John W. Groth
193 Esmer Court, Newark, DE 19711
John W. Groth is married to Ranelle Petrucelli Groth, and they celebrated their 37th anniversary this year (1980). They have three children, Erin Adams (and her awesome husband, Bryan), John (and his awesome wife, Meghan), and Shannon (looking for awesomeness). They were blessed with their first grandchild this year – Jane Harper Adams.
John teaches six one-credit classes as an Adjunct Professor to 180 students at the University of Delaware in the Health Science College, Behavioral Health and Nutrition department. These very popular classes include topics in personal relationships, death and dying, resiliency and health and religion. He is sought out to preach regularly, speak at men’s weekends, church events and both Military and Civic events. He meets one on one with those in need and leads small groups. To quote a country song – he strives to “be a friend that a friend would like to have.”
A young, but never-the-less medically retired, USAF Chaplain, John served twenty-one years in the Reserves at McGuire and Dover AFB. He was the Wing Chaplain for the 512th Airlift Wing at Dover AFB, DE where he was mobilized and stayed on extended active duty orders for the final six years of his career. Named the Reserve Chaplain of the Year in 2005 by the Air Force, he led the Dover Chapel Team to seven years of Air Force Reserve Outstanding Chapel Team awards. He proudly served as chaplain in the Department of Defense’s Port Mortuary at Dover Air Force Base which led to his being retired. In 2007 John was inducted as an honorary Chief Master Sergeant by the 512th AW Chief’s Council – the second officer in the 50-year history of the Wing to be accorded that honor. He retired at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
John pastored churches in New Jersey and Delaware as well as served as Chaplain and Chairperson of the Religion Department at the Pennington School where he coached three sports. He served as a regional director for Priority One Foundation and has rejoined the staff in 2017. He graduated from Ursinus College with a BS degree in Health and Physical Education (and a minor in Greek). He has a Master of Divinity and a Master of Theology from Princeton Seminary. He was a volunteer fireman, an Eagle Scout, a Board Member of the Museum Foundation at Dover Air Force Base and a Board member at Sandy Cove Ministries.
John is interested in people being real – in relationships with God, with their spouses, with their children, with their families, with their friends and with people in church. Having served in different ministry settings he sees that people are hungry for authenticity, but they hide behind all sorts of facades including church and Christian clichés. A veteran with a 100% disability rating from cardiac issues brought on by the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from working in the mortuary at Dover, John recognizes that we are all wounded and in need of real answers coming from real people. If there is one verse that has shaped his adult life ministry it is Jesus’s word to the Apostle Paul – “My strength is perfected in weakness”. John uses the real things of his life – family, friends, veterans, his dogs, his battle with PTSD, riding motorcycles, humor, stories, his love of history as well as practical jokes to effectively and genuinely get into the lives of men and women, couples, college students, senior citizens and young kids. Having been a pastor and a chaplain, he especially seeks to befriend Christian leaders to encourage and to give them relief for the work to which they are called.
He loves his ancient Corgi, Todd and young yellow Labrador, Rafter.