Rawlings School of Divinity
Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
Veteran Integration, Biblical Postwar Rituals
Christianity | Counseling | Religion
Bennett, Alva Ray, "Biblical Warrior Integration Connecting Veterans and Civilians in Oakland Baptist Church" (2020). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 2737.
As a small, less than a 150-member church, located close to Robins Air Force Base in Georgia, Oakland Baptist Church struggles to fully integrate veterans and civilians within the congregational setting. The author studied biblical postwar rituals and used them to design the Biblical Warrior Integration model to enhance the relational connectivity between veterans and civilians. It was congregation-based and relationship-focused. It helped to heal misunderstandings and neglect between veterans and civilians. Also, it was biblically based and reflected a modern application of biblical postwar rituals identified within the biblical text. Thirty of the 150 members of Oakland Baptist Church were veterans, COVID-19 restrictions limited the number of participants and the methods used. The author conducted a survey of the adult population of the church to determine the relational connectivity between the veterans and the civilians. Then, he interviewed fifteen veteran participants to help them express their warrior experiences. Next, some of the veteran participants volunteer to produce a short veteran testimony that the author posted on the church’s Facebook page. The congregation members viewed the veteran testimonies to hear and better understand the warrior experiences of the veterans. Finally, the author captured the church’s response to its veterans with an exit survey. Though the Biblical Warrior integration project only focused on one of the biblical postwar rituals, storytelling, the project enhanced the relational connectivity between veterans and civilians in Oakland Baptist Church.