I had the opportunity to read a short book about, and by, an Army chaplain. Rev. Charles Wesley Pike is a retired Lt. Colonel from the Army, a native of the area and associate pastor at Newbridge Baptist Church.
Pike recently released his book, “Memoirs of a Chaplain,” a short paperback (fewer than 100 pages) about his life and his time as a military chaplain.
In the book, Pike tells of his birth in the Emma community and then his family’s move up to the North Buncombe area and his attending Red Oak School until the county consolidated the schools and formed North Buncombe High. The book is a straightforward telling of life in the rural mountains of North Carolina, how he met and married his wife and joining the military.
Pike recounts his old-timey faith, call into the ministry and the divine intervention that got him out of the Air Force and into a Baptist seminary, Mars Hill College and other colleges. This eventually leads him back into the military as a US Army Chaplain.
He writes about his experience in carrying out his ministry to the troops with a flag on his sleeve, rank on his collar and a Bible in his hand. Some of his recollections will have you smiling, while others will show the harsh reality of the real-life issues and tragedies that face those keeping the faith in uniform.
Of course, chaplains are just people with a unique calling and so Pike explains some of his off-duty fun as he organizes his experiences by duty stations in this human interest book.
For those interested in what life as a chaplain is like, Pike’s book is available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Editor’s note: Full disclosure – Rev. Pike has advertised his book in the paper.