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Mess Hall Message

By Karl C. Priest November 19, 2019

After sea duty aboard the U.S.S. Wright (CC-2) (See “Karl C. Priest: Do Not Forget the Cold War and the Reality Of Russia” in the Charleston Gazette-Mail on July 16, 2017), I went to a Navy school at Bainbridge, Maryland. There, I came in contact with a sailor who was totally committed to Christ.

I first saw him while I was standing in the chow line in the mess hall. He had his head bowed as he said a prayer before eating. I joined in the joking from other sailors who made wisecracks about him.

A few days later, I was in the laundry room loading my dirty clothes into a washer and he came in. My trepidation was quickly erased as he turned out to be a regular guy. He invited me to a servicemen’s ministry held in the home of a local Christian family. There I was blessed by the Word of God.

One night, when I was alone in the barracks, I repented of my sins, received God’s forgiveness through Grace, and accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. It was like the transformation (metamorphosis) of a butterfly.  God changed my heart that night and I knew it without a doubt. The boy who would  fight in a flash  was changed!

The guy shipped out not long after we met and I do not remember his name. However, I know I will see him again in heaven.

This verse is a perfect example of that sailor’s life: For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth. (Romans 1:16a)

He preached a message without being in the pulpit.

I am so very thankful that God let our paths cross in that mess hall.


[This article was published in the Essays on Faith of the Charleston Gazette-Mail (pg.4C) on November 22, 2019 as “A message from the mess hall.”]

Also see: USS Wright.