New chaplain takes deputy position
September 10, 2009
FORT BELVOIR, Va. -- Back in his homeland, the Philippines, everyone always thought Chaplain (Maj.) Felix Sermon changed his name because he was a chaplain.
His response was always that he has been a "sermon" ever since he was a kid.
It was in high school, Sermon said, he began to commit his life to the Lord for full-time ministry.
"It is not because somebody told me to do so, it is because it is what God wanted me to be and this is what God's plan was for me," he said.
Sermon was assigned to Fort Belvoir as the new deputy garrison chaplain and pastoral coordinator on July 28.
"Our mission doesn't ever really change," Sermon said. "My main job is to assist Chaplain [Lt. Col. James] King and make sure services here are provided for anyone who needs them.
"As the pastoral coordinator, it is my responsibility to work with the Christian education directors to make sure that everyone at our chapels is having their spiritual needs met," he said.
Sermon has been in the ministry since 1987.
He was commissioned into the Army in 1996 and entered Chaplain Officer Basic Course in 1997 at Fort Jackson, S.C.
Upon completion of the course, he was assigned to Fort Bliss, Texas.
Sermon has also been assigned to Bamberg, Germany; Fort Eustis, Va.; and Fort Campbell, Ky.
He has deployed to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait; Kosovo twice; and served 15 months in Iraq. While in Iraq, Sermon was the senior chaplain for the 86th Combat Support Hospital.
Sermon is looking to continue providing spiritual guidance to the community and provide ministry to the Warriors in Transition by following his three-pronged ministry.
"I don't want to get out of what we really do as chaplains," Sermon said. "As chaplains, we nurture the living, care for the wounded and honor the dead.
Sermon said that caring for the wounded in Iraq is a lot different, than doing so here, but when he can, he visits as many Soldiers at DeWitt and the WTU as he can to ensure they are receiving proper spiritual guidance and assistance.
He said being involved with every death that occurred in his unit during his time in Iraq was difficult. But, Sermon said, he knew helping Soldiers cope with loss was a valuable mission.
"Every death came through me and we lost a lot of good Soldiers over there," Sermon said. "But, [honoring the dead] is a ministry that we are called to do and we need to provide for our Soldiers."
During his time at Belvoir, Sermon plans to continue his duty to nurture the living.
"I always say we nurture the living as chaplains and if there is ever a need for spiritual guidance, I am always available to assist," Sermon said.