I finally decided to go through my wallet and pull out some items with the hope of making it smaller. Since I have two daughters, I never have to worry about having any cash but the collection of receipts, business cards, and the like seem to make the wallet a bit unmanageable as well as uncomfortable. As I begin the process, what started out as a simple task became an interesting “spring cleaning” adventure. I decided to dump out everything in the wallet and “start fresh” with what was just needed for the day to day journey. As I finished, I felt the wallet and it was then that I discovered a long lost treasure. It was not a 20$ bill (remember, I have two daughters) nor a coupon for a free burger (just used that one) but an old torn, worn, piece of dingy white cloth. I hold the cloth between my fingers and remember when I placed it into the wallet. I placed the cloth into “service” in June 2006 when I spoke at a men’s breakfast at Turkey Creek First Baptist in Plant City, Florida. The “Cloth of Service” event was from John 13:1-16 where Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, took off his outer garment and picked up a water basin and a towel and began to wash the feet of the disciples. Here was the Creator of the universe stooping to pour water over dirty feet and lovingly and tenderly dry them- even the feet of Judas, the one to whom Jesus knew would betray him hours later. It was a powerful picture of what we are called to do as a “chosen people and a holy priesthood”. I challenged each of the men to take a small cloth that had been cut for them and commit with me to live a life of service that is worthy of the “washing of the feet by Jesus”. It is a commitment that I have tried to hold true since that day and the little cloth in my wallet is a steady reminder of that promise. As we enter into this journey of leadership through the All Pro Pastors’ newsletter, we will learn that Godly leadership comes not from the positon we hold, but the person we become. It is also not just about the experiences we will have in life but how we “Express God” by the simple acts of love throughout our life. I want us as Pastors and Ministers of the Gospel to make a commitment to be willing to figuratively wash the feet of more than each other (fellow Christians) but to be willing to wash the feet of those that despise you, persecute you, and even hurt you. You see, the cloth is more than a piece of fabric- it is an article of clothing that requires a commitment and cost. Jesus said in John13:13-16, “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” I desperately desire to not only be blessed by God; I want to be a blessing for Him. Will you join me?
Dr. Daniel Middlebrooks
CEO, Chaplaincy Care, INC
CHAPLAIN (MAJ-ret) DANIEL MIDDLEBROOKS
Chaplain (MAJ-ret) Daniel Middlebrooks was born in Plant City, Florida on 19 July, 1966. After receiving his AA degree from Hillsborough Community College, he entered the Active Duty on 27 May, 1988 at FT. Jackson, SC and began his career as a 91J- Physical Therapy Technician for three years at Fox Army Hospital, Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, AL (1988-1991). In November 1988, Daniel surrendered to the call of the ministry and worked toward his BS degree at Athens State College, Athens, Alabama. He left the Active Duty, May 1991 and entered New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and the National Guard Chaplain’s Candidate Program. He was endorsed by the Southern Baptist Convention, commissioned as a 2nd LT in January 1992 and served with the HQ STARC until Jan 1994. He completed his MDIV in the summer of 1994 and was commissioned at a 1st LT, January 1994 and transferred to 769th Combat Engineers, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He was later transferred to the 2-117 FA in Oneonta, Alabama.
Civilian Ministry Experience:
CH Middlebrooks served at Williams Blvd Baptist church from 1991-1995 as the Minister of Newlyweds, Minister of young Adults, Minister of Family Ministries and Interim Music Minister. He moved to Morgan City, AL and served as the Associate Pastor and New Building Construction Director from OCT 1995-June 1997. He served as the Senior Pastor for Hopewell Baptist Church, Plant City FL from Feb. 2013- March, 2017. He currently serves as the Command Chaplain for the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office and as the Chaplain for Plant City. His also volunteers as the chaplain of Plant City Fire Department and Hillsborough County School Board-Security Division. He is the President/CEO of R3 Care & Consulting, LLC and Chaplaincy Care, Inc.
Active Duty Chaplaincy/Military Experience:
He entered Active Duty again in June 1997 at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. He served in the 626 FSB (97-98) and 1/502 IN BN(99-2000); Deputy 280th BSB CH (2000-02) and 1-26 IN , Schweinfurt, Germany (2002-03); 1st Recruiting Brigade as the OIC of the CH Recruiting team (2004-06);and 10th Combat Support Hospital, Fort Carson, CO (2007-10). He last served as the Chaplain’s Career Course Senior Course manager, instructor and developer/writer.
His military Schooling includes Chaplain Officer Basic Leaders Course (93), Chaplain Career Course (2003), USAREC Chaplain Recruiting Certification, CPE (2006), and ILE (2007), and the U.S. Army Chaplain Center and School Faculty Development Training/Instructor Certification. CH Middlebrooks has deployed to MFO/Egypt (1999-00), Kosovo (2002), and Iraq (2008-09).
Awards: Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, The Meritorious Service Medal with three Oak Leave Clusters, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal with one Silver and four Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Achievement Medal with one Silver and two Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters, Good Conduct Medal, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Kosovo Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal with bronze star, GWOT, Humanitarian Service Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, NCO Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Oversee Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, and MFO Medal. He earned his Air Assault Wings in 1997 and his Recruiter badge with three silver stars in 2006. He was awarded the distinguished Witherspoon Award from the OCCH and National Bible Association in 2010. He is married to the former Arienne Plyler of Brandon, Florida. They have two daughters, Erica (23) and Allison (18). Over the last 29 years of marriage, the Middlebrooks family has moved 19 times and understands what means to “Bloom where God plants you”.