Rev. Joseph Chatmon honored for service to teaching ministry

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 4, 2003

The Rev. Joseph G. Chatmon was called to a teaching ministry.

He willing and enthusiastically answered the call because he knew that God would lead him in the way he should go.

&uot;After I returned home from service in the Navy after World War II, I knew that God was calling me to a teaching ministry, so I entered in the Calven Theological Seminary in Atlanta,&uot; Chatmon said. &uot;My calling was from the Bible. I had been involved in the teaching ministry of my church — teaching Bible lessons and I realized the call to serve through the teaching and preaching ministry.&uot;

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Chatmon said his calling was two-fold - teaching and preaching.

&uot;The teaching ministry is for converts,&uot; he said. &uot;The preaching ministry is one of evangelism to recruit unsaved people.&uot;

Chatmon was born in Mobile, but his parents were born and reared in Troy. He married a young woman from Troy, Ocie Lee, and served several churches in Troy and the vicinity of Troy.

&uot;While Chatmon was working with a minister who served as a missionary for the Salem Troy Baptist Association, the two of them saw a need for a teaching ministry for young preachers, as well as laymen.

&uot;We contacted the Extension Division of Samford University about meeting with us,&uot; Chatmon said. The university's director of Christian ministry came and met with us, along with members of the association. Within that meeting, I was nominated - elected - to serve as the local director for the Troy Institute - an Extension Division of Samford University.&uot;

Sixty-six students were enrolled in the first class held at the Salem Troy Baptist Association.

&uot;Since that time, we've had an average of 30 to 40 students each semester at the Troy Institute,&uot; Chatmon said. &uot;We have two classes each semester and the students are required to complete the 16-week course in order to receive a diploma from the Beeson Divinity School at Samford University.&uot;

Chatmon has served as director of the Troy Institute for 30 years and taught there for 20 years.

In May, Chatmon was recognized for his long, dedicated service to the School of Divinity's Extension Division of Samford University. The 53rd Annual Recognition Service was held at Andrew Gerow Hodges Chapel in Birmingham.

Chatmon was recognized as a member of the Extension Division's Honor Roll with 20 years of service. He also received his eighth Certificate of Merit, a distinguished award for long and faithful service.

&uot;I am deeply honor by these recognitions,&uot; Chatmon said. &uot;The recognitions mean that the school appreciates my service and dedication. They mean that I have been loyal and faithful. They inspire me to continue my service to the school and the church. By doing so, I am serving the Lord.&uot;

The Troy Institute is held at Trinity Baptist Church on St. Paul Street. The institute deals with the teaching of Bible theology and Bible-related subjects.