The United States government did not permit females to serve as military chaplains during World War II, but that did not deter Minna Seaholm (1894-1944), an Assemblies of God evangelist who felt a call to minister to young men in uniform. A 1943 Pentecostal Evangel article titled, “Our Lady Chaplain,” reported on her activities, noting that she overcame significant odds to follow God’s call.
Seaholm served as a roving chaplain to military bases and Civil Conservation Corps camps. Assemblies of God literature regularly published reports of her meetings, and the Home Missions Department (now U.S. Missions) collected offerings to assist her. She often held three or four speaking engagements each day. “Her absorbing passion,” the article explained, was to offer young men “a chance to find God before they go out into the dangers and uncertainties of war.”
Seaholm experienced difficulty in obtaining official government approval to meet with the troops and to hold meeting on the bases. However, the article reported that Seaholm was “never daunted” and made contact with President Franklin Roosevelt and other high-ranking officers in the army. She succeeded in gaining access to numerous camps and bases across the United States and also spoke at high school assemblies. Although Seaholm did not hold a commission as a chaplain from the United States government (the military restricted the chaplaincy to males until 1974), the article noted that “her commission has been granted from a heavenly source.”
Read the article, “Our Lady Chaplain,” on page 11 of the Feb. 13, 1943, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel. Also featured in this issue:
• “Why Preach Divine Healing Today?” by Lee Krupnick
• “The Message of the Scars,” by Noel Perkin
• “Self-Test Questions for Christians,” by W.R. Munger
And many more!
Click here to read this issue now.
Pentecostal Evangel archived editions courtesy of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center.