed by the San Francisco Community College District where he was successively faculty member of City College, Chair of the Business Department, Dean of Instruction, and Dean of Instructional Support and Special Assistant to the President. He retired from the College in May 1995 and continued to teach as adjunct faculty. The Rev. Dr. Alvin Gomer, Episcopal priest and licensed psychologist, was his partner of 26 years. Dr. Gomer died in 2000. General Kerr is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley and has a Master’s Degree from San Francisco State University. Among his decorations, General Kerr holds the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Reserve Medal, the California Medal of Merit, and the California Commendation Medal. He has received the Distinguished Service Award of the Association of the United States Army and is an Honorary Member of the U. S. Army Reserve Civil Affairs Corps Regiment. He wears the Special Forces Tab and the Parachutist Badge. He makes his home in Santa Rosa, CA and is Chairman of General Rail Corporation.
Rev. Harry Knox – Bio pending
MG Dennis Laich, U.S. Army (Ret) – Major General (Ret.) Dennis Laich was commissioned through Army ROTC at Lafayette College, Easton Pennsylvania, in 1971. He served in a variety of command and staff assignments primarily in Military Police, Transportation, and logistics units. The last 14 consecutive years of his 35 years of service were in command positions at the full Colonel through two star level including joint command, culminating in command of the 94th Regional Readiness Command at Fort Devens, Massachusetts. His civilian education includes a bachelors degree from Lafayette College and masters degrees from West Virginia University and Saint Francis University. His military awards include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, and the Joint Meritorious Service Medal. Major General Laich’s civilian career was spent in manufacturing and finance assignments as president, chief operating officer, and plant manager with several large and mid-cap private and publicaly held companies. Major General Laich, and his wife Colleen, live in Columbus, Ohio, and have two grown children.
Rev. Sarah Lammert. The Rev. Sarah Lammert currently serves as the Director of Ministries and Faith Development and Ecclesiastical Endorser for the Unitarian Universalist Association. Rev. Lammert was ordained in 1993 and served as a parish minister in California, Utah and New Jersey until 2010. She also served as Vice President of the Unitarian Universalist Ministers’ Association from 2007-2010. Rev. Lammert is a graduate of Brown University (B.A.) and Starr King School for the Ministry (M.Div.). She is married to an art teacher, Andrew Crum and has two daughters Abby and Lila.
Mr. Jeff Lutes, M.S., LPC. Mr. Lutes is a psychotherapist and relationship consultant in private practice in Austin, TX. He is the creator and principal consultant of ContemporaryCouples.com – an online service that teaches research-based relationship skills to same-sex couples and LGBTQ singles via live web seminars. He is the former Executive Director of Soulforce, the national social justice organization committed to ending the religion-based oppression of LGBTQ people. At Soulforce he organized large direct actions outside James Dobson’s Focus on the Family headquarters as seen in the award winning film For The Bible Tells Me So as well as the documentary, Sole Journey. Using the principles of nonviolence, he created dialogue with some of today’s major religious leaders such as Rick Warren, Joel Osteen, John Hagee, Bill Hybels, and Bishop T.D. Jakes in his ongoing effort to increase understanding about sexual orientation and gender identity among people of faith. He managed the launch of the young adult program and the first three Equality Rides, and organized two national conferences to educate the public about the harm caused by so-called “ex-gay” ministries and “reparative” therapies. He is the author of the booklet What the Science Says – and Doesn’t Say – About Homosexuality: Research-based answers to ten of the most commonly asked questions about lesbian women, gay men, and their families. Additionally, he has directed clinical services at St. David’s Hospital and Waterloo Counseling Center in Austin. His formal education includes a B.S. from the University of Kentucky, and a M.S. in Clinical Psychology from Eastern Kentucky University. He is a member of the International Association for Relationship Research (IARR), the American Counseling Association (ACA), the Association for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues in Counseling (ALGBTIC), Counselors for Social Justice (CSJ), and the Council on Contemporary Families (CCF). Mr. Lutes lives with his partner, Gary Stein, and their three children, in Austin, TX.
