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Once Again, ABI Graduates Lead The Way

by ABI Admissions (2/6/2017)

As the years progress, more and more licensed UPCI ministers are going into chaplaincy. There are four areas of chaplaincy: Military and VA, fire and police, health and medical, and occupational. Being a military chaplain is no easy feat, but it is one that multiple UPCI ministers, and ABI alumni have been willing to take on.

It began with Rev. Garry Truman, who graduated from Apostolic Bible Institute in 1965. He was an assistant pastor in Lima, Ohio in 1967 when he was drafted for the Vietnam War. After fighting for conscientious objector status for a year, in August of 1968 he went into the army as a medic and did a tour of duty in Vietnam.

As soon as his tour of duty was over, Rev. Truman came back to the states where he continued his ministry.

In 1977, he attended the General Conference of the UPCI in Indianapolis, Indiana where, through the help and encouragement of Rev. Arless Glass, (who received an honorary degree from ABI), God placed a calling in his life for military chaplaincy. The very next year, at the General Conference held in Kansas City, he went before the board and was approved. A week later, he had a letter of equivalency from Kenrick Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri, and by January, Rev. Truman was in active service as the first licensed UPCI military chaplain.

Rev. Truman says that when he went to meet with the academic dean at Kenrick Seminary, he showed him his ABI diploma and a yearbook that he had helped work on. The priest looked at them and said, "Looks good to me. I'll have my secretary write up your letter."

Rev. Truman was blown away at how God was working. As he went on to serve, he says that the most jarring experience came in his early days of service when a young man walked up to him and said, "They tell me you're UPC?"

When Rev. Truman informed him that he was, the young man was surprised because he was so nice.

This encounter floored him and became an early reminder for him to just "be nice," a mantra that he kept throughout his eighteen-and-a-half years of service as a military chaplain, retiring as a major in 1997.

His experience as a UPCI chaplain paved the way for more UPCI licensed ministers to follow, and they did.

Rev. Raymond Robinson graduated from ABI in 1988, teaching for several years as he completed his Master of Divinity at United Theological Seminary in New Brighton, Minnesota.

Rev. Robinson is currently a Colonel, the highest ranking UPCI military chaplain on the field and serves as the USFK (United States Forces Korea) Command Chaplain.
These men serve and have served our military in a great capacity, spreading Truth overseas.
But our ABI grads have stretched beyond military chaplaincy, and have gone into an area with a rigorous application process spanning fifteen months.

Serving as FBI chaplains.

It is no easy process, but once again, ABI graduates have paved the way to make it happen. Rev. Norman Paslay graduated from ABI in 1978, and went on to pastor Calvary Church in Cincinnati, Ohio for two decades before he decided to study for his Master's at Urshan Graduate School of Theology.

In 2015, Rev. Paslay was appointed as an FBI chaplain serving Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio, the first UPCI minister to do so.

Another trailblazing ABI alum, Rev. Gregg Joki, did the same. Rev. Joki graduated from ABI in 1988 and went on to assist his brother-in-law in Dewar, Oklahoma. He has served at the Dewar United Pentecostal Church in multiple capacities, including 8 years of chaplaincy service in prisons, jails, police stations and fire departments.

His ABI degree, coupled with his chaplaincy experience, afforded him the opportunity to hold a position as an FBI chaplain that started in late 2016. Rev. Joki made the statement, "Without my ABI degree, I wouldn't have gotten into the FBI."

Since becoming an FBI chaplain, Rev. Joki has spoken at a Sunday morning service at Quantico, the FBI's training academy in Virginia, and has briefly served as the chaplain on duty there.

ABI currently has on staff a former political chaplain, Rev. Andrew Reece, who graduated in 2009 and served at the Minnesota State Capitol from 2012 to 2013, and is still involved in the chaplain community. Also, one of our adjunct faculty members, Dr. Sidney Poe, is the Director of Education for the Occupational Chaplains Association, traveling the country teaching seminars and training new chaplains. He also teaches the chaplaincy course at ABI, which produced another chaplain on staff, Sis. Chandra Murphy. Sis. Murphy is the ABI Christian Academy principal and is also a licensed chaplain, visiting and aiding shut-ins.

