News: Wallace assumes leadership of Victory Gospel Experience
Story by Master Sgt. Michael Daigle
CAMP VICTORY, Iraq - Capt. Jesus Wallace, chaplain, Hemet, Calif., 79th Ordnance Battalion, assumed the duties of spiritual leadership of Victory Gospel Experience Gospel Congregation from Lt. Col. Sherman Baker, chaplain, Fort Bragg, N.C., 44th Medical Command, in a change of stole ceremony held Sunday, June 28, at the Hope Chapel on Victory Base.
"It is an honor to be the new pastor", Wallace said. "I know I have big shoes to fill but I also know that God is with me."
The Victory Gospel Experience Gospel Congregation is a vitally important congregation, according to Lt. Col Tom Shepard, chaplain, Burlingame, Kan., Task Force 326th garrison command chaplain. It assists the Camp Victory community in fulfilling its mandate of providing comprehensive chapel worship programs here on Camp Victory.
"Its mission is to be a community of believers — that gives visible form to the faith and fellowship to which God has called His people," Shepard said. "It is a congregation that is guided by the scriptures and directed by the Holy Spirit. It seeks to fulfill its calling by conducting corporate worship services, by providing Christian education and spiritual nurturing classes — and by constantly proclaiming the Gospel in word and in action. It ministers to both the churched and unchurched of our community."
Wallace has been attending Victory Gospel Experience since February.
"I was asked by Chaplain Baker if I was willing to assume this position, but I could also feel God's call to do so," Wallace said. "I fought it in my mind and in prayer. I asked God for a Scripture and for clear guidance and he led me to John 21:15-17. 'Do you love me more than these?' From there on, it was a clear vision from Christ and I submitted."
The ecclesiastical stole was originally an outer garment formed from an oval or rectangular piece of cloth. This garment dates back in antiquity to early empires, governments, and nations. Early Christians incorporated stoles in their worshipping community as symbols of Christ's yoke. Stoles were reduced in size to narrow strips of cloth and worn by ministers over both shoulders and by deacons over the left shoulder. Ministers wear stoles as symbols of their position, spiritual leadership, responsibility, and voluntary submission to the will of God.
"The Victory Gospel Experience Gospel Congregation — has been blessed under the steady leadership of Chaplain Baker," Shepard said. "He has constantly provided Godly leadership and direction to this congregation. He will be greatly missed and the loss of his leadership will be felt, but God always provides for His people."