Florida contingent discovers blessings in Barbados
By: Brad Rowland
In early May, the Florida Divisional Band and Creative Arts groups embarked on a weekend of ministry and mission in the Barbados Division.
“Barbados was a great trip for our Florida Divisional Band and Creative Arts groups,” said Tom Hanton, divisional music director. “We went in the name of the Lord to bless those that would hear the gospel and ended up being blessed right back by the people of Barbados. We were able to enjoy comradery and music together as we joined with members of the Barbados Divisional Band at many of the meetings.”
The journey began with the accompaniment of an advisory board meeting and dinner in the region, as the group’s musicians aimed to support local Salvation Army work. From there, a small ensemble accompanied the reopening of the Speightstown Corps, and the full groups, both band and creative arts, took part in concert settings, ministering alongside soldiers in Barbados.
Sandwiched between artistic endeavors, though, was an important opportunity for service. A project of painting the local corps was undertaken, with dozens from Florida pitching in to accomplish what was a helpful and missional task.
Perhaps the highlight of the weekend was a march of witness and open-air concert in Bridgetown, with ensembles from Barbados taking part in the festivities. A combined praise team worshipped alongside the assembled crowd, with dance and timbrel brigades from the Barbados Division.
“Our trip to Barbados was an awesome opportunity and a humbling experience,” said bandsman Terry Wood. “As we joined in their worship and celebration, I could feel the presence of the Lord with us. The Army is clearly alive and well in Barbados.”
Finally, the group from Florida stood alongside their brethren from Barbados in supporting Sunday morning worship and performed a finale concert on Sunday afternoon, in which Commissioner Devon Haughton, Caribbean territorial commander, delivered the message.
“It was great to hear the territorial commander speak about God’s calling on all of our lives and how we can respond to that call,” Hanton said. “In addition to painting a building, playing for a building dedication, and marching through the streets of Bridgetown, we were really blessed by the worship and grand finale presentations done by the Barbados Salvationists! It was a true privilege to be a part of the 120 years celebration of The Salvation Army in Barbados.”