Deployed Navy Minister Returns to Local Flock

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Every item on the church program brought the same word to mind to a man whose ears and heart had truly missed the order of his Sunday services.

"Wonderful," Sean Cox said. "Absolutely wonderful."

That is how Sean Cox describes his first day back on his post as Rector of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Bryan.

Unsurprisingly, he was not the only one praising his return home. His wife, Katie, was overjoyed.

"It's heavenly to have him back,” Katie said. “It's a wonder, wonderful thing."

St. Andrew’s parishioner Elizabeth Scott also could not contain her excitement for Rector Cox’ return.

"We are thrilled to have Father Sean back at St. Andrew's," Scott said.

For six months, Sean was stationed in Afghanistan working with an active duty Army Logistics unit. His job there was equal to his job here.

"Provide some moral leadership and guidance just about everyday," Sean said.

Lieutenant Commander Sean Cox is a chaplain in the Navy Reserves.

While in Afghanistan, he ministered to the hearts of his fellow servicemen from the United States and across the world.

In his absence, parishioners along with the Bryan-College Station community ministered love to his family back at home.

Katie found comfort and needed security in all the good will poured upon her family. The Cox family was new to the area. Sean had only been at St. Andrew's ten months before being shipped out.

"I think there's fear but I trusted this community would open their arms and welcome me and love me,” Katie said. “And they certainly did."

Prior to becoming the head of St. Andrew's, Cox told church officials that he had made a commitment to serve God and his country.

"I mentioned to them that I am in the reserves and this could happen and when it did everybody just stepped right up to the plate," Sean said.

He said he felt the love and the support of those who prayed for him everyday.

As a result of his time overseas he said he has a re-enforced belief in the need for a strong military--and stronger churches.

St. Andrew's parishioners expressed their excitement to have their sheppard back through hugs and grateful smiles.

Sean said he is proud to serve his nation as serviceman and his hometown as a minister.

"It was humbling to claim Bryan-College Station as my new home and to go over there and feel the support of this community,” Sean said.