New chaplains certified for Haywood County

Mountaineer contributor
By Carol Viau | Feb 09, 2014
Photo by: Carol Viau photos READY TO SERVE THE COMMUNITY — Pictured, from left, are new Haywood County chaplains (back row) Ann Brewster, Catherine Yael Serata and Eleonore Shelton, with their instructor Barbara Miller (front), director of the Daily Blessing Healing Ministry.

Three new chaplains received their certification of license in a ceremony Feb. 7 at the Daily Blessing Ministry, in Waynesville. Eleonore Shelton, Ann Brewster and Catherine Yael Serata completed a 14-week course of study covering ministry, church liaisons, outreach providers, emergency roles, non-emergency chaplaincy, ministering in a work facility and the basics of counseling, all with a basis in Christian principles. In addition to class study, the candidates visited outreach organizations in Waynesville to be introduced and to let them know they are available to help, if needed.

The new chaplains will minister at The Open Door, Haywood Christian Ministry, Good Samaritan Clinic, the jail, with firefighters, anywhere they may be needed to help people.

“A chaplain is a bridge between the church and the people, as well as the bridge between God and the people,” said pastor Barbara Miller, instructor and director of The Daily Blessing Ministry. “With the training they received and knowledge they gained, they are ready to serve where ever and for whatever may be the need. A chaplain’s role is to ask people, ‘what can I do to help you?’”

The chaplains’ licensure allows them to perform the duties of a minister, such as weddings, funerals and baptisms.

“They are trained in interfaith ministries,” said Miller.

The ceremony was witnessed by 12 family members and county dignitaries, including Haywood County Sheriff Greg Christopher, The Open Door ministers Perry Hines and Mindy Rathbone,  Matt Pruett, pastor of Faith Community Church, and Col. Rhett Starnes, a chaplain and Brewster’s son.

The reasons for entering the chaplaincy are varied. Brewster is interested in jail ministry.

“In 2010 I tried to get a halfway house started,” she said. “God sent me to get the half-way house started here.”

Shelton has been a volunteer at The Open Door, and will continue to minister there, talking and praying with people there.

Yael Serata has spent the last 20 years serving the Lord as a giver of congregational care.  She wants the opportunity to “minister to those who are hurting.”

For the first year, the new chaplains will remain under the supervision of the Daily Blessing Ministry. They will receive more continuing education during the year.

Miller said that a new class for people interested in becoming chaplains will start soon at the Daily Blessing Ministry, at 32 Felmet St., Ste C, in Waynesville. Those interested are asked to call Miller at 242-7763.

The Daily Blessing Ministry is a nonprofit organization, and offers healing and prayer services.  There is no charge for these services; however, donations are accepted to help with expenses.

Ministry hours are from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays to Fridays. For information, visit



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