American Council or Christian Churches
69th Annual Convention
Hope Baptist Church
From the difficult struggles that marked the War for Independence down through the years to the ongoing War against Terrorism, the position of military chaplains has been vital in providing spiritual counsel to members of the Armed Forces, especially as they have prepared to enter various battlefields around the world. The deference accorded to chaplains has been a tribute to the recognition that the United States is indeed a nation under God.
The American Council of Christian Churches serves as an endorser for Christian Fundamentalist chaplains, providing them in that endorsement with protection from any effort to command them to undertake any ministry action that would violate any chaplain’s conscience. In that capacity, the Council has provided direction and support for a series of men who have served the Lord in ministering to members of the U. S. military.
In that ministry, U. S. Army Chaplain (Captain) Dale Goetz, along with members of his unit, deployed to Afghanistan in the summer of 2010. Chaplain Goetz, a 1995 graduate of Maranatha Baptist Bible College in Watertown, WI, and a 2000 graduate of Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Minneapolis, MN, and serving under the endorsement of the ACCC, often accompanied soldiers of his unit on their missions in very dangerous areas outside their base. It was on such a mission on Monday, August 30, 2010, that Chaplain Goetz and the four soldiers who were traveling with him were killed in action when they came under attack from a roadside bomb. It marked the first time since the Vietnam War that an Army chaplain was killed in action, and the first time ever that an ACCC endorsed chaplain lost his life in the service of his country and his Lord.
There have been several men over the years whom the ACCC has endorsed as chaplains in the service of our country in the Armed Forces. We commend each of them for their faithful service to their comrades in arms and to the Lord Jesus Christ. But today we contemplate the realities of combat operations when we honor in a particular way the memory of Chaplain Dale Goetz.
Maj. Gen. Douglas Carver, the Army’s Chief of Chaplains, in announcing the death of Chaplain Goetz, said of him, “Dale was a selfless servant of God, a devoted husband and father, a strong American patriot, and a compassionate spiritual leader whose love for Soldiers was only surpassed by his firm commitment to living his calling as a United States Army Chaplain.” Lt. Col. Chet Chapman (U. S. Army RET), head of the ACCC’s chaplains’ endorsing agency, has written of Chaplain Goetz that “he served our country faithfully as soldier, pastor and soul winner through eight years of military assignments.” Those assignments included a previous deployment to Iraq in 2004.
The death of Chaplain Goetz leaves his beloved wife Christy a widow with the responsibility of continuing to raise their three sons—Landon who is 10, Caleb who is 8, and Joel who is 1. Chaplain Goetz and his battalion were based in Ft. Carson, Colorado. Lt. Col. Chapman and his wife attended the funeral and burial services with Lt. Col. Chapman participating as Captain Goetz’s body was laid to rest with full military honors at Ft. Logan National Cemetery in Denver. The Chapmans also sought to provide comfort to Christy and her sons.
Wherefore, the delegates to the 69th annual convention of the American Council of Christian Churches, meeting October 19-21, 2010 in Hope Baptist Church, Hanover, PA resolve to honor the memory of Chaplain Dale Goetz by continuing to commit ourselves to pray for Mrs. Goetz and her family along with Chaplain Goetz’s mother, siblings, and extended family, and to uphold in prayer other chaplains, who, as faithful servants of the Lord Jesus Christ, are exposed to mortal danger on a frequent basis. We also resolve that a copy of this resolution, suitably framed, should be presented to the Goetz family at an appropriate time as a small token of our deep gratitude for Chaplain Goetz’s sacrifice of his life in honorable service to his country and to his Lord and Savior, and our deep gratitude as well for the ongoing sacrifice that the Goetz family will be making in the days to come. In addition, we resolve to stand in silence for one minute following the adoption of this resolution in tribute to the memory of our fallen brother in the Lord. May the Lord Himself, Who is the sole source of true comfort, grant to each member of Chaplain Goetz’s family the strength to meet the future in the will of God and for the glory of Christ’s everlasting kingdom.