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Hospice - Crossing the Bar:

Lessons I've Learned As A Hospice Chaplain

Melvin Reddy

As a hospice chaplain, I am part of a team of healthcare professionals comprised of doctors, nurses, social workers, administrators, and other invaluable team members who offer our patients and their families the opportunity to live as fully as they can as they face the end of life. Some of the greatest life lessons I have learned have come from my experiences as a hospice chaplain. The individuals under my care have taught me that, in the end, what matters most are these three questions: How well did you live? How well did you love? How well did you learn to let go? 

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America on Anesthesia

How soon America forgets the sudden wave of shock, pain and suffering we experienced on 9-11. It is as if we suddenly awoke on an operating table to the horrible pain of live surgery only to be given more anesthesia and now we are back asleep.

What was lacking most on that day? It was not the police, fire fighters or emergency personnel, many of whom gave their lives. The Red Cross was there taking blood donations and helping the physical bodies of victims and rescuers. They all were there! So what was needed?


Dr. Sidney Poe, Director of Education for the OCA, conducted a Chaplains Training Workshop at the North Cities Untied Pentecostal Church of Garland, TX on November 13-14, 2015.  It was successful, with some 14 trainees receiving Certificates for completing the Chaplains Essentials Part 1 Workshop.  There were 7 each of men and ladies, 5 Chaplains, 5 for Continuing Education Units (CEU) Credits, 1 pastor, and representatives from 3 churches, along with 11 individuals from the North Cities UPC, where Pastor D. G. Hargrove serves.

    Doug Pruitt of the Texas Chaplains Association, presented a session dealing with the LE involvement in Pre and Post Incident Management.  Evangelist Nigel Ali, from Granbury, TX, spoke on overcoming fear.  Dr. Poe reports there was a spiritual confirmation and blessing from the Lord.

    Those new chaplains from the workshop included George Allen Anton, of McKinney, TX; Douglas Ray Carter, of Rowlett, TX; Emma Delacruz of Garland, TX, John W. and Tammy Fred, of Lavon, TX; Jay Guiles of Dallas, TX; Joel and Roselyne Joseph, of Rowlett, TX; and Marie Reed of Garland, TX.

    Those receiving CEU Credits wre Lewis F., and Ruth Ceremeans, of LaPorte, TX; John Hargrove, of Wylie, TX; Catherine Kelley-Lorenz, of Allen, TX; and Rachel Ramirez of Garland, TX.

    We are pleased to welcome the new chaplains; and offer congratulations to them and those receiving their CEU's in the Workshop.  As the OCA, we are constantly reaching out to meet the challenges before us.

Distance Learning 

Announcing the availability of our new distance learning videos. 

We now have 20 videos that cover level one of OCA's basic chaplain training. Watching the 20 lessons along with the final test will qualify you to apply for chaplain endorsement. 

Our video instruction team was headed up by our director of Education Dr. Poe. He took the lion share of the load with its many hours of preparation. 

Other instructors were Chaplain/ Assistant Director of Hospital/Hospice area Mel Reddy, Police Chaplain Brandon Buford, with Director of OCA William Dillon rounding out the video sessions.

Lessons included the following subjects.

  • The Health Care Chaplains
  • ER and Medical Chaplain
  • What it means to be a Chaplain
  • Observation and Clinical Documentation 
  • Sudden and Unexpected Death Notification 
  • Law Enforcement Chaplains
  • Grief and Bereavement
  • The Workplace Chaplain
  • PTSD

As well as many others  

OCA's leadership belives you will enjoy and appreciate the many hours of work put into this effort.

OCA wants to thank S.M. Drury for his help to make these videos possible, without his help we would still be in the planning stage.

As a former pastor I wished that someone would have taught me these lessons many years ago because I know I would have been more effective and productive. These lessons are essentially tools for helping hurting people. Every pastor and their staff would be helped by this great information.