Dr. Marsha McDonough, Ph.D., Psychologist. Dr. McDonough is a psychologist who has been in private practice in Austin, Texas for over 15 years. She received her B.S., M.A. and Ph.D. from The University of Texas at Austin. In her professional life Marsha has enjoyed, and continues to enjoy, her roles as a therapist, teacher, author, trainer, and supervisor. Marsha has published articles in professional journals and has contributed chapters in edited books on psychotherapy. Her most recent chapter, co-authored with Jeff Lutes and to be published in 2011 in the Handbook of LGBT-Affirmative Couple and Family Therapy (Jerry J. Bigner, Ph.D. & Joseph L. Wetchler, Ph.D., Eds.), concerns the ethics of psychotherapy with LGBTQ persons and others who are victims of heterosexism.Marsha’s mother is a first generation Italian-American. Her father was a sharecropper from Mississippi who, at 15, enlisted in the Marines to fight WWII. Her parents raised her to question colonialism and oppression via the words of Albert Schweitzer, Jesus Christ, Ghandi, and Martin Luther King. One summer day when she was 12 years old, Marsha was transformed by watching the entire March on Washington on her parents’ black and white TV. Marsha met her husband at a campus Vietnam War protest. They raised two children who are honoring their grandparents’ dreams of a peaceful and just world: one, as a professional classical musician and the other as a nurse.
Mr. David McKean, SLDN Director of Law, Staff Liaison with the Forum – David McKean joined SLDN in 2009 and currently serves as the organization’s Legal Director. David earned his B.S. in English Literature from the University of California, Berkeley and his J.D. from the American University, Washington College of Law. During law school he served as Executive Editor of the American University International Law Review. Prior to joining SLDN, David served as a law clerk for the Honorable Steven G. Salant of the Circuit Court for Montgomery County, Maryland.
First Sergeant Lee Roy McLeod, U.S. Army (Ret). First Sergeant Lee McLeod served more than twenty years on active duty in the United States Army, including two years with the 104th Military Intelligence Battalion at Fort Hood, Texas. He has also served as an Operations Sergeant, a Senior Intelligence Analyst and an Army Team and Squad Leader in the 25th Infantry Division. 1SG McLeod is a graduate of the U.S. Army Jungle Warfare Course, the Intelligence Analyst Course, Army Ranger School, Army Airborne School and the U.S. Army Intelligence Analyst Advanced Non-commissioned Course. He currently lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.
Chaplain B.J. (Robert S.) Myers-Bradley, M.Div. Chaplain Myers-Bradley is an ordained (1983) clergy person of the United Church of Christ. He attended Bethune-Cookman College (1976-1980) where he obtained a B.A. in Religion and Philosophy. He graduated from Candler School of Theology, Emory University, with the Master of Divinity degree in1983. Chaplain Myers-Bradley completed six units of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) from Sarasota Memorial Hospital in Sarasota, FL, Bethesda North Hospital in Cincinnati, OH, and the Hazelden Foundation in Center City, Minnesota. He has served as pastor of two churches: Boca Raton, FL (1983-1986); and Rising Sun, IN (1986 1991). Following a one year residency at Hazelden, Chaplain Myers-Bradley was hired by the Louis Stokes Veterans Affairs Medical Center as a clinical chaplain for substance abuse and gambling addictions. His area of coverage was later expanded to include pastoral care for PTSD diagnosed veterans of Viet Nam, Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). Chaplain Myers-Bradley has worked for the Veterans Affairs since 1992.
