Reverend B.J. Chain
BJ Chain is a graduate from Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, NJ. Though having attended church his entire life, it was at the First Presbyterian Church in Oxford, MS that BJ began to develop his own faith by attending the youth program there. BJ’s church participation led to involvement with both the Presbyterian Youth Council and Hopewell Camp and Conference Center in high school. BJ’s involvement with the Presbyterian Church continued in college with the newly-founded Ukirk program at the University of Mississippi.
As an undergrad in the University of Mississippi's ROTC program, BJ struggled to discern what his role was going to be in the Army. In hindsight, he was always viewed by my peers as “the guy who went to church” which would often prompt religious discussion and even lead some of his closest peers to attend Ukirk meetings. It was not until he participated in the required training and discernment process at Fort Knox, KY between his junior and senior years that all previous plans for a career in the Army were changed.
BJ chose to go to seminary in New Jersey because it was the place that would present the most challenges. These challenges were geographical, social, cultural, and academic. All of these challenges afforded BJ the opportunity to grow in faith. While attending seminary with the intention of being an Active Duty Army chaplain - God, family, and friends helped BJ to realize he was being called to another area of ministry. It was the church that shaped and continues to shape BJ, and it is to the church BJ is called. BJ discovered this through his various experiences in the capacity of Army chaplain candidate, his church field-education placement, and his clinical pastoral education placement. This and much more has had a profound effect on BJ’s faith and ministry, and it is to parish ministry BJ is called to use these gifts and experiences.