Pete Sharber

( [email protected] ) Jan 12, 2004 12:26 PM EST

ALPHARETTA, Ga. —Pete Sharber, 64, has been appointed as director of chaplaincy evangelism for the North American Mission Board.

Sharber had been serving as a pastor of First Baptist Church, Hazlehurst, Georgia since 1989 before he joined the NAMB. Not only that but after completing seminary, including a two-year pastorate in Texas, he served as a Southern Baptist chaplain for 11 years at military posts in Georgia, New York and Germany.

Following his graduation from college, Sharber served nine years as an infantry officer in the United States Army, including two tours in Vietnam for which he was awarded the Bronze Star four times.

As director of chaplaincy evangelism, Sharber will help provide ministerial support and resources for more than 2,400 Southern Baptist-endorsed chaplains sharing the Gospel in settings such as prisons and military, corporate and healthcare institutions. Last year nearly 14,000 people made professions of faith in Christ through Southern Baptist chaplain ministries.

"The most exciting thing about this is that I will get to again work closely with some of God's choice servants for whom I have great compassion, love and respect for their ministry, and that is the chaplain," Sharber said.

John Yarbrough, vice president of evangelization at NAMB, praised Sharber's many years of ministry experience.

"Dr. Sharber brings a wealth of experience to the position of director for chaplaincy evangelism at the North American Mission Board," Yarbrough said. "He has a pastor's heart evidenced by his servant leadership at the same Southern Baptist church for the past 15 years. His chaplaincy background equips him to assist churches to extend their ministry through chaplaincy strategies and serve chaplains as one who has 'been there and done that.'"

During his more than 30 years of ministry as a pastor and military chaplain, Sharber has provided leadership for Southern Baptists at the associational, state and national level. Among his many ministerial roles, Sharber served as vice president of the Georgia Baptist Convention from 1993 to 1994, and as a trustee for the Annuity Board of the Southern Baptist Convention from 1993 to 2001.

"I'm taking on a different congregation, and the congregation that I want to minister to, first and foremost, will be the chaplains and their families," Sharber said. "I think a chaplain's ministry is on the absolute cutting edge. They're right there where life and death can come at any minute."

Sharber, a native of Bainbridge, Ga., received his bachelor's degree in psychology from Mercer University in Macon, Ga., in 1961, and after resigning from the Army he received divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1973. He earned a doctor of ministry degree in 1982 from Drew University in Madison, N.J.

Sharber and his wife, Faye, have two adult daughters. Faye is also a prominent Bible study leader often served as a women’s conference speaker. The Sharbers will live in Cumming, Ga.