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Texas Brass takes musical outreach to Buenos Aires

Texas Brass takes musical outreach to Buenos Aires

By: Brad Rowland

For more than two decades, the USA Southern Territory and South America East Territory of The Salvation Army have enjoyed a fruitful relationship in music and arts. With that as the backdrop, 36 members of Texas Brass embarked on a rewarding journey in late May, visiting Buenos Aires, Argentina, with a full schedule of musical ministry.

The ensemble, led by Matthew Broome, divisional music and arts director, performed a welcome concert just hours after landing in Buenos Aires. The gathering was well-attended and celebratory, with a worshipful and uplifting atmosphere.

From there, Texas Brass joined forces with an already established ensemble that included local musicians from Argentina, with Omar Perez, territorial music secretary for South America East, coordinating the effort. Those from Texas stood alongside Argentinians to form a massed band and massed chorus, performing multiple open-air concerts during the visit and coming together for a memorable march of witness through the streets of the city.

“The musical standard is very high in the South America East Territory, and that eased everything for us,” Broome said. “It’s encouraging and really speaks to Omar’s work and influence. … Omar has been the territorial music secretary for more than 20 years, and it was also great to highlight the impact being made locally.”

Sundays often represent the pinnacle of ministry weekends in Salvation Army music-making, and this journey was no different. Texas Brass split into four smaller ensembles, keying ministry at four local corps – Patricios, Colegiales, Villa de Parque and Central – with time for testimony and stirring musical worship.

“The sense of community in Buenos Aires was something that I’ve never felt before,” said Indy Pence, a percussionist and soldier of the Garland, Texas, Corps. “The relationships I made with some of the people there were impactful, and I treasure my new friends greatly.”

On the final full day of the trip, the group visited a Salvation Army nursing home, spending time with retired officers and other senior citizens. The visit included a concert. A short distance away, Texas Brass performed an outreach-driven concert at a local boarding school, Colegio San Jorge, including an inspiring devotional.

Despite the language barrier, the world of music provided natural communication, and the fellowship and worship under The Salvation Army umbrella was meaningful for all.

“One of the best things, in my opinion, is the opportunity to meet other Salvationists and the fellowship we can have,” said Broome. “This trip centered on our youth, and giving them that chance is something I think is great, and something that should be memorable and impactful for everyone involved.”

Source: southernspiritonline.org

The Salvation Army challenges Nashville’s views on homelessness

The Salvation Army challenges Nashville’s views on homelessness

By: David Ibata

A local honky tonk owner got so frustrated with the presence of homeless people in downtown Nashville, Tennessee, he ] produced and distributed a video showing them sleeping on stoops and begging in the streets. Tourists, a narrator says gravely, “come from across the globe to see what everyone is talking about, but when they get here, this is what they will remember.”

City leaders got the message. The Nashville Metro Council this spring debated a bill that would ban panhandling at bus stops, sidewalk cafes, day care centers and schools; near banks, ATMs and business entrances; and along certain streets popular with visitors.

Major Ethan Frizzell, area commander of The Salvation Army, is taking a different approach. On May 31 at Schermerhorn Symphony Center, he announced the #90 Day Challenge to address chronic homelessness through engagement and street-level case management in the Nashville Downtown District.

Speakers included Commissioner Danielle Barnes of the Tennessee State Department of Human Services; Commander Gordon Howey of the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department; local business people, and Nat Kendall-Taylor, CEO of the Frameworks Institute, a national think tank.

Walker Mathews, an advisory board member, and his wife Renée presented a $50,000 check to support the addition of a Salvation Army case manager for the #90 Day Challenge.

The Nashville Area Command also has partnered with The Contributor, a newspaper sold by homeless and formerly homeless residents. Major Frizzell has committed to writing a twice-monthly column, and the Army helps pay for its placement in the paper.

“Two of our donors asked if we were familiar with their work,” Major Frizzell said. “Did I see The Contributor as an asset, a positive nudge to employment, or was it panhandling?”

