Our Pastor

Rev. Dr. Steven Souders, Senior Pastor

Chaplain Souders was born in Clarksburg, WV on October 8, 1956. He graduated from Seabreeze High School in Daytona Beach, FL in 1975. He attended Oral Roberts University where he completed his B.A. degree in 1979 and his Master of Divinity degree in 1983 after which he returned to Florida where he served as a pastor for the Florida Conference from 1983 until 1996. He earned his Doctor of Ministry degree in 1993 from Oral Roberts School of Theology with a project emphasis on “Covenant Discipleship Groups.”

In July, 1996, Chaplain Souders reported to the Naval Chaplain’s School in Newport, RI for basic chaplain indoctrination as a new Lieutenant. From 1996-1999, he served with 2nd Battalion, 11th Marines (artillery), and 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines at Camp Pendleton. While with 3/1, he deployed with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) to Kuwait and the Persian Gulf region, USS ESSEX ARG. From 1999-2002, Chaplain Souders served as the Weapons and Field Training Battalion chaplain, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego. In 2002, he received his Diploma from the College of Continuing Education, Command and Staff Program, United States Naval War College and received Joint Professional Military Education Phase 1 (JPME) credit.

In 2002, he reported to USS GETTYSBURG (CG-64) to serve as Command Chaplain. He deployed from Sep2003 to Feb2004 to the Persian Gulf AOR as part of the USS ENTERPRISE Expeditionary Strike Group in support of both Operation Iraqi and Enduring Freedom. He was promoted to Lieutenant Commander on May 1, 2003.

From 2004-2007, Chaplain Souders served as the U.S. Coast Guard District 17 Chaplain in Alaska. In July, 2007, he reported to Navy Region Northwest to serve as the Director of CREDO/Spiritual Fitness Center. He was promoted to Commander on July 1, 2009. He served as Acting Navy Region Northwest Chaplain from July to October, 2009.

He reported as Command Chaplain in USS BATAAN (LHD 5) and as Chaplain for Amphibious Squadron Six from January, 2010 to July, 2011. During that time he was the CTF (Combined Task Force) 41 Chaplain for OPERATION UNIFIED RESPONSE, Haiti and the CTF 62 Chaplain for OPERATION UNIFIED PROTECTOR, Libya.

He served as Director, CNSL Ministry Center, Mayport, FL from 2011 to 2014, and in August, 2014, he assumed duties as Command Chaplain, Naval Station Mayport.

His awards include the Meritorious Service Medal (4 awards), the Navy Commendation Medal (3 awards), and the Navy Achievement Medal (2 awards).

He is married to the former Cynthia K. Ingraham of St. George, UT. They have two grown children, Michelle and David, and seven grandchildren.

email:  info@stpauljax.org

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