Groseclose Nurtures and Honors Soldiers
November 7, 2012
The Profile in Excellence award is given by the OBU Alumni Association to a former student who has “demonstrated recognizable accomplishment in his or her profession, business, avocation, or life service in such a way as to bring pride and honor to the University.” Each year, Profile In Excellence recipients are featured in OBU Magazine.
Wyoming teenagers are prone to rodeo accidents. For Gordon Groseclose, a native of Greybull, Wyo., a fractured neck – and the resulting three months in a body cast – led to him accepting the gift of God’s grace.
“Losing what I believed were the essentials of life (sports, popularity, my vitality), I discovered the true essence of life and how much (God) loved me and had a plan for my life beyond anything I had imagined,” Groseclose said.
As a junior college student, Groseclose grew in his new relationship with God. He felt God call him to full-time ministry, and he enrolled in a Christian college in Minnesota. His pastor gave him a postcard about “some school named OBU from a state I had never visited, nor desired to,” Groseclose recalled. During the next few days, to his amazement, he felt God directing him to Bison Hill.
At OBU, Groseclose found great comfort in the camaraderie of fellow classmates worshiping God during the Baptist Student Union “Noontime” services. In high school and junior college, he had known few other students who professed to be Christians. At times, Groseclose felt he was strange to be so focused on “religion.”
“Then came OBU, and for the first few days I would sit in that little chapel during noontime with tears running down my face, with scores of voices around me singing worship choruses to this same Jesus, totally overwhelmed and thinking, ‘I’m not a freak, I’m not crazy,’” he said.
Groseclose graduated from OBU in 1976, and one week later he married Deborah J. Frellick, also a 1976 alum. Today, they have two children, Angela and Micah, and one grandchild.
“The most precious gift I received from OBU was Deborah Frellick, now my best friend, trusted advisor and lifelong mate,” Groseclose said. “We met my second day at OBU when, as a transfer student, I was going through the enrollment line. She refused to give me an enrollment packet and told me she was tired of being flirted with by guys giving funny last names she couldn’t find. The Lord must have a sense of humor since she has now worn that same funny last name for 36 years.”
Following graduation from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Groseclose served as pastor of a mission church in Wisconsin. He joined the Wisconsin National Guard as a chaplain and, in 1985, was asked by the Home Mission Board (now North American Mission Board) to become an active-duty Army chaplain.
Groseclose earned a master’s degree in strategic studies at the U.S. Army War College. He serves as command chaplain for the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command in Fort Belvoir, Va. He most recently was staff chaplain for the Army’s Department of Ministry and Pastoral Training at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, providing medical- and trauma-based religious support training for other chaplains.
A recent “day in the life” of Groseclose’s work involved ministering to the family of a soldier killed in active duty, helping a commanding general prepare remarks for the funeral and preparing for the Army-wide suicide prevention program. Such work defines the ministers who nurture the living, care for the wounded and honor the fallen.
Among other accolades, Groseclose is the recipient of the Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, Meritorious Service Medal with seven Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Commendation Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters and Army Achievement Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters.
Click here to view a list of others who have received the Profile in Excellence award.