Alumnus of the Year - 2004
Frederick S. McFarland ’71
Air Force Chaplain Major Frederick S. McFarland (’71) was named Alumnus of the Year in a ceremony at the Annual Alumni Chapel during Homecoming, Oct. 8-9. McFarland received the award in recognition of his courageous ministry to American troops during the war on terror. He is pictured here fourth from left, along with His son-in-law Damon Crumley ('95), daughter Alica (McFarland) Crumley ('98) with Fuller ('25), wife Celeste ('71), President of the Alumni Association Peter Polk ('76), and 2003 Alumnus of the Year Bruce Fiol ('62).
Fred (’71) and his wife Celeste (’71) met and were married during their undergraduate years at Covenant. Originally a pastor in Lexington, Virginia, Fred became involved in service to his nation as a Presbyterian Chaplain in the Air Force Reserves. Eventually, God called Fred into the Air Force full time as a chaplain. Overseas assignments in his career since 1989 have included ministry at the NATO Air Base in Geilenkirchen, Germany, and most recently as Senior Protestant Chaplain and Director, Community Ministry Division, at Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany.
His most recent tour in Germany began in July 2001, just before the events of September 11, 2001. With the ensuing relief efforts among refugees in Afghanistan, Fred had a daily ministry with the aircrews who flew those dangerous missions. During the Iraq War and the continuing War on Terror, Fred organized a ministry of initial meetings with incoming wounded service members and those awaiting transport back to the States for medical care.
All three of the McFarland children have now followed their parents to Covenant as students.
Fred McFarland is an example of how a Covenant alumnus is witnessing to Christ's preeminence in the world -- not only in times of peace but also when the world situation is in crisis.