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Meet Chaplain (Maj.) Abram Staten

2-2 SBCT chaplain lives his ‘life-giving’ ministry

Chaplain (Maj.) Abram Staten leads 2nd Brigade, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team soldiers in a moment of reflection as part of his life-giving ministry. Photo credit: Courtesy image

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Major Abram Staten used the words "life giving" to describe his ministry to the soldiers of 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team.

"Chaplains serve under their own religious calling," he began, "and they help others to excel in life by modeling the tools needed to succeed in life."

Growing up in Winnsboro, South Carolina, Staten was an outgoing young man with a love of music, his high school's marching band, and his service in the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC).

"My commander personally took me to enroll at South Carolina State University to continue in the ROTC program," explained Staten.

While a cadet, he majored in education and music performance and began to think seriously about serving as a chaplain.

"I was the only music major in the program," he said with a chuckle.

After graduation, Staten served his first 12 years in the Army Reserve and Guard.  While serving, Staten was encouraged by his commander to become a chaplain.

"My mother was a pastor, and I grew up in the church," he said, "and it seemed like a natural calling for me to follow."

From 2010 to 2012 he attended Liberty College to become an ordained Protestant minister in the Church of God Prophecy.

"I am the only one chaplain of this church in the active-duty Army and the only one in all five branches of the service," Staten added.

And then his life took a turn for the worst.

In 2014 he received a telephone call from his ex-wife to tell him that she wanted a divorce. Staten thought it was a joke - until it wasn't.

His life changed, and he began to lose it. His dog, his house and his job were gone. To top it all off, he broke his arm and wrecked his car. With nowhere to go and only enough money in his pocket for a motel room for one night, he began to contemplate taking his life.

"What if I attempt to kill myself, and I don't do it well," he recalls thinking at the time, "but I was nervous, and I couldn't do it."

Not only could he not take his own life, but several friends stepped in and told him they would not let him face his problems alone.

"Life is easier as a team," continued Staten. "Those friends were such a life-giving group; they responded to me as a team to help alleviate the problems I was facing."

Staten believes in pouring his faith out to others, and that by doing so he helps them as he was helped.

"I pour out to others," he added "but my wife, my daughters and my leadership give me the motivation to continue to witness my faith."

He added that he finds watching movies a great way to relax and recharge, mentioning that he once rented out an entire theater for soldiers to come and enjoy and afternoon movie.

"But in the end, it is a life-giving profession that helps others lead productive and full lives."

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