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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.

Then I came to them of the captivity at Telabib, that dwelt by the river of Chebar, and I sat where they sat, and remained there astonished among them seven days. Eze 3:15


Early one morning my phone rang the person calling said, "This is the Human Resources Department from the plant. There has been a bad wreck and some of the victims are headed for the hospital."  I immediately called other chaplains to converge on the two different hospitals and the plant where coworkers are anxious and grieving. The wheel came off causing the van to turn over, one dead and several injured. While ministering to the grieving families, coworkers and representing concerned company officials you will find yourself setting where they sit, caring and crying, looking through their eyes sharing their pain.


On another occasion I found myself standing beside the special projects engineer the day his wife died. I spent about 6 hours that day with him just being there for him. The next day I attended the wake, several hours away, and then I preached his wife's funeral. Because I ministered to him, he came to visit our church one time. I buried his wife in December. Jim received the Holy Ghost in January.  Later he told me, "There is nothing that you could have said to ever get me to come to your church, but when you were kind to my wife and I when she was dying I said you all had something I did not have and I had to come see what it was." Jim never got away in fact he has just met the Arkansas district Board and received his ministers' license. He preaches at our local jail and oversees our jail ministry. Jim has baptized 15 inmates since the first of the year. All this because he was met in his time of need by a chaplain in his workplace.


Ray Hawkins is our Hospital/Hospice Chaplain Director and has many other experiences from his years of work as one of our military chaplains and now hospice care. Let me share this from my own hospital chaplain work. I remember one day I was on call and I was summoned to the hospital nursery due to the death of a badly deformed infant. The mother crying at the top of her lungs, "Why me God . I never took drugs or drank why me?" This went on for some time as eight staff and doctors stood by. It was up to me to minister to this mother because the staff won't take the baby until the mother willingly releases her dead child. I stood there praying asking God to give me the right words to say. After about 20 minutes I walked over to the mother who was still grieving, laid my hand on her shoulder and said these simple God-given words, "It's okay you don't have to understand right now." I had given her permission to not understand. Within seconds she stopped wailing, turned and gave the child's body to the nurse.  


Directing our Police and Fire Chaplains is Rick George. He told this story in one of our teaching sessions with Urshan Graduate School of Theology. I was called to the scene of an auto accident. The driver had been thrown out of the vehicle and impaled by a piece of metal between the car and a tree. It was apparent that when they removed the metal that the man was going to bleed to death immediately. What do you do and how do you minister to a dying stranger? I was able to find the family who lived close by and bring them to the accident. I let the wife and children say goodbye to him before he died. I was also able to minister to the man according to the experience the man had with his God. Sometimes we are asked to be the Good Samaritan and minister to the man, his family leaving the rest to God.


Yet another shooting in the American workplace, the news reported. Reflecting back when the news broke that six employees of the United States Post Office were tragically killed by a fellow worker, that incident so shocked Americans that a new phrase was added to our vocabulary. -?Going Postal' Recently I counted five school shootings within a two week period. What use to shock us has now become a way of life, many times hidden in the back of the paper unless the numbered murdered exceeds the last mass killing. According to the Department of Labor and Industry, workplace violence is the second leading cause of death in the workplace.  How are industries coping with workplace rage and other crises? They have turned to chaplains.


The reason is simple. Chaplains become the first line of defense against workplace rage by building relationships through weekly visits to the workplace and in time the one the employee will look to for spiritual help. As a neutral third party, chaplains have their hands on the pulse of the individual employee including many times their family situations. They are able to detect and defuse rage at its first signs, long before it boils over. Chaplains are there when their family member goes to the hospital, funeral home, wedding chapel, divorce court, injury on the job or when they are having a down day. So, chaplains become both proactive and then post-active when crises occurs.  


Perhaps the burden to sit where they sit has touched you while reading this article and you are feeling that you need to fulfill the call of the Master and to be that Good Samaritan. The Division of Education, directed by Dan Batchelor, has grasped the great burden of chaplain ministry with both hands. He along with the Department of Chaplaincy director A Glass and our wonderful Military Chaplains, have joined with three other areas of chaplaincy to create an awesome opportunity for men and women to enter the area of chaplain ministry. Here are the four areas.