Rev. Dr. Vince Patton, Eighth Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard (Ret). In his long and distinguished career,Master Chief Patton achieved the Coast Guard’s most senior enlisted rank, with 30 years active duty. With assignments aboard three Coast Guard cutters, sailing the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, he had over five years cumulative service at sea. Assignments included locations in New York, Washington State, the District of Columbia, Alaska, California, the Great Lakes, the Caribbean, and New Jersey. He has routinely been called as an expert witness for Congressional Committees and the President of the United States. In 1993, he served on the initial task force study on Gays in the Military. His educational accomplishments include a BA, Pacific College, Angwin, CA., BS, Shaw College, Detroit, MI., Masters in Counseling, Loyola University, Chicago, Th.M., Graduate Theological Union, Berkley, CA., and D.Ed., American University, Wash DC., Rev. Dr. Patton is an ordained American Unitarian Conference minister, and serves on the Unitarian Universalist Trauma Response Ministry Team. He is the father of one daughter and one son, a veteran of the 82nd Airborne Division; and currently resides in Northern Virginia. He is a member of the SLDN Military Advisory Council.
Rev. Jennifer L Paty, Command Master Chief, U.S. Navy (Ret). Rev. Paty retired from the U. S. Navy in 1996 as the Command Master Chief for the Commander, U. S. Naval Activities, United Kingdom where she advised senior officers on issues pertaining to enlisted personnel in theater. Other assignments included the USS Frank Cable (AS-40), Naval Air Technical Training Center, several Naval Aviation Squadrons and a Recruiting tour. She is an honor graduate of the Navy’s Senior Enlisted Academy, and wears the Navy Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal and Navy Achievement Medal. Rev. Paty an ordained Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) minister holds the M Div. from SS Cyril and Methodious Seminary, Orchard Lake, Michigan. As the Co-Director for Soulforce Detroit, she received two of Michigan’s most prestigious LGBTQ community awards, the “Rising Star Award” in 2003, and the Triangle Foundation’s “Catalyst Award” in 2004 for her leadership in social justice. Jennifer, a native Texan, is currently serving Northern Lights MCC in Augusta, Maine.
Rev. Dr. Lisa Presley, District Executive, Heartland District, UU - Lisa has not had military experience herself, but she currently serves as the chair of the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Committee on Military Ministry that supports military chaplaincy. It was her Doctor of Ministry project on UU attitudes toward police and military chaplains that helped the UUA become more systematic in their approach to military chaplaincy. The daughter of two Navy veterans, she has long spoken out for support of military chaplaincy. She received a Masters of Divinity degree from Harvard Divinity School, and a Doctor of Ministry from Meadville/Lombard Theological School. She currently serves as middle judicatory in the Unitarian Universalist Association. She also serves on the Unitarian Universalist Trauma Response Ministry team.
Chaplain (Colonel) John W. Price, Texas Army National Guard Ret). Chaplain Price serves at Assistant Rector, Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church in Houston, and as a Chaplain with the Houston Region of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Prior to his ministry in Houston, he served churches in Austin, San Antonio, and London, England. He is a graduate of the University of Texas, the Virginia Theological Seminary, and was ordained a priest in the Episcopal Church in 1965. He is a graduate of the Officer Basic Chaplain Course, the Officer Advanced Chaplain Course, and the Army’s Command and General Staff College. He graduated from the School for Spiritual Directors at the Pecos Benedictine Monastery in New Mexico in 1986, and has been involved in teaching and leading spiritual direction since that time. He serves on the faculty of the diocesan school for spiritual directors, the Formation in Direction (FIND) program. He is a member of Spiritual Directors International, the International Conference of Police Chaplains, and the Near-Death Experience Research Foundation. In his work as spiritual director, he has worked with clergy and laity from Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Episcopal, Methodist and Baptist faith traditions. Chaplain Price is actively involved in his community, and resides with his wife, Arlene, in Houston. They are the parents of three adult children – Rob, Rick and Catherine.
