April 2017: Jeremiah Cates
Jeremiah Cates (’03, ’08) served as a chaplain in the United States military. For 14 years, he acted as a spiritual counselor and advisor to his Soldiers, as well as caring for their needs. Today Jeremiah is developing a ministry for combat-wounded veterans while serving as the new assistant pastor of Rustic Hills Baptist Church in Colorado Springs.
From the age of 12, Jeremiah felt God calling him into full-time ministry. He decided to pursue this calling after finishing high school, and God led him to Faith as a freshman. Jeremiah began considering the military chaplaincy after his sophomore year.
“In Pastoral Theology class,” Jeremiah recounted, “all of us were challenged to consider the military chaplaincy by Chaplain (Lt. Colonel) Daniel McClure. God used Chaplain McClure to plant the seed of chaplaincy ministry in my mind and heart. Slowly over the next few years, God began to grow that seed of chaplaincy ministry.”
Jeremiah met his wife, Jennifer (’01 Anderson), through his roommate who was Jennifer’s twin brother. They were married in 2004. After finishing his degree, God called Jeremiah to serve in the United States Navy as a Chaplain Candidate.
While serving with the Navy, God opened opportunities for Jeremiah to serve in Virginia, California, and aboard the USS Alabama. After completing his M. Div. in 2008, God led him to serve as a chaplain in the United States Army. He served with the Wyoming Army National Guard until he was relocated to North Carolina on active duty as an Army chaplain in 2012. In 2013, Jeremiah received deployment orders to Afghanistan.
“I arrived to Bagram Airfield on January 3, 2014, and over the next 12 months, I saw incredible open doors to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with hundreds of U.S. military personnel and even military Soldiers from all over the world. God even gave opportunities to share the love of Christ with many Afghan children and families who came in to receive emergency medical treatment.”
Not only did Jeremiah represent God while serving in Afghanistan, but he also represented Faith by flying the flag in honor of how God used Faith in his life.
“While I was serving in Afghanistan, I remembered the Faith motto, ‘With the Word to the World.’ Flying the flag in Afghanistan was in honor of God using Faith to train me to serve Him there. It makes me smile to look back now, but in all of the Faith chapel services I attended, I never would have guessed God would send me ‘With the Word to Afghanistan!’”
Jeremiah was medically retired in March of 2017 due to combat injuries. “I can honestly say now I’m thankful for my injuries, because I know God allowed them in order to give me an open door to serve my fellow combat wounded veterans.”
Jeremiah has recently accepted the call of the assistant pastor at Rustic Hills Baptist Church in Colorado Springs where he, his wife, and two sons serve. He is also developing a ministry that will invest in our nation’s combat-wounded veterans, allowing them to embark on a wilderness journey that will challenge them with the gospel. Jeremiah Cates has been used both at home and abroad for God’s glory as he takes the “Word to the World.”