Major Frizzell met with Cathy Jennings, The Contributor’s volunteer executive director – its staff, except for the freelancers who write the stories, work without pay – and came away impressed.

“I’m challenging poverty bias both in language and experience in Nashville, and I thought The Contributor would be a wonderful place to challenge the community and use behavioral insights to create improvement,” he said. “Where better to have a conversation about alleviating poverty than in a newspaper of microentrepreneurs, bought by people who support these micro-entrepreneurs?”

Started in 2009 as a nonprofit social enterprise, The Contributor comes out every other week. The papers are sold by independent vendors who are trained and receive a yellow badge and 10 free copies to start out. Each vendor purchases his or her papers at 50 cents a copy and sells them for $2 apiece, the difference being theirs to keep.

More than 3,200 vendors have sold in excess of 6 million copies of The Contributor over the last 10 years, generating more than $15 million in income for themselves. Seventy percent of those selling The Contributor for at least six months have obtained housing, the organization says.

Jennings said she and the major “both feel people who live in our communities without homes are still our neighbors. All our quality of life is bound together. We rise together, we fall together, we can’t be separated.”

“We publish a newspaper, and that paper has all sorts of purposes,” Jennings said. “It’s a real newspaper. We have people write stories for us. Some of our vendors contribute, too. We speak to social justice issues and try to give a voice to people in the community who don’t have a voice.”

Half of The Contributor’s support comes from newspaper sales – its circulation is about 10,000 – and half, from donations. At the moment, it has about 300 vendors trained and 150 selling.

Jennings tells of a former TV cameraman who fell and broke his hip, was in rehab and tried to start a business. Then 2008 happened, “when everything fell apart.” The man ended up living in a barn. He started selling The Contributor, bought a lawnmower and started mowing peoples’ lawns. Today, he has a riding mower, a truck, a trailer and a small house outside the city.

“Something clicks when someone starts selling the paper,” Jennings said. “It’s a business. It’s dignity. They make relationships with the customers they’ve sold to, the people who’ve helped them regain their sense of dignity and purpose.”

Major Frizzell has a three-part strategy “to introduce the language of neighboring” to the homelessness discussion: First, the Army encourages a public narrative that recognizes everyone who lives in Nashville is a Tennessee neighbor. “By humanizing our neighbors, it helps increase the public will for support.”

Second, the Army aims to work with Nashville Metro government on the city’s strategic plan to reduce the lived experience of homelessness.

Third, the Army will introduce a prompted journal among those experiencing homelessness. “A prompted journal walks a client through the change process The Salvation Army uses, all behaviorally driven, so they can choose and prioritize their quality of life goals,” Major Frizzell said.

The major’s articles first appear in The Contributor and are then posted online on The Salvation Army of Nashville’s blog.

“This allows The Salvation Army to be very transparent,” Major Frizzell said, “and allows us to be an active partner in designing the policies of a major city.”

Source: southernspiritonline.org

Countdown underway for 2020 congress

Countdown underway for 2020 congress

By: Dan Childs

Preparations have begun for the USA South’s first territorial congress since 2008. The upcoming event will unfold June 5-7, 2020, in Atlanta.

The congress will be held at the Infinite Energy Arena in suburban Gwinnett County. The venue was the site of the 2008 territorial congress.

Territorial congresses are customarily held every four or five years. The South, however, opted to forego a congress in 2012 or 2013 and direct its energy and attention to preparations for the Boundless International Congress in London in 2015, which commemorated The Salvation Army’s 150th anniversary.

The 2015 congress was, in fact, planned by Lt. Colonels Eddie and Kathy Hobgood, who currently serve as secretary and assistant secretary for program in the South. The Hobgoods will likewise coordinate the planning and preparation for the 2020 congress, which is in its early stages. Registration is projected to begin early this autumn.