Chaplain (First Lieutenant) David G. Pyle, U.S. Army Reserve. Chaplain David Pyle is an ordained and fellowshipped Unitarian Universalist Minister and the Interim Minister for the UU Fellowship of Midland Michigan. He serves as the Battalion Chaplain for the 414th Civil Affairs Battalion in Southfield, Michigan. As an enlisted soldier and then Non-Commissioned Officer in the U.S. Army and U.S. Army Reserve during the 1990’s, Rev. Pyle served on Counter-narcotics and Counter-Insurgency operations in Latin America, and as a Peacekeeper in Sarajevo, Bosnia-y-Herzegovina in 1996-97. Before becoming a U.S. Army Reserve Chaplain, Rev. Pyle served on the denominational task force that redrafted the policies for the endorsement of Unitarian Universalist Military Chaplains. Chaplain Pyle completed his CPE Residency at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge IL, and holds a Master’s of Divinity from the Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago.
Captain Michael Rankin, M.D., Medical Corps, U. S. Navy (Ret). Dr. Rankin is Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at George Washington University School of Medicine, and is a faculty mentor at the National Military Medical School in Bethesda. He served twenty-four years as a Navy and Marine Medical officer and as a Jewish lay leader, including combat tours in Vietnam. Dr. Rankin was Arkansas Commissioner of Mental Health for former Governor Bill Clinton. He served on President Clinton’s Advisory Council on HIV and AIDS from 1995 to 2001, and chaired the Commission on HIV and AIDS for Reform Judaism. He is a member of Temple Rodef Shalom in Falls Church, and Anshe Chesed Congregation in Vicksburg, Mississippi. In the l980’s, he was president of Congregation Sha’ar Zahav, the LGBTQ synagogue in San Francisco. Dr. Rankin serves on the Board of Trustees of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) as well as on the Executive Committee of the URJ Board. He is also a member of the Commission on Reform Jewish Outreach, which is of particular interest to him since he grew up in Rose of Sharron, Arkansas in an interfaith family—his mother was Jewish, his dad a Scots-Irish Presbyterian. Mike identifies as a “Scots-Irish-American Jew.” He has served on the Board of the Arlington Gay and Lesbian Alliance, and with the Military Advisory Council for Servicemembers Legal Defense Network. Dr. Rankin is an “out” gay man who has worked for repeal of DADT since its inception. He lives in what he is proud to call “the holy city of Arlington, Virginia.”
Rev. Rosemary Redmond, Esq – Bio pending
Chaplain, Colonel, Jerry Rhyne, U.S. Air Force (Ret). Chaplain Rhyne spent twenty-three years as a Protestant Chaplain for the United States Air Force. In his first ten years of military assignments he provided spiritual guidance and pastoral care, rites and rituals in military community chapels and his last twelve years he served as staff chaplain at all levels of Air Force chaplaincy including four years in the Office of Chief of Chaplains for the US Air Force. His last military assignment was at Wilford Hall Medical Center, a 1000 bed facility and teaching hospital with staff of nearly 4500, serving as Director of Pastoral Care which included Clinical Pastoral Education for seven chaplains a year. During the past 15 years he has served as Staff Chaplain at Northeast Medical Center, as co-pastor with his wife, Rev. Marion Rhyne, in a UCC church and two Presbyterian churches as supply. He enjoys reading, traveling and spending time with grandchildren. He volunteers for Meals on Wheels, committees for disaster response and as chaplain for the UCC National Disaster Ministries Network.
Brigadier General Virgil A. Richard, U.S. Army (Ret). BG Virgil A. Richard served thirty-two years of active military service, thirty of which were devoted to Financial Management. His military assignments include Commander, the US Army Finance and Accounting Center, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Financial Management, and Deputy Chief of Staff for Resource Management at the Army Materiel Command. BS from Oklahoma State University, MBA from George Washington University, and graduate studies at the Advanced Management Program, Columbia University, the US Army Command and General Staff College, and the US Army War College. General Richard is a member of SLDN’s Military Advisory Council, and serves as an Officer and/or Board member of several non-profit charitable organizations in Texas. He is a member of the Disciples of Christ Church.
