Terry Lynn McIntosh (born January 16, 1950) is a Christian Evangelist, an author, actor, former Green Beret, and one of the youngest men in military history to earn a Combat Badge while serving on a Special Forces A-Team.
Life and Career
Family and Education
McIntosh was the sixth of seven children born to Claude and Esta McIntosh in Paducah, KY. His father died when he was age 5, and the family struggled until Esta remarried in 1959. The family moved to Graves County, KY and he attended Wingo High School. He dropped out of school at age 16 and enlisted in the US Army in 1967 during the Vietnam war. McIntosh completed school and received his General Equivalency Diploma while on active duty. He later attained an Associate Degree in Merchandising from a local community college in 1979.
McIntosh married Susan Henson Thomasson in 1983. They had one son, Adam Grant, born November 10, 1985, and two sons by Susan’s first marriage, Andrew and Kyle Thomasson.
As the battles raged between Palestinian and Israeli security forces in September 1996, McIntosh opened the Jesus House of Prayer, a Christian chapel in the city of ancient Jericho. As CEO and Pastor, he obtained permission for Christian events that Jericho's predominate Islamic community had never seen to include city wide public outreaches. He enjoyed both military and police protection while preaching the gospel to the Islamic world of Jericho and all of Palestine in spite of radical opposition.
McIntosh made an unprecedented appearance on Islamic television during Israel's military invasion dubbed "Operation Defensive Shield" in April 2002 with a message of peace addressed to both nations. He charged Israel to turn around and "give life," and he admonished Palestine to follow Christ crucified as the only hope for salvation. Attendance at the Jesus House of Prayer grew to such large numbers that home groups formed around McIntosh and his teachings about Jesus.
McIntosh’s influence in the Islamic world defied all logic and he found himself between two warring parties - Christianity and Islam. Christian peers accused McIntosh of working for Yasser Arafat and promoting terrorism. Islamic radicals issued a jihad against McIntosh and called for his death. The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem inaccurately reported that McIntosh deserted the ministry work during the second Palestinian uprising at the same time he was appearing on Palestinian TV more than 90 times. McIntosh is the only Christian evangelist to appear on Palestinian Islamic owned television during intense fighting between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. He turned all ministry responsibility over to local ministers in 2007.
McIntosh founded Jerusalem Direct, an international radio outreach that also aired on various radio stations in the United States and Palestine.
McIntosh completed Airborne Parachute School in 1967 at age 17 and was assigned to Co. D, 17th Infantry Long Range Patrol in Germany. The LRRP unit was an elite airborne light infantry force capable of conducting Direct Action Operations. The "Lurps" operated on reconnaissance and combat patrols to obtain vital intelligence or perform highly dangerous covert missions into enemy held territory, and remained on high alert throughout the Cold War. McIntosh was skilled in automatic weapons, radio communications, and special ops performing raids and ambushes.
Due to heavy US casualties at the height of the Vietnam War, McIntosh re-enlisted for an additional year and volunteered for a tour of duty in Vietnam. He was assigned to the 5th Special Forces Group (ABN) in 1968. He served 6 months on A-Team 414 in the Mekong Delta 1969 as one of the youngest men in military history to wear the Green Beret and serve on a Special Forces A-Team. He commanded or participated in 22 combat missions to include Search & Destroy, Ambush, Airboat, and Aerial Assault Missions. He served with Col. Robert Rheault’s espionage team at the time of the execution of a double agent (Thai Khac Chuyen) which sparked Daniel Ellsberg's compilation and eventual release of the Pentagon Papers. See also “Project Gamma.”
His tour of duty included a short term assignment to Nui Coto, a fortified Viet Cong stronghold in the 7 Mountains area at end of the Ho Chi Minh Trail. McIntosh became ill and was medivac to 29th Evac hospital in Can Tho. He was diagnosed with "Fever of Unknown Origin" and returned to duty at A-414 upon recovery.
Awards and decorations include the Combat Infantryman Badge, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, Army Commendation Medal, VSM w/4 Bronze Service Stars, Civil Actions Medal, Expert Badge (Rifle), United States, Vietnamese, and German Parachute Wings, and other awards. McIntosh finished his military service with the 75th Rangers, and was Honorably Discharged in 1971. He attained the rank of Sergeant E-5.
Unofficial Mark of Distinctive Service:
McIntosh is one of the youngest men, if not the actual youngest, to ever wear the Green Beret into combat and serve on an A-Team. Military Records verify that he was assigned to Special Forces at age 18 and at the height of the Vietnam War because of his military skills. The median age of Special Forces soldiers was about 30 to 35 years old. The Group had suffered high causality rate Tet68, and temporarily dropped the age requirement to 18 in order to fill much needed positions. In spite of the age drop, SF only recruited those qualified in a critical Military Occupational Skill. The assignment demanded skill, determination, and ability in keeping with SF standards. McIntosh was accepted by his team members without question. They were all getting shot at regardless of age, and it was during a time when a soldier was judged by his actions more than anything else.
