Join us in congratulating this year’s Witherspoon Award Recipients, Chaplain (CPT) K. Loren Aderhold, U.S. Army, Chaplain (LCDR) Evan D. Adams, U.S. Navy, and Chaplain (CAPT) David R. Leonard, U.S. Air Force. The award was given in conjunction with the celebration of the 74th Anniversary of National Bible Week.
Each year the Witherspoon Award is given to three chaplains of the Armed Forces who demonstrate a unique commitment to Bible reading or encouraging Bible reading in a special way. The award is given to one chaplain from each of the branches of the Armed Forces (the Marines and Coast Guard are honored under the Navy branch).
The award is given in the name of the famous World War I and World War II chaplain Maurice Witherspoon. Chaplain Witherspoon served as a Trustee of the National Bible Association from 1946 until his death in 1978.
Chaplain (CPT) K. Loren Aderhold, U.S. Army
Loren was born and raised in Milton, Florida. After attending the University of West Florida, he served four years in the U. S. Army. Realizing God’s call to the ministry, Loren attended Beeson Divinity School where he earned his MDiv and met his wife, Sheila. After completing his degree, Loren served for eight years as the senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Odenville, Alabama. It was here that the Lord added two sons to their family, Dennis and Dakota.
Loren also began and completed his PhD in Theological Studies with a concentration in Old Testament and dissertation focused on the book of Joshua. In 2008, Loren left the pastorate and re-entered the U.S. Army, this time as a chaplain. He served over four years in the 82nd Airborne Division, deploying with his Soldiers twice to southern Afghanistan. He now serves as the Pastoral Coordinator for Fort Benning, Georgia and ministers on the pastoral staff of the Crossroads service there.
Chaplain (LCDR) Evan D. Adams, U.S. Navy
LCDR Evan D. Adams was born July 9, 1971. He was adopted at birth by William and Elizabeth Gay and raised in Manchester, NH. He graduated from Southern Adventist University and went on to complete his MDiv from Andrews University. In the years following, Pastor Adams pastored churches in Panama City, Florida and Birmingham, Alabama. In 2005 he accepted a commission in the United States Navy. After completing Chaplain’s School, Chaplain Adams reported to the Naval Nuclear Power Training Command in Goose Creek, SC.
In 2010, LT Adams deployed to the Helmund Province of Afghanistan. In 2011 LT Adams reported to USS CHANCELLORSVILLE where he oversaw 6,000 hours of community service performed in 6 foreign countries. Furthermore he served as a first responder to the Tsunami disaster in Japan. In 2013 Chaplain Adams reported to the United States Marine Corps School of Infantry West as Command Chaplain and was promoted to Lieutenant Commander. LCDR Adams has been married to JoAnn for over 19 years. They have a daughter, Amanda (18).
Chaplain (CAPT) David R. Leonard, U.S. Air Force
Chaplain David Leonard is a Protestant Chaplain assigned to the 502nd ABW, Lackland AFB, Texas. In this capacity he is responsible for the 937th TRG Fort Sam Huston. He is married to Valorie Leonard and they have three children: McKenzie, Miranda, and Nathan. He is ordained by the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel. Chaplain Leonard enlisted in the Air Force in 1987.
He left the Air Force in 1991. He served in both the Army and Air National guards of Idaho. Chaplain Leonard was commissioned to the rank of 2nd Lt in January 2001 and served as a chaplain candidate from January 2001 to December 2003. He was commissioned as a chaplain and accessioned to active duty on 23 June 2004. Chaplain Leonard was deployed to both Iraq and Kuwait between 2005 and 2009.