“I’m sure our congress will tie in directly with General (Brian) Peddle’s Call to Mission, so that will be one of the key themes that will be incorporated into each of the four programs,” Lt. Colonel Hobgood said.

In his 2019 New Year message, General Peddle challenged The Salvation Army to live in a state of readiness to accomplish God’s purposes and called on Salvationists to be “battle-ready.”

Lt. Colonel Hobgood added that the three-day event will consist of united sessions on Friday evening, Saturday morning and evening and Sunday morning. The commissioning of the Messengers of the Kingdom will be the focal point of Sunday morning’s session.

The commencement of the Messengers of the Kingdom session, followed by the Silver Star Luncheon, will be held on Friday, and a territorial officers councils will take place that afternoon. Saturday afternoon’s festivities will likely include rallies for men, women and young people. Childcare services will be provided throughout the weekend, and separate programs will be held for junior soldiers.

Source: southernspiritonline.org

The Salvation Army Prepares to Respond to Tropical Storm Barry

Jackson, MS (July 12, 2019) – Disaster personnel from across The Salvation Army Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi (ALM) Division are gearing up to respond to the effects from what is predicted to be the first hurricane of the season. The National Hurricane Center has reported the tropical system is expected to make landfall in the next 48 hours producing heavy rainfall and flooding. 

Preparation for this event began days ago when the ALM Division placed as many as 28 Salvation Army units on standby. These units are prepared, as needed, to provide disaster relief equipment and personnel to affected areas along the Gulf Coast and affected areas inland.  Service delivery will include the deployment of canteens stocked with meals, snacks and hydration and trained personnel to provide emotional and spiritual care. Each mobile feeding unit (canteen) has the capacity to provide anywhere from 500 to 1,000 meals per day. 

To maintain situational awareness, The Salvation Army disaster personnel are working in close coordination with local and state emergency management partners which aids in the identification of the most affected areas and determination of entering that area when it is deemed safe to do so. 

Terry Lightheart, the ALM Division Emergency Disaster Services Director stated, “Preparedness and partnerships are key to an effective disaster relief response and recovery. The Salvation Army seeks to “Do the Most Good” which includes providing much needed resources to the communities where we serve in a time of need.” 

For additional information, go to https://disaster.salvationarmyusa.org/news/

If anyone wants to help, we are not accepting in-kind donations at this time. To make a financial contribution please go to our website at helpsalvationarmy.org

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need without discrimination for more than 135 years in the U.S. More than 25 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through a range of social services: food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless, and opportunities for underprivileged children. The Salvation Army tracks the level of need across the country with the Human Needs Index (HumanNeedsIndex.org). The Salvation Army has served survivors of every major national disaster since 1900. The Salvation Army does not place an administrative fee on disaster donations. During emergency disasters, 100 percent of designated gifts are used to support specific relief efforts. For more information, go to www.SalvationArmyUSA.org or follow on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS.

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Source: disaster.salvationarmyusa.org 

Salvation Army Monitoring Potential Hurricane in Gulf of Mexico

Jackson, MS (July 10, 2019)— As the first potential hurricane of 2019 brews in the Gulf of Mexico, The Salvation Army Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi Division disaster personnel are working closely with local and state emergency management officials to monitor the situation.

Severe thunderstorm warnings, tornado warnings, and localized flooding have already occurred in New Orleans. The National Hurricane Center is predicting similar conditions to continue over the next 48-72 hours as the system tracks along the coastline from Mississippi to Texas and many parts inland.

The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services disaster relief includes providing food, water, and emotional and spiritual care to residents in the affected areas and first responders.

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need without discrimination for more than 135 years in the U.S. More than 25 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through a range of social services: food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless, and opportunities for underprivileged children. The Salvation Army tracks the level of need across the country with the Human Needs Index (HumanNeedsIndex.org). The Salvation Army has served survivors of every major national disaster since 1900. The Salvation Army does not place an administrative fee on disaster donations. During emergency disasters, 100 percent of designated gifts are used to support specific relief efforts. For more information, go to www.SalvationArmyUSA.org or follow on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS.