Chaplain Glenn Sammis (Lieutenant Colonel), U.S. Army (Ret). The Rev. Dr. Sammis is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Pastoral Counselor, Trainer, Educator, Practitioner of Psychodrama and an Ordained United Methodist Minister. He received his BA, M.DIv, and D.Min from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. He spent 20 years in the service of the country as a U.S. Army Chaplain. Following retirement he spent 10 years as the Director for Chaplaincy Services and Chaplain Manager for the Sexual Assault Response Team for the Methodist Healthcare System in San Antonio. At present he works as a Licensed Professional Counselor and Pastoral Counselor in San Antonio, Texas. In addition to responsibilities as a therapist he provides Critical Incident Interventions for a multiple set of circumstances for Employee Assistant Companies. The Association of Professional Chaplains has endorsed him as a Board Certified Chaplain. He remains active as a chaplain as he was appointed to the Chaplaincy of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2007. He is a certified member of the Association of Pastoral Counselors and is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the State of Texas. Dr. Sammis is a Certified Prenatal Grief Counselor and a Certified Field Traumatologist. He is an active member of The American Society for Group Psychotherapy and Psychodrama as well as the Association of Trauma Stress Specialists. He has been an adjunct professor at St Mary’s University, San Antonio, Texas, teaching in the subject areas of Psychodrama and Trauma Theory. He has taught Psychodrama and Trauma theory at the Changua National University of Education in Taiwan. Presently he is working with soldiers on their resolution to Battlefield Trauma. His journey in Psychodrama began in the late 70’s, culminating in his certification as a Trainer/Educator/Practitioner in 2004. Dr. Sammis has taught widely, nationally and internationally, in the fields of Grief, Trauma, Chaplaincy, and Psychodrama. He has provided course instruction at the Army Medical Department Center and School utilizing psychodramatic technique to instruct in the field of trauma. In 1993, he introduced the concept of Grief Resolution through the utilization of Psychodramatic technique to the U. S. Military at Tripler Army Medical Center in Hawaii. Dr. Sammis and his wife Jonnalen have three children and one granddaughter. Jonnalen is a Special Education teacher. Brett, 33, is an Army Officer. He is married to Heather and they have one daughter, Annika, 3 years. Kiera, 30, is a Social Worker at Christus Santa Rosa Hospital in San Antonio. Tanya, 28 is CEO of the Sammis/Ochoa Public Relations Firm in San Antonio, Texas.
LTC Ken Sheppard, U.S. Air Force (Ret) – Bio pending
Rev. Dr. Stephen V. Sprinkle, Ph.D. Dr. Sprinkle is Director of Field Education and Supervised Ministry, and Associate Professor of Practical Theology at Brite Divinity School, Fort Worth, Texas, a post he has held since 1994. An ordained Baptist minister, he is the first open and out gay scholar in the history of the Divinity School, and the first open and out LGBTQ person to be tenured there. His graduate education includes: M.Div., Yale University Divinity School, and Ph.D., Duke University Graduate School. Dr. Sprinkle is the author of three books and numerous articles on theology, church polity, and LGBTQ studies. His most recent research focuses on the stories of LGBTQ hate crimes murder victims in the United States. His new book is entitled, Unfinished Lives: Reviving the Memories of LGBTQ Hate Crimes Victims, Resource Publications, 2011. He is a member of the Association of Theological Field Education, the Academy of Religious Leadership, and holds a seat on the national Board of Directors of the Alliance of Baptists though April 2011. In 2008, he received the prestigious Catherine Saylor Hill Award for Excellence in Teaching, Scholarship and Service by vote of his colleagues at Brite Divinity School, the only Field Educator ever to receive the award. He also received the coveted Brite Award for Creative Teaching and Scholarship in 2010. Dr. Sprinkle was named “Hero of Hope” for 2010 by the Cathedral of Hope in Dallas, Texas, and serves as the Cathedral’s Theologian in Residence.