McIntosh earned his Combat Infantryman Badge at age 19 during a Search & Destroy mission in the Mekong Delta. Lt. Col. Wesley Herrlein was OIC with air support, and ten enemy soldiers were killed in action. A citation of combat was submitted, and orders for the award were officially cut Feb 23, 1969. By that time, McIntosh had already been assigned to Det. A-414 in Thanh Tri, a rifle shot from the Cambodian border. He spent 170 days on the A-Team.
McIntosh’s service was in the old Army and before the SF Tab was issued to qualified soldiers. Before creation of the Tab, Special Forces status was indicated by wearing a full-size unit flash on the Green Beret. At the time of its creation in 1983, the Special Forces Tab was retroactively awarded to any Army soldiers previously Special Forces qualified. In addition, as set forth in Army regulations, veterans of certain categories of former wartime service are also eligible for retroactive awards of the tab. This includes personnel captain and below awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge or Combat Medical Badge while serving at least 120 days war time service between 1955 and 1975 in a Special Forces Operational Detachment-Alpha (A-Team).
Non Airborne clerical and others on TDY (Temporary Duty) to support and assist Special Forces in Vietnam were allowed to wear the Green Beret with small, rectangular colored patches referred to as Candy Stripes, but did not and do not qualify for SF status. McIntosh met the criteria for award, was airborne qualified and his assignment to SF was PCS (Permanent Change of Station) with full size unit flash which indicates that he was an official part of the Group by all current standards 1968. Based on those facts, it is likely that he is the youngest man in Special Forces history to engage the enemy in ground combat, and certainly one of the youngest men to wear the Green Beret.
McIntosh acted in two Warner Brothers movies as an extra and stand in actor. “In Country” 1989 and “US Marshals” 1998 (uncredited). He wrote, produced, and directed several made for television amateur shows and produced “For the Love of Israel” which documented the plight of Jewish Christians being denied citizenship because of their faith in Christ in 1993. The video made a strong appeal to Israel to rescind the Law of Return, and prophesied Israel's future isolation. It was reviewed by the Prime Ministers Office, the Knesset, and TV airtime in several countries. The anti missionary orthodox Jewish organization Yad Lachem campaigned against McIntosh, and his Israeli press credentials were not renewed.
Between Bullets (2004) - A chronicled history of his overseas ministry work.
The Golden Calf of Christianity (2002) An expose of overbalanced Christian theology.
McIntosh contributed to Military History Online with his article “The Green Beret Affair - A Factual Review,” 2010.
Rodan, Steve, Najib, Mohammed, “At the Boiling Point,” The Jerusalem Post Magazine, October 1997.
LAW - The Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment, “The Myth of Christian Persecution,” 1998.
WAFA Palestine News Agency, “Christians Demand “Tear Down Separation Wall,” May 2007.
Werner, Justis, “Freedom of Religion,” Religious freedom examined on the basis of Article 18 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights, 2001
Darg, Christine, “the Jesus visions - Miracles Among Muslims,” Destiny Image Europe 2006
Register, Ray, “Discipling Middle Eastern Believers,” GlobalEdAdvancePress 2009
Smith, David, “Just to see better,” The Jerusalem Post Magazine Christian Edition, September 2007
Staff, “Christian Ads on Islamic TV,” The Jerusalem Post Magazine Christian Edition,
Kachinski, Lena, “A Church on Fire,” The Jerusalem Post Magazine Christian Edition,
Al-Katoot, Gihassan, “A delegation from the society of the Jesus House of Prayer for Peace Visits Nablus,” Al-Quds Arabic International Newspaper, January 2007
Ireland, Michael, “West Bank evangelist challenges Islam to teach tolerance, stop acts of
violence against Christians - TV Message to both nations” Assist News Service, October 2007
Dateline, “Paducah native centers campaign on Palestinians,” The Paducah-Sun, April 2002
Walker, Joe, “Mission of Faith,” The Paducah-Sun, 1996
Wright, Leigh Landini, “Global Message,” The Paducah-Sun, 2007
Landini, Leigh, “Keeping the faith in a war zone,” The Paducah-Sun, December 2000
Staff, “PLO Guards Christian Conference in Jericho,” Lone Oak News, June 1996
Staff, “Paducah men promote peace at Jericho service,” The Paducah-Sun, June 1998
Staff, Video focuses on persecution in Holy Land,” The Paducah-Sun 1993
Secrets: a memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers by Daniel Ellsberg
Stein, Jeff, “A Murder in Wartime” 1993
Smith, Lisa, “Faithful Devotion” 2009
Militaryhistoryonline.com, “The Green Beret Affair - A factual review.” 2010
Thai Khac Chuyen
History Commons, Sept. 29, 1969