William Dillon
Director OCA chaplains

Chaplain Hattabaugh, our commander over the Police/Fire chaplains submitted this helpful booklet on 
Subject: DHS Resources for Active Shooter and Mass Casualty Events 
Click on the link above entitled "Active Shooter How to respond" to view 
This is also available in Spanish by requesting by email director@ocachaplain.com

John D Putnam

Announcment of New Assistant Law Enforcement/Fire Director 

John D. Putnam 

John has served as the Pastor of Pentecostals of Sheboygan County since 2006.
He has over a decade of Law Enforcement Chaplain experience and is currently serving as the Sheboygan County Sheriff's Dept. Chaplain.
He has served as Wisconsin District Purpose Institute Director and is a memeber of the International Conference of Police Chaplains. John is married to Michelle and has three sons.

We welcome John assistance to Director Mark Hattabaugh.

William Dillon

Director of OCA Chaplains 

Announcing Fee  Increase 

As of September 15th the application fee will increase from $125.00 to $175.00.

Occupational Chaplain's Association has purposely kept its fees as low as possible..

Fees for all Home Missionaries are waived to help them reach their cities.

As we have grown there has been a need to add staff and combined with the normal expenses that are incurred this small increase will help offset the additional cost.

I want to personally thank each of you for making it possible for OCA to help train workers in the local churches to reach their cities.

William Dillon

Director of Operations

Announcing Addition of Staff

Occupational Chaplains Association is very pleased to announce the addition of Harold Jaco and Steve Miller to the OCA staff. Harold Jaco will be taking the position of Director of Promotions and Communications. All of the staff and the Board of Directors welcome him to this much needed department. Due to our chaplaincy growth this year the addition of two new assistant directors Melvin Reddy and John Putnam. We have also added Harold Jaco and Steve Miller as directors which was more than needed.

In addtion we have also split off a whole division of the corporate side who hired Neal Bennet as CEO of that area. Please help us pray about other areas of chaplaincy as we reach out to train and equip workers for the Kingdom of God. 

William Dillon
Director of Operations 

Please read below for Harold Jaco's Bio  

below that Steve Miller's promotion 


Biographical Sketch

Harold Jaco, Jr was born in the village of Campaign, TN on June 11, 1941the son of a grocer and a school teacher.  From age 9, he worked with his father in grocery business, doing light chores.  This evolved into a period of about 20 years of work in this clerical field.

He attended Jackson High School in Jackson, TN from 1956-59, graduating with membership in the National Honor Society.  He was a multi-major student, with Science, Social Studies, Math and English as major fields.  He attended Union University in Jackson, TN for two years, moving to Portland, OR to study theology at Conquerors Bible College in 1961.  His degree was earned at the Jackson College of Ministries in Jackson, MS in 1975.  

He was married for 48 years to the former Juanita Smithson of Sherman, TX.  They moved immediately to Oak Ridge, TN to begin a pastoral career.  He served congregations in Oak Ridge, Murfreesboro, Nashville, Shelbyville and Bruceton, TN.  He moved to Brockville, Ontario, Canada in October, 1967 to pastor the Brockville Tabernacle; thereafter serving as Dean ofStudents and President of Apostolic Missionary Institute of Picton, Ontario, Canada.  In 1972 he moved to Corinth, MS to serve a congregation there for two years, then to Lexington, Lebanon, and Dyersburg, TN where he served churches in each area.  In 1995 he was elected District Secretary of the Tennessee District United Pentecostal Church, where he served for 15 years until 2010.  Later that year he began serving as interim pastor of a congregation near Lexington, TN, continuing for four years, during which time he suffered the loss of his wife to cancer.  After serving for another three years, he semi-retired in 2014 and moved to St. Louis, MO, where he purchased a home near his daughter. 

He is father of two sons and a daughter, has seven grandchildren and two great grandchildren.  His experience involves much administration, serving as CFO and Board Secretary of the Board of Directors of the Tennessee District United Pentecostal Church, and frequently as interim pastor of churches between pastors.  He also was very active in a chaplaincy type ministry to the Ministers of his fellowship in Tennessee.  He has remained involved in community activities wherever he served. He is now in his sixtieth year of ministry.

Great News Miller on the move


As OCA has grown this year we have added several new positions and also have added several assistant directors to help out Directors Hattabaugh and Hawkins. Today I am so pleased to announced that Chaplain Miller will move up to take over the directorship of department 40 which is our Corporate/Industrial chaplain area. Chaplain Miller has served as my personal assistant and will take over an area that I have director at the same time as serving as Operational director and chairman of the board of director. This move will free us up to be able to concentrate on other developing areas of OCA. 

