Col. Nathan Barber, left, and incoming command chaplain Col. Scott Carson.

Changing of the Stole - outgoing command chaplain Col. Nathan Barber, left, and incoming command chaplain Col. Scott Carson.

The Mississippi State Guard has a new command chaplain.

A Changing of the Stole ceremony was held at Camp Shelby Saturday, September 20, at the Joint Forces Training Center (CSJFTC). Chaplain Col. Scott Carson, President of Southeastern Baptist College in Laurel, is the incoming command chaplain. Outgoing command chaplain is Col. Nathan Barber. Carson brings 30 years of active duty experience in the U.S. Army to the MSSG.

“I am both humbled and excited to be part of this professional organization that supports the great people of Mississippi,” said Carson. “I learned of Mississippi State Guard only a few months ago, and when I understood their primary mission of serving the people of Mississippi during natural disasters, I knew my spiritual calling to serve as a chaplain in uniform was not over.”

According to a press release, transferring the stole - a long, plain, black cloth worn around the neck - is similar to a command’s leadership passing the unit’s guidon during a change of command ceremony.

Carson entered the United States Army Chaplaincy in 1986 and served on active duty as a Chaplain for thirty years before retiring at the rank of Colonel in July 2016. After retiring, Carson accepted a position at Southeastern Baptist College and soon became the Academic Dean. While looking for a home in Laurel, he and his wife Linda were featured on Season 2 of HGTV’s “Home Town” with Ben and Erin Napier.

After the sudden passing of SBC president Rev. Danny Pitts in December 2016, Carson was appointed interim president in January 2017 and elected the president of the college in May 2017. Carson has implemented many positive changes at the college, including bringing back basketball, golf, and recently adding baseball to the curriculum. The college has received numerous awards and accolades in the past three years since Carson was named president.

The Mississippi State Guard (MSSG) is the state defense force of Mississippi. It operates under the authority of the Mississippi Military Department alongside the Mississippi Army National Guard (MSARNG) and the Mississippi Air National Guard (MSANG).

The mission of the Mississippi State Guard (MSSG) is to provide mission-ready military forces to assist state and local authorities in times of state emergencies; to conduct homeland security and community service activities under the umbrella of Defense Support to Civil Authorities; and to augment the Mississippi Army National Guard and Mississippi Air National Guard as required.

“I thank the Lord whom I serve for bringing me to the State Guard and also Brigadier General Doug Hayhurst, for entrusting me with the spiritual oversight for our dedicated chaplain team and unit members,” stated Carson.

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