UPCI Involvement in FBI Chaplaincy


A few years ago, an FBI agent showed up at Urshan Graduate School of Theology (UGST) to inquire about a recent graduate. This was an unusual event, and it certainly got the attention of the staff. Soon the purpose for this unannounced visit became clear.

After graduating from Apostolic Bible Institute (ABI), Norm Paslay II served in pastoral ministry in the Cincinnati area for two decades, including police chaplaincy. At the age of forty-five, however, he decided to pursue a master’s degree from UGST, the UPCI’s own institution of higher learning. Indeed, Norm’s advanced degree enabled him to apply to join the ranks of approximately one hundred FBI chaplains, who provide pastoral care within the elite US intelligence community. To qualify for top-secret security clearance, Norm had to submit to a rigorous process spanning fifteen months. Preparation and training would include a trip to the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia, and an extensive array of tutorials and seminars. In November 2015 Norm was approved as an FBI chaplain serving Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio, a first for a UPCI minister.

Norm Paslay II (left) and an Assistant Director of the FBI

In late 2016 another UPCI minister and ABI graduate, Gregg Joki, successfully completed the lengthy qualification process and was hired as the FBI chaplain of Eastern Oklahoma, including the city of Tulsa. Gregg’s more than eight years of volunteer chaplaincy in prisons, jails, fire departments, and police stations provided a solid foundation for his post at the FBI. Gregg was recently selected to speak at a Sunday morning service at Quantico, and has served briefly as chaplain on duty at the FBI Academy. He has also provided training for other chaplains at Quantico.

Gregg Joki

During a recent interview, Norm Paslay expressed his appreciation for the role UGST played in his personal journey. He was profoundly impacted by the quality and depth of the instruction offered. In addition to the personal benefits, however, Paslay believes the school offers broader advantages for the UPCI. He noted that “the graduate school has put us in a realm of service and acknowledgement that we have not had before.”

Norm’s certificate on the wall in the Chaplain’s Office at the FBI in Cincinnati

New FBI chaplaincy posts will become available in the future, and qualified UPCI ministers who are willing and able to follow the long and arduous path pioneered by Norm and Gregg may someday fill those roles. Of course, a growing number of UPCI constituents serve as chaplains in other venues, such as hospitals, armed forces, police departments, and businesses. That day at UGST, it turns out, the FBI agent was simply verifying Norm’s education history, a single item on the same background checklist used to qualify every FBI agent. As UPCI men and women continue to follow the call of God, who knows where the FBI will show up next?

UPCI Involvement in FBI Chaplaincy


News Bulletin from the General Superintendent


General Superintendent David K. Bernard

Window of Opportunity
In 2017, we have a window of opportunity for revival. While our culture continues to decline spiritually, the current political and economic environment in North America is favorable for freedom of religion and worldwide proclamation of the gospel. The United Pentecostal Church International (UPCI) is stronger than ever before, is experiencing great revival, and is planning strategically in all areas. Let’s take advantage of this opportunity.

30 Days of Prayer (World Network of Prayer)
To possess the revival that God is giving us, it is important to consecrate ourselves through prayer and fasting. I urge all our churches and ministers to participate in the annual 30 Days of Prayer developed by the World Network of Prayer. To download a printable copy of the 30 Days of Prayer guide (front), click here. To download a color copy of the Prayer Net guide (back), click here.

2017 UPCI Manual and Directory
Credentialed ministers of the United Pentecostal Church International may download the current edition of these publications at upciministers.com.

New Executives
We welcome to headquarters Justin Reinking as director of promotions for the General Youth Division and Brocc Chavis as director-elect of Multicultural Ministries. Bros. Hanscom and Chavis will both serve MCM half time in the calendar year 2017.

Over the past few years we have restructured our operations, including various divisions and ministries, policies and procedures, a new information technology system, and a new headquarters building. Of 12 priorities the General Board identified in 2010, the last major task is to revise and update the Manual. Some portions of the Manual have already been revised, and others are currently under review.

Headquarters Update
We have completely moved from Hazelwood and are fully operational at Weldon Spring (offices) and Wentzville (long-term storage), both in the western St Louis metropolitan area. We are already achieving significant savings in our monthly costs for utilities, maintenance, and building insurance.

New Reading Schedule for Ministerial Applicants
The General Board has adopted a new reading schedule for those seeking ministerial credentials with the UPCI. For each level (local license, general license, and ordination), there are ten books published by the UPCI and two hours of video instruction to accompany each book. These resources are available here.

The Manual states, “All applicants must have completed at least one (1) year in a Bible college endorsed by the United Pentecostal Church International or have completed the required reading schedule established by the General Board. All applicants, including Bible college students, must read the Bible through at each level of ministry and must read the Manual of the United Pentecostal Church International.” For 2017 the District Board has discretion to work with applicants who began studying under the previous reading schedule.

Every division and ministry is reporting progress. Of special note:

  • General Youth Division. North American Youth Congress is on track for a record, with 35,000 room nights requested compared to 10,000 at this time in the past.
  • North American Missions. A total of 25 couples have registered in the new training program for church planters. The goal was to enroll at least 10.
  • Global Missions. Due to the I AM Global offering, the average time of deputational travel for missionaries is now 9 months. This is much better than the 1.5 to 2 years that some experienced in the past.

Sincerely in Christ,
David K. Bernard