Program honors four WWII chaplains

Residents will have the opportunity to honor the memory and contributions of four World War II chaplains during a special program Sunday, Feb. 3, at 2 p.m. at the First Baptist Church of Shelton, 178 Leavenworth Road.

Together on Feb. 3, 1943, these four men of God — Methodist, Jewish, Catholic, and Dutch-Reformed — worked selflessly together to share the love of God, sacrificing their own lives to help save troops and civilians aboard the sinking ship SS Dorchester.

“It will be a moving and memorable program, with sound, readings, and music,” said Seymour American Legion Post 10 Commander Mike Kearney, who organized the event.

“This will be an especially memorable year,” added Kearney, “because 2019 is the 100th anniversary of the American Legion.”

Participating and taking the parts of the Four Chaplains will be veterans from Seymour. Also taking part will be the Rev. Russell Lesiw of Seymour, who for 20 years has participated in Four Chaplains events at locations around the Valley, and the Rev. Ken Smith, pastor of First Baptist Church of Shelton.

Individuals who enjoy singing are invited to arrive at 1 p.m. and rehearse with the event choir, which will be led by Pat Lesiw.

A free reception will follow. Parking is available onsite. There is also an elevator for visitors using wheelchairs.

For more information about the Four Chaplains and SS Dorchester see, where several videos are posted, including the short video Four Chaplains 2019, by Wreaths across America. Also see, the website of the Four Chaplains Memorial Foundation.

To contact the event planners, email or send a message on the church’s Facebook page, which Facebook users can locate by typing the abbreviated address @firstbaptist.shelton. For more information about First Baptist Church of Shelton, visit