1.      Military/VA Chaplaincy (Gary Truman, MO, Asst Endorsing Agent, Director; Kip Averett, RI, Strategic Officer; Carlos Ruiz, CA, Co-Director; Robert Brott, NC, Global Impact)

2.      Occupational/Corporate Chaplaincy (William Dillon, AR, Director)

3.      Fire/Police Chaplaincy (Mark Hattabaugh, FL Director)

4.      Health/Medical Chaplaincy (Ray Hawkins, FL, Director)


The Department of Chaplaincy has teamed up with several areas of training to give the most flexibility to those already doing chaplain work and for availability of training. Our basic courses come from Urshan Graduate school of Theology (UGST), but we also recognize training from the International Conference of Police (ICPC) Chaplains, International Critical Incident Stress Foundation (ICISF), Hospitals (CPE) programs, universities and many other creditable, field related, courses.


You never know when chaplain training will be needed. I am reminded of one of the first classes that we held with UGST. The host pastor, David Sagle of Chicago area, was suddenly thrust into a crisis situation just hours after finishing the chaplain course. On his way home an accident found him standing next to the Mayor of Elmwood Park helping with the situation as it unfolded. Being trained and on-site placed Chaplain Sagle in a place to serve many during the time of their crisis. The accident happened during rush hour about 10 miles west of downtown Chicago, when a Metro express train ran into five vehicles on the track, smashing them into 11 other automobiles.  It took hours to untangle the wreckage and conduct the investigation. Through the long night of new reports and official statements, Chaplain Sagle was asked to remain with the mayor and workers as a chaplain support. You can be ready to the next crisis in your area.


One last area that I believe is so lacking in our abilities to minister to our world is disaster and catastrophe response. During 9-11 the UPCI had no chaplains deployed to ground zero. During the many shootings and catastrophes since, we have not sent chaplains to the sites. I know of only two times that there were responses. One was my own District Superintendent, B. J. Thomas, who is the head chaplain for Arkansas State Police. The State Police flew him to Jonesboro School during that shooting. The other is, Matt Maddox responded on a personal level to the college shooting in NC. If you know of any other people that have responded or are a member of a response team please email me at It is our desire to create response teams to minister to people in the times of their greatest need. The prophet wrote, "I sat where they sat."


You may go to to find out what is required to become a chaplain and download an application. Our Police/Fire chaplain site is


By Chaplain William Dillon



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Submitted to Chaplain Mark Hattabaugh

   On the frigid night of February 3, 1943, the overcrowded Allied ship U.S.A.T. Dorchester, carrying 902 servicemen, plowed through the dark waters near Greenland.  At 1:00 am, a Nazi submarine fired a torpedo into the transport's flank, killing many in the explosion and trapping others below deck.  It sank in 27 minutes.  The two escort ships, Coast Guard cutters Comanche and Escanaba, were able to rescue only 231 survivors. 

   In the chaos of fire, smoke, oil and ammonia, four chaplains calmed sailors and distributed life jackets.  They were Lt. George L. Fox, Methodist; Lt. Clark V. Poling,  Dutch Reformed; Lt. John P. Washington, Roman Catholic; and Lt. Alexander D. Goode, Jewish.

   When there were no more life jackets, the four chaplains ripped off their own and put them on four young men.  As the ship went down, survivors floating in rafts could see the four chaplains linking arms and bracing themselves on the slanting deck.  They bowed their heads in prayer as they sank to their icy deaths.

   Congress honored them by declaring this "Four Chaplains Day."  On February 7, 1954, President Dwight Eisenhower spoke from the White House for the American Legion "Back-to-God" Program:  "And we remember that, only a decade ago, aboard the transport Dorchester, four chaplains of four faiths together willingly sacrificed their lives so that four others might live.  In the three centuries that separate the Pilgrims of the Mayflower from the chaplains of the Dorchester, America's freedom, her courage, her strength, and her progress have had their foundation in faith..."  America's God and Country Eneyelopedia of Quotations.

   Eisenhower continued:  "Today as then, there is need for positive acts of renewed recognition that faith is our surest strength, our greatest resource.  This 'Back-to-God' movement is such a positive act...  Whatever our individual church, whatever our personal creed, our common faith in God is a common bond among us...  Together we thank the Power that has made and preserved us as a nation.  By the millions, we speak prayers, we sing hymns-and no matter what their words may be, their spirit is the same-'In God is our Trust.'"

   Eisenhower stated in his address:  "As a former soldier, I am delighted that our veterans are sponsoring a movement to increase our awareness of God in our daily lives.  In battle, they learned a great truth-that there are no atheists in the foxholes."

A Day In The Life of A Police Chaplain

by Senior Pastor Mark Hattabaugh, Cooper City, FL

The UPCI has been a movement who’s vision and passion has been “The Whole Gospel To The Whole World!”  Various ministries have been formed and designed to meet this vision we all share.  One of these is Occupational Chaplains Association.  This is a ministry where we focus on training men and women to serve in various roles available to chaplains.  The main areas we focus on are Occupational Chaplains, Hospital/Hospice Chaplains and Law Enforcement/Fire Chaplains. We provide training and certification to prepare men and women to serve in their communities.