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Source: disaster.salvationarmyusa.org 

Messengers of Compassion challenged to strive for knowledge, wisdom

Messengers of Compassion challenged to strive for knowledge, wisdom

By: Dan Childs

Midway through the Commencement of the Messengers of Compassion, Colonel Ralph Bukiewicz said, “We get to brag on God today. We get to look around and say, ‘Look at what God has done,’ … and we get to look at the opportunities that now lay open as a result.” But the chief secretary, the commencement speaker in the May 31 service at Atlanta Temple Corps, acknowledged that academic training, valuable though it may be, is not an end in itself.

“We know that applied knowledge is the doorway to wisdom,” he said. He told the cadets that in the years to come, they would have ample opportunity to apply the knowledge they have acquired and, in the process, gain wisdom. Wisdom would be theirs not because they have been educated but as a result of their own effort and determination to apply what they have learned.

He urged the 18 Messengers of Compassion to be steadfast in their focus on the roles they have been called on to play in the building of God’s Kingdom.

“It’s important that we not get distracted by how the world would look at those degrees and that academic achievement but that we keep our eyes fixed on how it fits within that purpose that God has called all of us to.”

Colonel Bukiewicz challenged them to show the compassion reflected in their session name. “People won’t care how much you know until they know how much you care,” he said. “It’s now the equipping through the knowledge that’s been gained that allows you to expand that care and compassion.”

Cadet Lara Sassano, the session speaker, called on her session mates to fulfill their calling as they set out to claim their appointments. “The world needs a shepherd, the world needs compassion and the world needs us,” she said. “Messengers, may we be the hands, the feet and the eyes of Christ to a world that so desperately needs it.”

The service included the presentation of degrees to the Messengers of Compassion as well as recognizing officers who have attained degrees over the past year through the School for Continuing Education. Also recognized were officers and staff who have completed learning programs in the Jack McDowell School for Leadership Development.

The program concluded with the presentation of the Principal’s Award to Cadet Cornelius Walton and the Commissioner’s Award to Cadet Lindsey Galabeas.

Source: southernspiritonline.org

The Salvation Army Flood Relief Efforts Continue in Rio Grande Valley

Dallas, Texas (July 3, 2019) – Staff and volunteers from several Salvation Army Corps and Service Units in the Rio Grande Valley have stepped up their relief efforts after extensive flooding in the area. Several counties have been affected and The Salvation Army continues to provide food, practical assistance and emotional and spiritual care.

In Harlingen, many residents are just returning to their homes and beginning the challenging work of cleaning and removing soaked furniture, carpets and belongings. Debris and discarded furniture line the streets and staff and volunteers from the Harlingen Corps and the Port Isabel Service Unit are working to the meet the practical needs of the community. Bulk distribution has begun of cleaning supplies, clothing and prepared food boxes provided by Midwest Food Bank. The Salvation Army case workers will begin meeting with individuals and families to provide individualized assistance in Harlingen early next week.

“We are grateful to our partner, Midwest Food Bank, who continues to provide support in the communities we serve affected by disasters,” said Alvin Migues, The Salvation Army Divisional Disaster Services Director in Texas. “Partnerships play an integral part in any successful response effort and The Salvation Army is blessed to work with tremendous local and national agencies, such as Midwest Food Bank.”

Meanwhile, The Salvation Army in McAllen has continued to support feeding operations in shelters established in three counties where a state of disaster has been declared by Texas Governor Gregg Abbott. Close to 2,000 meals per day have been provided to residents affected by the flooding. Local partners have come alongside the Army to provide food and volunteers, and much needed extra manpower arrived in the form of The Salvation Army Summer Service Corps. This team of young Salvationists from across the Southern Territory have worked diligently to prepare and serve meals as part of their summer ministry trip.

