Chaplain Purvis recently was promoted to Lieutenant Commander – a professional success he attributes to the men he serves. “Promotions have little to do with me and everything to do with those I serve with; they, the enlisted and other officers, make promotions possible,” he writes. But as for the football team, “They still see me as Chaps: the guy who is going to be where it matters – when it matters; taking care of them regardless of rank.”

To “be where it matters – when it matters” is a theme for Chaplain Purvis ministry in the Navy, as well as his home and personal life.

“Be where it matters – when it matters.” -Bryan Purvis
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The Purvis Family knows the difficulty of being apart for long periods of time as an active-duty military family. However, Chaplain Purvis considers his family’s call to the military and chaplaincy life connected to God’s plan for them. He and Andi–his wife of 13 years–have such a strong marriage because of Christ’s work in their lives, relationship, and family structure. This family is a unit, working together for a common goal and purpose, even when the military places their Daddy miles apart from his wife and two kids.

Purpose is also a theme for Chaplain Purvis.

“The overwhelming majority of the military is from 18-25…I like to say I have the largest college ministry in the world.”

When ministering to these college-age military men, Purvis encourages them to “follow your God-given purpose in life.” He goes on, “Your past shapes you, but don’t let it define you; you are defined by your relationship with Christ. This is your purpose.”

“Follow your God-given purpose in life.”
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Emily Hines is a staff writer for Education and Clergy Development. She currently lives in Marion, Indiana and is completing her masters through The Kern Program at Indiana Wesleyan University.