Fr. Paul Rivers: Orthodox Priest and US Army Chaplain

Fr. Paul Rivers at Fort Knox, KY

Hi. I am Fr. Paul Rivers. I serve as a Chaplain in the US Army. I have been on active duty with the Army since graduating from St. Vladimir’s Seminary in 2008. After going through Chaplain Basic Officer Leadership Course at Fort Jackson, South Carolina during the summer of 2008, I was assigned to the 5-15th Cavalry Squadron at Fort Knox, Kentucky. Thirty two months later I received orders to the 709th Military Police Battalion in Grafenwoehr, Germany. My family stayed behind in the States and I am set to deploy sometime next year to sunny Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. In the meantime I ensure religious support operations for my Battalion and the Brigade by effectively communicating what systems are in place to meet a pluralistic environment’s needs. I also perform my priestly functions for those who are Orthodox or who are Ortho-curious through the leading of the Divine Liturgy, baptisms, hearing confessions, etc.

Serving soldiers at Fort Knox

From a young age I have been concerned with the things of the Spirit. My journey to Orthodoxy was long and sometimes tedious as I wrestled with questions of the faith. I give God the glory for where I am today. His mercy has brought me home. My time as a Chaplain has taught me that people are generally the same no matter their race, creed, or upbringing. People desire respect, dignity, and a safe place to be heard and understood. I strive through the grace of God to bring that to them so that hopefully the light of Christ will shine in their hearts.

Fr. Paul, with those he serves as a US Army Chaplain

Fr. Paul Rivers (SVOTS ’08) is a US Army Chaplain currently stationed in Germany. He and his wife Kendra have two boys.

Author: Synaxis

Synaxis is a blog of St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary.

5 thoughts on “Fr. Paul Rivers: Orthodox Priest and US Army Chaplain”

  1. Fr. Paul, You and your family are often in my prayers! I miss you and have faith in God’s guidance in your life. But nonetheless, I find myself worried about you as I am the rest of our armed forces. May God continue to bless you.

  2. Fr. Paul,
    I thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog (especially the word “Ortho-curious”); I remember your “swearing in” ceremony in the Rangos Building here at SVOTS. Sounds like you’re a father to your troops; just wanted to say I’m proud of you, and thanks! Also, we’ll be praying for you, Kendra, and kids. In Him Who Watches Over You, Mat’ Deborah Belonick

  3. Fr. Paul! It’s fantastic to learn of your whereabouts and what has happened over the past four years since my time at SVOTS. Perhaps, God willing, you’ll be stationed at Fort Lewis in the great Pacific Northwest. You, Kendra and your boys will be in my prayers. In Christ, Fr. Irenaeus Williams

  4. Fr. Paul,
    Hope you are enjoying your duty in Germany. I miss y’all a bunch and can’t wait to re-connect.


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