Being a volunteer police chaplain allows me to see a side of the Police Department that most civilians never get to see. With all of the bad publicity and certainly even some bad actions by a few officers who wear a badge, some in the community have lost some of their confidence and respect for our Law Enforcement family. I would like to change that attitude.

I ride along with Police Officers all the time, I’m even in their homes counseling their families. I am standing by caskets and holding family members hands, and sometimes I’m in an office counseling married couples. I'm sitting down to have coffee with them while on duty. I pull up on scenes in homes that are torn apart, and maybe help someone trying to get home. Yes, sometimes we pull over people who are simply absent minded but some who have purposely broken the law.

I can't tell you how many times these officers have treated the community with such respect and such dignity - many times with people who have been pulled over and are rude and disrespectful - and yet they've kept their professionalism and their composure.

One of the most difficult things that most civilians do not understand is the fact that police officers go from one call to another (there is no time to process the trauma or heartache). In other words, you are not the only person coming into contact with that officer on that day.

The officer who just pulled you over, may have just come from a child drowning, or a domestic violence abuse situation - or, from helping a young lady who has been raped, or assisting a child who has been strung out on drugs.  He may have just interviewed a family that has been robbed and have lost their sense of dignity and security.

We tend to only see the flashing blue lights behind us - the inconvenience of having to pull our cars over for some infraction that we have committed.  That's all we see. We don't see the officer pulling away from us, scratching his head - still heavy with a load from the call that came from before pulling you over, and is now headed to another difficult call.

So today, as you drive and see an officer pass you by, or pull someone over, I pray that you have compassion, and I pray that you have respect, and it would certainly be good to say a prayer for them and their family. That day, when they walked out of their home, their family said goodbye to them, not knowing if they would return that evening.

Yes, we all know that there are some bad cops, politicians, doctors, and even some bad preachers, but that is not to erase the fact that police officers are precious human beings who put on a badge every day because they took an oath to serve and protect you and I in our communities.  Daily they put their own lives at risk, even when the very communities they are protecting and serving are sometimes the ones that are being so rude and disrespected and even threatening their very lives.

Today, we lost one of our own, not in the line of duty, it was from natural causes.  Nevertheless, the family of the police department came together, rallied together, cried together, and tried to make sense of the fact that we may never be able to truly thank them for their sacrifice.  Today a 9-year-old boy, an 18-year-old girl and a wife of many years - who had shared their dad, husband and their son with the community said goodbye for the last time.

Heroes sometimes wear a badge, and sometimes they don't come home. Pray for them, respect them, and know that they have feelings just like everybody else. Today, as I walk through the halls of our police department, there are many tears being shed, as well as heavy hearts.

We had to drive to the home of the wife, children and parents of the officer that we lost today.  At our police department we had a debriefing with the officers and especially with those that served on the squad with him. The room was very tense, very quiet and very solemn. One thing that you will notice across the nation is that when an officer dies, all police officers are going to have a black stripe across their badge - this is sign of mourning.  As I put one over my badge today I was again reminded of how we are all a family. We all come to serve our community. We all want to see the families in our communities live in safety, and most importantly to get home each night - safely.

May God Bless and continue to protect all of the men and women who are protecting us.

If you would like more information about training or becoming a member of the Occupational Chaplains Association, please visit us here:

Mark Hattabaugh  

Sr. Pastor - The Pentecostals of Cooper City 


Miramar Police Department  - Broward County Florida

Occupational Chaplain Association

Director of Law Enforcement/Fire Chaplains


Arkansas State Trooper 1st Class Moomey hit a drunk driver head on, ON PURPOSE!  The drunk was speeding the wrong way on the interstate highway, obviously posing a grave danger to others.

     The durnk is dead, the Trooper is barely hanging on.  The Trooper made a deliberate, informed decision to stop a threat despite a very low chance of survival for himself. 

     He quite literally put himself between innocents and a threat.

     The Hallsville Community and the Hallsville First Responders stand and salute you, Trooper Moomey for your sacrifice and heroism.

HERE IS A NEED for a Chaplain to minister to the family of the injured Trooper's family, and his coworkers in the division in which he served; and a need for a Hospital Chaplain to work with the family of the injured trooper.  There is also a need for an EMT Chaplain to work with those who had to go and bring him into the hospital.  So many lives and emotions are devestated by this matter!

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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

OCA is an endorsed project of the UPCI in the Office of Education and Endorsments 

36 Research Park Court Weldon Spring MO 63304