Tri-City Baptist Church usually invites a military chaplain to speak the Sunday before Veteran’s Day. This year their choice of guest speaker is a little unusual—the church will hear from their own senior pastor, Mike Sproul, currently stationed at an Air Force base halfway around the world.
This isn't Pastor Mike's first deployment. While on active duty in the Air Force, Chaplain Sproul spent time in the Middle East during the first Gulf War, and now as the Wing Chaplain of the 161st Air Refueling Wing, Arizona Air National Guard he is deployed again to the region.
“Our church has a deep respect and appreciation for the men and women serving in our military, and places a high value on the ministry of chaplains,” explains Tri-City’s Communications Director Heidi Will. “Not only is our senior pastor a chaplain, but so is the principal of our K-12 academy, the Dean of Students at our Bible college, and several of the students and alumni of the College are chaplains or are in the process of becoming one.”
While deployed, Pastor Sproul works twelve hour shifts six days a week ministering to thousands of military personnel. He preaches twice a week and is constantly on call to do memorial services on the back of planes for our fallen heroes. “I already have many stories of God's goodness and grace to tell you,” he writes in an email to the congregation. He will share some of those stories during theTri-City Baptist Church Veterans’ Service while speaking live via Skype. Before he left, he recorded a sermon to be shown during the service.
Even though the Senior Pastor is away, the Church is staying as busy as ever. A guest pastor has come to preach during most of the services while Pastor Mike is away. The church is continuing with its regular annual events, including a banquet the Sunday before Thanksgiving and a musical Christmas celebration in mid-December. “We aren’t slowing down during this important season just because our senior pastor is gone,” says Will. “We look forward to hearing Pastor Mike’s stories of what God has done when he returns in January, and plan to have a few stories to share with him as well.”
The Tri-City Baptist Church Veterans’ Service will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, November 6 at 2211 W Germann Rd, Chandler, AZ 85286. For more information, visit www.tricityministries.org or call 480-245-7900.