Welcome Director Steve Miller

Morgantown WV

What a time we had in Morgantown. Once again our Director of Training, Dr. Sidney Poe, brought together a team which included Chaplain James Deel and myself to train a group thirsty to learn more about chaplaincy. Our wonderful hosts were Bishop and Pastor Hudson and their church family and we were treated royally.  Of course, as with the pentecostal way,  it was with too much good food but it was surrounded with great fellowship. This is the second district which has really opened up to the burden of chaplaincy from the district leadership level. We have enjoyed training in many states, Texas holding first place in trainings with somewhere around 13 over the years, but we have been to many other states as well. Just to name few of those states they are MS, WI, MI, LA, FL, AZ, CO, IL, and I am sure there are more with some of these holding multiple training seminars.

William Dillon

OCA Director 

Welcome Chaplain Reddy

OCA's directors and Chaplain Ray Hawkins is welcoming Mel Reddy into his position as Director of Hospital/Hospice chaplain with OCA. Chaplain Ray Hawkins was our former director and is moving up to Senior Advisor to our Medical Chaplains and OCA Board Advisor. We thank Chaplain Hawkins for his years of plowing through the red tape as we started up this ministry. He certainly deserves his new role as Senior Advisor. Chaplain Hawkins was with us from the time  there was only 5 chaplains, including him, till now OCA is closing in on 150 chaplains nationwide. Again Thank you Chaplain Hawkins and welcome Chaplain Reddy 

Chpalain Mel Reddy's Biography:

Melvin Reddy is a full-time hospice chaplain who has served the greater Austin area for 7 years. Mel completed 4 units of Clinical Pastoral Education at Seton Hospital, he holds a Master of Human Service Counseling from Regent University, and a Master of Theological Studies from Urshan Graduate School of Theology. He serves as an adjunct instructor at Urshan College and as the alumni president for UGST.  He and his wife, Lisa, pastor The Sanctuary Church in Cedar Park, Texas,and have one precious son, Jude.

Purpose of a Disaster plan

To prepare a team of chaplains for natural or man-made disasters so that they can offer community and government authorities chaplains to assist in energy and disaster situations 


What is a disaster?

The American Red Cross defines a disaster as an emergency that causes the loss of life and property, and a disruption in which survivors cannot manage without spiritual, monetary, or physical assistance. Disasters may be human-made (e.g., terrorism, industrial accidents) or natural (hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, etc.). 

Four phases of disaster

1. Rescue. The primary task is to save lives and property. Essential personnel include emergency medical, firefighting and law enforcement professionals. Nonprofessionals may be able to give first aid and call for help. Chaplains may be called on to supply Spiritual care.

2. Relief. The major task is to create safe and sanitary conditions for survivors and emergency personnel attending to them. Faith communities may provide clothing, food, shelter, health care, and pastoral response.

3. Short-term recovery. The major tasks include damage assessment, restoration of utilities, temporary repair, reestablishment of communications, and maintenance of civic order.

4. Long-term recovery. Principal tasks are rebuilding lives and communities, conducting grief counseling and dealing with the physical, emotional and spiritual unmet needs.


Spiritual Care

During the rescue faze chaplains can be used to supply spiritual and emotional care to victims as follows

1.     Asses the survivors that are not in the need of immediate medical attention

2.     Dealing with family separation

3.     Death notification

4.     Comforting the bereaved

5.     Recommendations for further mental health attention

This is usually accomplished from and in conjunction with a First Responder or Crises command post or hospital in the area.

Having Chaplains on the Crises team has so many advantages that many goverment and private organizations have not only recognized this but are now asking for chaplains.

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Caring in Action

Director of Occupational Chaplains

All applications are to be sent to

OCA Director William Dillon  
264 South Veterans Memoral Blvd 
Tupelo, MS 38804

Phone: 870-814-0901
Email: William@plisolutions.com

OCA is in the Division of Education, Department of Chaplaincy
8855 Dunn Rd, Hazelwood, MO 63042-2299