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Pastor becomes military chaplain on 10th anniversary of ordination

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The Rev. Jake Morrill took the oath last week that commissions him to serve as a chaplain in the Army Reserve.

Morrill took the oath on June 9 before the congregation he serves at Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church.

The day was special for another reason: it was Morrill’s 10th anniversary of ordination.

He was ordained on June 9, 2003, in his home church, Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville.

In his new role, Morrill will hold the rank of Army Reserve captain.

He began considering military chaplaincy three years ago. After talking with several colleagues who serve in the military and consulting with mentors, Morrill said his call to this ministry was clear.

A graduate of the University of Texas and Harvard Divinity School, he is presently a student in the counseling program at East Tennessee State University, concentrating on marriage and family therapy.

He hopes to bring his pastoral and counseling skills to the service of soldiers early in their careers, as well as those who have returned from combat.

Chaplains in the Army Reserve typically drill with units once a month and receive training for an additional two weeks during the year.

Additionally, as needed, they may be deployed.

Morrill has served as minister of the Oak Ridge congregation since August 2003.