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.
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.”
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.