ABI graduates have led the way in many areas of ministry. We are proud of each trailblazer that the school we love produces, and all who have followed to keep the work of the Lord going around the world!

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Wrapping Up January

by ABI Admissions (1/31/2017)

The month of January is wrapping up at Apostolic Bible Institute, and it's been a busy one to start out the year.

During our first week of classes, the Minnesota Breakthrough Ministers Training Conference was held at ABI, and the students were able to sit in on the sessions and services, gleaning knowledge from seasoned ministers. During the next week, the students took a snow day and went snow tubing at Green Acres.

Last week was Spirit Week at ABI, and the students enjoyed themselves as they proudly showed off their school spirit! The month wrapped up nicely with All Nations Sunday. With 18 different languages spoken in the congregation, cultures from around the globe were well represented.

The preaching was translated into multiple languages, there were songs of worship in English, Spanish and Karen, and after, there was a cultural potluck dinner that everyone enjoyed. The young people had fun snow sledding in the afternoon and the day was filled with fellowship. As January winds down, we look forward to the relatively quiet month of February and the rest of the semester!

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ABI Snow Day

by ABI Admissions (1/24/2017)

Last Wednesday, the ABI student body had a snow day. No, there wasn't snow falling from the sky and no, there was no forecast for 20 inches to be dropped on Oakdale, but after lots of hard work from the students, Bro. Grant decided a day of snow tubing was in order!

So, the students happily made their way to Green Acres in Lake Elmo, MN and had a day of fellowship and fun. The students came back happy and ready to tackle the rest of the semester. We look forward to what God has in store this year!

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UPCI Involvement In FBI Chaplaincy

by ABI Admissions (1/17/2017)

A few years ago, an FBI agent showed up at Urshan Graduate School of Theology (UGST) to inquire about a recent graduate. This was an unusual event, and it certainly got the attention of the staff. Soon the purpose for this unannounced visit became clear.

After graduating from Apostolic Bible Institute (ABI), Norm Paslay II served in pastoral ministry in the Cincinnati area for two decades, including police chaplaincy. At the age of forty-five, however, he decided to pursue a master's degree from UGST, the UPCI's own institution of higher learning. Indeed, Norm's advanced degree enabled him to apply to join the ranks of approximately one hundred FBI chaplains, who provide pastoral care within the elite US intelligence community. To qualify for top-secret security clearance, Norm had to submit to a rigorous process spanning fifteen months. Preparation and training would include a trip to the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia, and an extensive array of tutorials and seminars. In November 2015 Norm was approved as an FBI chaplain serving Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio, a first for a UPCI minister.

In late 2016 another UPCI minister and ABI graduate, Gregg Joki, successfully completed the lengthy qualification process and was hired as the FBI chaplain of Eastern Oklahoma, including the city of Tulsa. Gregg's more than eight years of volunteer chaplaincy in prisons, jails, fire departments, and police stations provided a solid foundation for his post at the FBI. Gregg was recently selected to speak at a Sunday morning service at Quantico, and has served briefly as chaplain on duty at the FBI Academy. He has also provided training for other chaplains at Quantico.

New FBI chaplaincy posts will become available in the future, and qualified UPCI ministers who are willing and able to follow the long and arduous path pioneered by Norm and Gregg may someday fill those roles. Of course, a growing number of UPCI constituents serve as chaplains in other venues, such as hospitals, armed forces, police departments, and businesses. That day at UGST, it turns out, the FBI agent was simply verifying Norm's education history, a single item on the same background checklist used to qualify every FBI agent. As UPCI men and women continue to follow the call of God, who knows where the FBI will show up next?


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First Day Back

by ABI Admissions (1/9/2017)

Today marked the first day of the Spring 2017 semester at ABI. The freshmen studied Theology with Bro. Grant, while the sophomores studied Church History with Sis. Resong and Musicianship with Sis. McGowan and the juniors and seniors studied Sociology with Bro. Bollmann.

After a nice, long break, the students were more than happy to see their ABI family. With the Minnesota Breakthrough Conference happening this weekend, the students are starting out the semester with a bang, ready to jump into action! We can't wait to see what God is going to do in 2017!

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