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Hyde Becomes First Chaplain with a NISA Club


Today, Soccer Chaplains United is excited to announce the appointment of Jonathan Hyde to serve as the volunteer chaplain of Chattanooga FC, one of the top clubs in the NISA (National Independent Soccer Association) League in the U.S.

Jonathan currently serves as Senior Recruiter for Gateway Staffing and Recruiting. His background includes several roles in serving as pastor (Emmanuel Church in Maryland and First Christian Church in Chattanooga) after graduating from Baylor University’s Truett Seminary in 2009.

Jonathan first started a process with Soccer Chaplains United back in 2019. As we were looking for a chaplain to serve the other professional soccer team in town, Jonathan went through a process of applying and meeting with the head coach at the time. While the placement did not ultimately happen, it was a couple months ago, as I was cleaning up some files and tying up some loose ends that I reached out to Jonathan again to see if he might be interested in considering serving Chattanooga FC, where Rod Underwood (a member of our Board of Directors) is head coach. It was definitely a “God moment.”

When Brad called me, I had just been praying and asking God about serving in a pastoral kind of capacity because so much of my life and training has been around that and I wanted my children to see and experience that part of my life, my passion, and my calling.

Jonathan, reflecting on the recent phone call from me

As Jonathan and I began the process again, he began meeting with Rod and with other key stakeholders with Chattanooga FC. Over the past couple of months has seen a neat story of Jonathan and CFC working toward building and growing together.

I moved to Chattanooga in 2012 just as CFC was starting to really build something special. When I moved here I fell in love with the city and have made it a goal of mine to make this city a great place to live. I know CFC founders share that same goal and over the last 10 years we have both worked hard to make Chattanooga an amazing place. The opportunity to serve in a volunteer chaplain role with CFC is a real honor and privilege. 

Jonathan, sharing about the privilege of serving CFC as a chaplain

My hope with the soccer chaplaincy is that the players, coaches, and staff — that while soccer/football is a big part of their lives and now part of my own, that I can share the hope that there are different, that there are deeper identities that we can discover and grow into. Being in football doesn’t necessarily stop us from learning and realizing those, but it may, in fact, actually help.

Jonathan, on his hopes for the chaplaincy with Chattanooga FC

Jonathan brings Soccer Chaplains United’s chaplain corps to 24 and he becomes the first chaplain serving a team playing in the NISA league.

Soccer Chaplains United is non-profit, 501(c)3 and depends upon the financial support of our partners to carry out our work of developing chaplaincy across all levels of soccer. Please consider making a contribution today to help us continue growing our work. Our chaplains are not employed or paid by any of the clubs that we serve. Check out our Donation Page with all the different options. Or, simply click the PushPay link below to make a secure, online, tax-deductible gift, or mail a donation to Soccer Chaplains United, PO Box 102081, Denver, CO 80250.