God’s plan often unfolds one page at a time. It doesn’t always go the way one expects it to, but the author of our story stays on the same page with you. This is something our Crown College Alumnus of the year, Chaplain Kevin Pies, knows all too well.
Kevin Pies grew up in an Air Force family. He bounced all over the world from Montana to Japan to Kansas to the Philippines and finally to Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. He graduated in 1978 from John Jay High School. During that summer, Pies felt lost and alone. Somehow Pies found the Lord and gave his life to Christ. Two weeks later, he enrolled in Saint Paul Bible College. There were only two sentences on his application. “I just came to know the Lord. I don’t know how it happened, but I am here and ready to learn.” It was at Bible College where he learned valuable life lessons that Pies has carried with him all his life.
When God calls you to His plan, he prepares you for it. For Pies, college did not come easy. He still remembers getting a D on his first exam, but with the help of outstanding professors like Joe Tewinkel, Bill Bedford, and Arnie Hustad, Pies was able to climb up to the Dean’s list. “Crown was like a basic training experience. God used my time at Crown to prepare me, to teach me about commitment when times get tough,” says Pies.
After graduating in 1982 with a B.A. in History, Pies moved on to receive his Master of Divinity at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, where he graduated in 1987. That same year he entered pastoral ministry and served in England from 1987 to 1992.
Pies began his military career in 1995 and retired in 2020 as a Chaplain (Colonel) in the U.S. Army. During his career, he has served all over the map. This includes Battalion Chaplain assignments as a Captain at Fort Riley, KS, with a deployment to Bosnia; he also spent time in Giebelstadt, Germany & Fort Carson, Colorado, and a deployment to Operation Iraqi Freedom in the first wave into Iraq in 2003. He then returned to Fort Carson to become the Chaplain Resource Manager and earned the nickname “The Money Man.”
Pies continued to experience God’s goodness during his deployment to Operation Iraqi Freedom. Psalm 91 stood as a theme verse for Pies during his time in Iraq. “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Pies was shot at, mortared, and IEDs would go off on the road he was traveling on. All the while, the Lord protected him.
One particular incident in Kuat stands out to Pies. In those days, the insurgents would create explosives and rig them to a cell phone. As Pies and his company traveled down the road, they saw an insurgent begin using a cell phone. At that moment, a bomb went off under the right rear tire of their vehicle. Despite this, Pies and his company were kept safe. “The Lord has made good on his promise again.” says Pies.
After capturing their attackers, an interrogation of the insurgents began. During the interrogation, one of the insurgents asked, “every time we try to mortar you, we try to blow you up, we try to shoot at you, its as if there is some forcefield is protecting you. Can you tell me about that?” This was a wonderful opportunity for Pies to share his faith, and he could see God’s hand at work in his life.
In 2008 Pies’ first wife, whom he met at Saint Paul Bible College, passed away after a fight with cancer. Those were dark days for Pies during his time of grieving. Officers would call him, asking, “You chaplain everyone else; who chaplains you?” Using a band of brothers Pies had met during his time at St. Paul Bible College, the Lord provided comfort. People like Don Bouchard, Jon Wiggins, Jim Anderson, Pete Johnson, Jon Stumbo, Dan Adler, and many more. “These were people you can call in the middle of the night, and they will answer.” says Pies.
After promotions, Pies served in higher military assignments as the Executive Officer and later Logistics and Facilities Officer at the Pentagon’s Office of the Chief of Chaplains, and as the Command Chaplain for the Space and Missile Defense Command, United States Army Garrisons Benelux, Belgium, Bavaria, Germany and at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania.
During his time at the Pentagon, the Lord provided for Pies again. While attending a fancy banquet, Pies met a Brazilian native named, Elisiane. From there, they skyped for two years. Eventually, Pies went to Brazil to visit Elisiane and her family. There he found out they attended an Alliance church; at that moment, Pies knew that she would fit right in. The two eventually married, and as Pies put it, “she has become my battle buddy, she is as sweet as nails but tough, she is my eyes and ears.”
Pies now enjoys his current assignment as the Executive Director for Military and Federal Chaplain ministries for the Christian and Missionary Alliance. He is married to Elisiane Indicatti-Pies. He has two children—Victoria, married to Jeff Caine, both Crown graduates, and Kenny, a Computer Science aficionado. Elisiane’s son, Andreas is enjoying a Volleyball scholarship in Milwaukee.
When 18-year-old Pies gave his life to Christ, he did not know where the Lord would take him. Regardless, he had the courage to step out in faith and trust God every step of the way. The Lord made great on his promises to prepare, protect, and provide for Pies and has used him in remarkable ways.