by Reverend Clyde Jackson
I am grateful to the BVA Board of Directors for appointing me as the National Chaplain. While my previous Corner
was a brief message, I have been exhorted by some to share more of my personal background and thoughts in this issue.
My membership in BVA extends back to 1979 and spans the exact time period in which Chaplain Neftali Sanchez served us. I admire and applaud him for his dedication and faithfulness to God and our organization. My prayer is that I will serve with just as much fervor and commitment as he demonstrated.
I am a native of Richmond, Virginia, but currently reside in the Virginia town of Midlothian with my wife and daughter. I presently serve currently in a number of volunteer capacities at the Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center in Richmond, among them the office manager of the BVA volunteer office for eight years and the chairman of the executive committee of the VA Voluntary Services Department for two years.
I have also served as the Mid-Atlantic Regional Group chaplain for 14 years. I believe firmly that a veteran’s voluntary service is often far more encompassing than most individuals realize, but it is our responsibility and duty to give of our time on behalf of deserving veterans who come from all walks of life.
My educational qualifications include training from institutions of higher learning in both Maryland and Virginia. I attended New Hope Bible College and Seminary of Baltimore, Maryland, where I obtained a Bachelor of Theology, a Master of Divinity, and a Doctorate of Philosophy.
My training went further when I attended the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, where I studied the ministry of caring for the people of God as a whole. I am currently a member of St. John’s United Holy Church and serve there as an Associate Minister and President of the Missionary Department.
As I have journeyed through life, I have learned that we are all epistles that are read of men. This means that someone is always observing us and, at times, our every move. We should therefore always live respectably.
I lost my sight myself due to glaucoma. When doctors could no longer control the pressures to my eyes, I found myself lost in a world of darkness. During this devastating time of my life, a church mother shared with me a poem that still pulls at my mind and my heart. The title is “God Watches Over Me” and the author is David Ephraim Tyler.
I lost my sight some time ago,
And now I cannot see.
I still get along all right;
God has been good to me.
As I pass on through these years,
And I cannot see,
God wipes away my tears,
And is a friend to me.
Now, I’m happy in my Master’s care,
Even though blind;
For God is forever loving,
And he’s also forever kind.
There are some folks without any hands,
And some folk without feet.
They trust God
Their life can still be sweet.
Day by day
It is God that watches over me.
God is wise beyond our toughest problem, whatever seemingly impossible task we may face. He is right there to help us through the darkest moments of our lives. I am certain that we can do nothing of our own power, but with God all things are possible.