Men from the Charis Fellowship have been serving the United Stated Armed Forces as chaplains since World War II. The Eagle Commission formed in 1986 as a way to support and encourage the men and their families who are serving members of our military and veterans.
The Eagle Commission has fallen under various ministries within the Charis Fellowship, such as Brethren Home Mission and Grace Brethren Investment Foundation, but in 2020 they were incorporated in the state of Indiana, and in August 2021 they received National Ministry status during a vote by Charis Fellowship delegates. Dr. Mark Penfold has served as the endorser for the Eagle Commission since 2017, a post he accepted upon retirement from a career as an Army chaplain.
“It was an honor to be asked to serve as the Fellowship’s endorser when I retired. Having served as a chaplain for 30 years, I value the relationships that encouraged and sustained my family and me during our many assignments, re-assignments, and deployments. There are a lot of challenges, professionally and for families, in doing ministry in the military or the V.A., but the need is so great! I’m excited for the future of the Eagle Commission as we represent our Fellowship’s commitment to taking the Gospel of peace to our military and veterans.”
The goal of the Eagle Commission is to connect the Charis Fellowship with chaplains who are serving around the world to offer support and ecnouragement on their mission. They are currently working with 15 chaplain in the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy, Army Reserve, and Air Force Reserve, as well as one in the Canadian Armed Forces and one in Veterans Affairs/Hospital.
“The Eagle Commission has supported me by connecting me to and helping me to grow roots within the Charis Fellowship,” said LTC Carl Phillips, U.S. Army Chaplain. “I have had wonderful prayer support by individuals and groups with various people reaching out to encourage me. The Eagle Commission continues to be a blessing of grace to my wife and me.”
In addition to working with current chaplains, the Eagle Commission also recruits and assists in training chaplain candidates, men who are currently in seminary.
2LT Isaac Anderson, Army National Guard chaplain candidate, said, “Being a chaplain candidate has given me the opportunity to learn how to minister to a community in a very unique situation. The Eagle Commission has given me both the confidence and the security to be able to practice my faith and to bring the light of Jesus across the world.”