At the National Association of Evangelical’s Centurion Banquet, Robert and Billie Jean Reifsnyder were given the Centurion of the Year Award, which recognizes leaders who have exemplified commitment to the ministry of evangelical military chaplains. The banquet of the NAE Chaplains Commission was held yesterday in Alexandria, Va.
“We are thrilled to honor Bob and B.J. Reifsnyder with the Centurion of the Year Award,” said Paul Vicalvi, Executive Director of the NAE Chaplains Commission. “Both have invested countless hours over decades in support of chaplains and their ministries from the local unit level to the international one.”
Throughout Lt. Col. Robert Reifsnyder’s 22 years of service in the Army, he and B.J. worked closely with chaplains to facilitate and lead religious and educational programs for their units. Robert was also the chapel choral director at several posts. His involvement was such that Robert was frequently, but erroneously, called “Chaplain.”
The Reifsnyders were instrumental forming the International Association of Evangelical Chaplains (IAEC) where Robert currently serves on the board and as the Associate Director for Conferences, Communications and Membership. Robert and B.J. have served on the Board of Directors of the Association for Christian Conferences, Teaching and Service (ACCTS) and currently serve as coordinators in Latin America and the Caribbean for ACCTS. They also work regularly with the Association of Military Christian Fellowships.
Robert was commander of units in the 24th Infantry Division, the 101st Airborne Division, and the 82nd Airborne Division. His overseas assignments included six years in Germany, two years in Vietnam and three years in Panama.
Centurion of the Year Award recipients are nominated and elected by members of The Centurions, the top-level supporters of the Chaplains Commission. The Centurion Banquet was held in conjunction with the Commission’s annual meeting, which brings together endorsers of evangelical chaplains to discuss issues that impact the ministries of evangelical chaplains in the military, Veterans Affairs and other civilian chaplaincies. D.C. Washington, a retired officer from the Army and member of the Cathedral Choral Society, provided special music for the banquet.
During this year’s Commission meeting, Austin Nimocks, an attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund, and Ron Crews, Executive Director of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, addressed legal and religious freedom challenges that chaplains face.