About Pastoral Services
The Pastoral Care department values ministry to the whole person – body, mind and spirit. Chaplains partner with other team members to serve the spiritual and emotional needs of patients and their families of all faith traditions. With our Mission of helping people throughout life’s journey, we believe life experiences stretch us, creating openings to the sacred, the holy and the divine. In those hard times, we are faced with questions of life’s meaning and purpose for being. As patients and families draw on resources to help them cope, our chaplains are available to respond to your needs and requests. We do not impose a particular set of beliefs. Our unique calling is to help you connect with spiritual resources in ways that are meaningful to you.
The Earl R. Gaston Memorial Chapel is located on the ground floor of Baptist Hospital. The chapel is open 24 hours a day for prayer and meditation.
"Pastoral Care relates to people regardless of their creed, social position or prestige. It is the concern shown for the needs of men [and women] in every walk of life; from the bricklayer to the structural engineer, from the Olympic star to the paraplegic, from the school girl to the grandmother. Whether in the prime of health or incurably ill, in joy or sadness, in good times or bad, there may be a need for pastoral care. The clue to the need is the recognition of the point where life’s stress and strain affect body and soul. It deals with people, but particularly it deals with people in trouble. Pastoral care is shared compassion." — Principles and Practices of Pastoral Care, Russell L. Dicks
What do Chaplains do?
Chaplains provide ministry to patients and families on a variety of occasions: chaotic events of traumas in the emergency room, the tense hours in the waiting room, during the struggle of recovery from accident or illness, during the celebration of the birth of a child, while rejoicing over good news from a test or procedure, during the anxiety of impending surgery, and in those moments of grief and loss. Our chaplains are there to offer support and compassion. They seek to connect people to the resource of faith and spirituality as they face life and death issues. Through the use of both process and presence, our chaplains offer comfort, strength and hope.
How to contact a Chaplain?
A chaplain is available in the hospital 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Patients may reach a chaplain inside the hospital by asking their nurse to contact the Pastoral Services department, or by dialing "0" and asking the operator to page the chaplain. Outside of the hospital, please call 850.434.4011 and ask for the duty chaplain, or call the pastoral services department at 850.469.2363.