JOSEPH A COSTEPHENS
LT. Costephens is a native of St. Louis, Missouri. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Christian Ministry at Missouri Baptist College in 2001 while concurrently serving as the Minister of Students at First Baptist Church of Godfrey in Godfrey, IL. He then graduated from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in December of 2007 with a Master of Divinity in Christian Ministry. He served as Minister of Youth at St. John UMC in Prospect, KY while in seminary. He was commissioned as an active-duty chaplain in September of 2019.
Chaplain Costephens began his Navy service in January 2020 as he reported to Officer Development School. He successfully graduated on February 28, 2020. His education has been furthered for Navy service at Naval Chaplaincy School and Center. He graduated on April 22, 2020. Chaplain Costephens served as chaplain for 1st Marine 3rd Amphibious Assault Battalion from May 2020 until January 2021. During his tenure there he ministered to the Marines of 3D AABn and 1/4 during the time of the AAV sinking. Currently Chaplain Costephens has the privilege of serving 1st Battalion 5th Marines.
Prior to his commissioning, Chaplain Costephens served as the Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church of Ferguson, MO. The goal of this pastorate was to combine a new church start with an established church with a rich history. Over the course of four years, from 2015 to 2019, the churches merged, changed leadership structure, and grew in key areas of membership. He became familiar with helping those in physical and monetary need. He also further developed his ability to counsel those with spiritual, emotional, and mental distress. Before that he led a church start up entitled Passage Church from 2009-2015. He was instrumental in growing the church and having it become a positive impact on the community. Under his leadership, home improvement programs were started, children’s needs were met, and those with extreme needs of hunger were assisted.
Chaplain Costephens is married to Sarah. They have four children: Annabelle (13), Jayce (11), Malachi (9), and Lucy (5). He loves to coach his kids, and be involved in their lives when he is not pursuing the joys of being a Navy Chaplain.