Vivian Taylor – Military experience: Chaplain’s Assistant, US Army National Guard, 2003-2010; Iraq deployment. Served as body guard for military chaplain in Operation Iraqi Freedom; provided direct care for soldiers dealing with suicide, domestic abuse, substance abuse, and post traumatic stress disorder. Assisted soldiers in career development, training, and education.
Education: Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, May 2007. Civilian Experience: Free Lance Publicist and Free Lance Publicist; formerly Manager, Couchtrip Bus Company, Raleigh, NC; Analyst with AV Chandler, LLC, Chapel Hill, NC.
Aaron Tax, Esq., Aaron Tax joined SLDN in 2006 and served as Co-Director of their Legal Department in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining SLDN, Aaron spent two years as a Presidential Management Fellow. During his Fellowship, he served as a Special Assistant United States Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, where he tried more than 25 cases. Aaron also worked for the Department of the Army and practiced labor law with the U.S. Army V Corps, Office of the Staff Judge Advocate, Heidelberg, Germany. During his final year with the Army, Aaron wrote Final Agency Decisions in employment discrimination cases. Aaron earned his B.S. in Policy Analysis, with Honors and Distinction, from Cornell University in 1998. He earned his J.D., with Honors, from The George Washington University Law School in 2003. He is licensed to practice law in New York and Washington, DC.
Mr. Jason Torpy, President, Military Association of Atheists & Freethinkers. Jason Torpy serves as the President of the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers (MAAF), a national non-profit building community for atheists and humanists in the military. Mr. Torpy also holds seats on the boards of the Secular Coalition for America, the premier lobbying organization for secular issues, and the American Humanist Association, which fosters Humanist community and ethics. After graduating high school, he served 2 years enlisted service in the Army, accepted an appointment to West Point, and then served an additional 5 years on active duty as an Army officer. Mr. Torpy’s education includes a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Management from West Point and a Masters Degree in Business Administration from The Ohio State University. He is a Humanist Celebrant recognized by the Humanist Society.
Mr. Ryan Valentine, Deputy Director, Texas Freedom Network. Ryan Valentine serves as the Deputy Director for the Texas Freedom Network, a nonpartisan organization of religious and community leaders who advocate a mainstream agenda of religious freedom and individual liberties. (http://www.tfn.org/site/PageServer) As a part of his job, Ryan directs TFN’s Faith Network, which is a statewide group of more than 600 mainstream religious leaders who share a faith that produces a politics of community and compassion not represented by the religious right. In this position, Ryan works to involve clergy from a variety of faith traditions in the political process in Texas through advocacy across a range of issues related to religious freedom. Ryan holds a Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary, where his studies focused on American evangelicalism and fundamentalism.
Anne S. Wynne, Esq., Ikard, Wynne and Ratliff, LLP. Ms Wynne is the Founder of the Atticus Circle, a national nonprofit agency named after Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird. (http://www.atticuscircle.org/) She founded the national organization to help educate and mobilize straight people to work for equal rights for all LGBTQ partners, parents and their children. Atticus Circle has its roots in Texas, where Ms. Wynne is actively involved in the fight for equality for gay and lesbian Texans. A Dallas native, she graduated cum laude from Smith College and earned her law degree at the University of Texas School of Law. She is a partner in Ikard, Wynne and Ratliff, LLP, where she specializes in civil litigation and mediation, with an emphasis in family law. She serves on the governing board of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN). Ms Wynne and husband Fred Ellis are the parents of three children in Austin, Texas.
Anonymous Valued Participants
There are currently 5 valued members of the “Forum on the Military Chaplaincy” have requested their names and biographical sketches not be published for privacy and personal considerations. We understand and honor those requests, and extend grateful appreciation for their contributions and commitments to our work.
Chaplain (Colonel) Carl K.M. Towley, U.S. Army (Ret)
January 14, 2009
Ms. Ricia Ann Young, Veteran, U.S. Army
August 29, 2010
Chief Master Sergeant Dave Guy-Gainer, U.S. Air Force (Ret)
February 2, 2012
Ms Bettie Naylor
April 19, 2012