Joseph Chandler at an Order of the Arrow event
BEECH ISLAND, S.C.––Joseph Chandler, a 34-year veteran in emergency services, an Eagle Scout, and a district Scout executive, now serves as a scouting ministry specialist.
Following his retirement from the Fire Department of the Savannah River Department of Energy and while seeking a way to serve and minister to others, Chandler accepted a position of executive of the Yamasee (S.C.) District of the Georgia-Carolina BSA Council, headquartered in Augusta, Ga.
“I looked at the South Carolina counties I serve,” said Chandler. “In areas where no Scout troops exist, I contacted UM churches to make them aware of the possibility of beginning a troop or a pack.” Noting that the UMC has the second highest number of Scout units nationwide, Chandler says churches of that denomination are one of the first places to look when seeking organizations to charter new units.
“In less than a month of starting to make contacts, I have one UMC that wants to start a unit and another pastor asking for information that can be reviewed by his church council,” says Chandler.
Through the ranks
The son of a Methodist minister, Chandler was brought up in the church and scouting. He began in Cub Scouts through Webelos and received the Arrow of Light award. As a Boy Scout he received the God and Country Award, the Order of the Arrow, Scout Life Guard, and he achieved the rank of Eagle.
He has also served as junior assistant scoutmaster, assistant scoutmaster, scoutmaster, cubmaster and chaplain. “I held some of these positions only for short periods of time due to my work schedule in emergency services,” he says.
In addition to training in stress management, trauma care and emergency medical service, Chandler has received an Associate in Science in Criminal Justice degree from the University of South Carolina, a Bachelor of Science in Multidisciplinary Studies from Liberty University, and a Bachelor of Theology and a Master of Arts in Biblical Studies degree from the American Bible College and Seminary, and a Doctorate in Practical Ministry in Chaplaincy from Master’s International School of Divinity.
A member of Capers Chapel UMC in Beech Island, S.C., Chandler is a candidate for the position of local pastor. “I have had the opportunity to preach on many occasions in the past and enjoy doing so,” said the Scout leader.
Life of service
“Being a pastor or a professional Scout executive are both great ways to serve others while serving God. God will direct our path and open the doors to where He desires us to be,” he says.
Chandler wants to thank churches that have scouting as part of their ministry and he encourages other UM congregations to look into having scouting as part of their ministry. “Wherever I serve, I plan to share scouting in any way I can because I know scouting makes a difference in a person’s life,” he concludes.