Penultimate Chaplain Visit: Chaplain Retires on a Blessing!

Penultimate Chaplain Visit: Chaplain Retires on a Blessing!
By Chaplain Jim McMillan & Andy Meverden, Associate Director

Good afternoon, Andy,

Today I am honored to pray for you, Myra and your ongoing faithful service to our Lord and His kingdom. I have been praying for your health needs as well as enjoyment in your retirement and protection from COVID and its residual effects. Your life has been fruitful as you have pastored, served our men and women in uniform, and directed our chaplain ministry. Thanks for your commitment to our Lord.

I retired from the hospital two weeks ago. My next-to-last (“penultimate”) visit during my final on call week was a man with end-stage liver failure whom his nurse referred to me as “needing to talk”. To make a somewhat long story short I was privileged to lead him to Christ, and he stepped into Heaven the next evening. I shared the story of the thief on the cross and he identified with him. What a way to finish!

Please let me know how you are doing and how I can pray for you.

Thanks, grace, and blessings,

Jim McMillan
Hospital Chaplain
Lakeland, Florida

The rest of the story…

After retiring from pastoral ministry in the Northeast, Jim and Karen McMillan moved to Florida to enjoy their retirement years. With the blessing of my predecessor, Dr. Allen Russell, Pastor Jim began a supportive ministry to our military chaplains; one of prayer and personal encouragement. Once I took over as chaplaincy director, I provided Jim with regular updates of chaplain contact info. While doing this, catching up on his golf game and participating in their Florida church, Jim felt the need to return to more active ministry. Renewing his chaplain endorsement, Jim began to serve permanent part-time as a hospital chaplain with great results. In the meantime, Jim continued prayerful encouragement to chaplains, including me and our new director, Randy & Julie Brandt, in his systematic contact.

Somehow, I missed the part in his April email, about his transition from hospital ministry to volunteer hospice ministry. I quickly responded, asking if he would consider continuing his prayer ministry to our chaplains. This was his gracious reply:

“I plan to continue praying for our chaplains as long as I still have a few marbles. I am enjoying not being tied down with on-call responsibilities every fourth week or so but miss the interactions with patients and colleagues. I am resuming my volunteer work with Cornerstone Hospice as soon as facilities reopen. I met with the new chaplain yesterday and I believe we will have a good working relationship. Once the summer transitions have slowed down, I would like to have a new chaplain list of those currently serving and retirees.”

VCN Chaplaincy director, Randy Brandt and I thank God for dedicated, godly, pastoral teams like Jim and Karen McMillan who quietly, behind-the-scenes support our chaplains. Join us in thanking God for the McMillan’s who continue investing themselves in chaplains on the cutting edge of ministry.

For more stories by and about Venture Churches’ 200 chaplains, military and civilian, visit Chaplaincy – Venture Church Network ( For information on chaplain endorsement, email Randy Brandt, Director, at

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