Clovis church aims to become military-focused

Christina Calloway

Central Baptist Church in Clovis is making an effort to serve military members by transitioning into becoming a military-focused church.

Associate Pastor Dick Ross is one of the main members active in making this transition.

“We want to become a military-focused church because we have a large number of military members at our church,” Ross said.

Ross says he understands that military members move around a lot and they may not be able to commit to a church home but he says that shouldn’t mean they can’t be served.

“This is for everybody, you don’t have to be a member of our church to be a part of the programs we offer, anybody is welcome to participate without having a lot of pressure to join,” Ross said.

Ross says Campus Crusade for Christ’s website defines the military as a “different people group.”

“Their lives are so different, they live different from the rest of do,” Ross said.

Ross plans to be identified as a military-focused church on their website.

The church has made a start on this process by hosting the Loving Your Military Man study and support group at their church for military spouses.

A lot of the programs they plan to develop will focus on serving military members and their families.

The mental health of military members is another concern for Ross and his staff.

“There’s a high divorce rate in the military and a high suicide rate,” Ross said. “Sometimes they need just a friend. We’re looking into a lot of different things we can do.”

Currently they have a social worker and counselor who is certified by the American Association of Christian Councilors to work with military members and post-traumatic stress disorder.

“The church would be a great tool for her to serve,” said Airman and church member Phillip Cowart. “The church is another great outlet that will provide an opportunity for people to handle their stress.”

Cowart said over the last 10 years, the military has made an effort to open up as many doors as possible to help cope with stress and other mental health issues.

Cowart and his wife Danielle are just one of the couples excited about this transition and are active in moving it forward.

“The church being military-minded will be a lot more effective,” Cowart said. “Dick Ross has been the man behind the movement and my wife has also been active. She’s really made a positive effect on the spouses, especially with the spouse’s bible study and helping Dick develop the programs.”

Ross says he has some programs in development to further the church’s transition.

He’s creating a healing manual for military members coming back from war and support group for families called, “When the War Comes Home.”