Sermon Illustrations

The Immortal Chaplains

The USAT Dorchester was a troop transport ship used during WWII. It left New York on January 23, 1943 with approximately 900 soldiers and four army chaplains; George Fox, Alexander Goode, Clark Poling, and John Washington.

During the early morning hours of February 3, 1943, at 12:55 a.m., the Dorchester was torpedoed by a German U-boat.

The ship was damaged beyond repair and began to sink in the icy waters off Greenland. Panic set in among the men on board, many of them trapped below deck. The four chaplains sought to calm the men and organize an orderly evacuation of the ship guiding them and loading them on the life boats. As life jackets were passed out to the men, the supply ran out before each man had one. The four chaplains removed their own life jackets and gave them to others. They continued helping as many men as they could into lifeboats; there was no room left for the four chaplains. Then they linked arms and, saying prayers and singing hymns, went down with the ship.

Grady Clark, one survivor gave this report. "As I swam away from the ship, I looked back. The flares had lighted everything. The ship came up high and she slid under. The last thing I saw, the Four Chaplains were up there praying for the safety of the men. They had done everything they could. I did not see them again. They themselves did not have a chance without their life jackets."

That's how God loves.

Jesus said, "My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:12-13).

Related Sermon Illustrations

Related Sermons

Browse All Media

Related Media