For more information on The Salvation Army’s current disaster response efforts or to donate please go to www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org.

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need without discrimination for more than 135 years in the U.S. More than 25 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through a range of social services: food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless, and opportunities for underprivileged children. The Salvation Army tracks the level of need across the country with the Human Needs Index (HumanNeedsIndex.org). The Salvation Army has served survivors of every major national disaster since 1900. The Salvation Army does not place an administrative fee on disaster donations. During emergency disasters, 100 percent of designated gifts are used to support specific relief efforts. For more information, go to www.SalvationArmyUSA.org or follow on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS.

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Source: disaster.salvationarmyusa.org 

The Salvation Army mobilizes to offer meals, comfort in Oklahoma, Arkansas flooding

The Salvation Army mobilizes to offer meals, comfort in Oklahoma, Arkansas flooding

By: Cindy Fuller

The Salvation Army partnered with Tulsa County, Oklahoma, the weekend of June 1-2 to stage a fixed feeding site in a neighborhood hard hit by flooding from the Arkansas River. About half of the area was submerged, water was up to roof lines for several blocks and hundreds were displaced.

Residents began returning Saturday, June 1, and The Salvation Army was there. Two canteens (mobile feeding units), two rapid response units (catering trucks), and a Salvation Army kitchen delivered meals, water, cleaning supplies and hygiene kits.

As the word spread of the Army’s fixed feeding site in Sand Springs, volunteers, survivors and first responders arrived for a lunch of hot dogs, chips, a dessert and a cold bottle of water. For some, it was the first break they’d had since early morning.

By Wednesday, June 5, Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services teams in northeast Oklahoma had served more than 6,900 meals, 8,800 drinks and 3,500 snacks. Canteens and rapid response units were moving through Sand Springs, Bixby, Leonard, Muskogee and West Tulsa. The Salvation Army also assisted flood relief efforts in Fort Smith, Arkansas.

Trained personnel from Conway, Fayetteville, Hot Springs and Mountain Home, Arkansas; and Chickasha, Enid, Lawton and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, provided support and encouragement.

Salvation Army partners Webco Industries and National Charity League provided volunteers; the doTERRA Helping Hands Foundation, comfort kits; Newton Wall Co., paper products; and Reddy Ice, ice and an ice container.

Cindy Fuller is communications director for the Arkansas-Oklahoma Division.

Source: southernspiritonline.org

South given a mighty vision of a mighty God

South given a mighty vision of a mighty God

By: Brad Rowland

On the evening of Saturday, June 1, the Messengers of Compassion Session joined forces with musicians and artists from across the Southern Territory to present a spectacular and worshipful production. The program, titled “Mighty To Save,” was driven by the premise of General William Booth’s “A Vision of the Lost.” It began with a dramatic presentation of Scripture, centering on Isaiah 49. At its conclusion, the simple declaration that “Our God is mighty to save” provided the backdrop for the remainder of a memorable evening.

Interspersed with artistic triumphs were stirring testimonies, with Cadet Sarah Nance, Cadet Trevon King and Cadets Michael and Amanda Cain sharing their stories of triumph and redemption. That outward expression of inward change added poignant context to the proceedings, while allowing for reflection from those in attendance.

“I have chosen to forgive and seek forgiveness because he forgave,” said Cadet Nance. “I know now that I am loved immeasurably more than I could ever imagine by my heavenly father. He sees me as worthy. He calls me daughter. He is my light and my salvation. Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life. Of whom shall I be afraid? And by his grace, I stand before you today redeemed, restored and a Messenger of Compassion.”

In furthering the worshipful attitude of the evening, Ronnie Murchison, accompanied by transMission, contributed a set of praise songs. A central selection, “I Will Fight,” encouraged attendees to “come and join God’s army now,” insisting that “there is room for all who have laid down their lives and picked up their cross.”

The Messengers of Compassion also took part in musical performances in their own right, with soloist Cadet Rachel Pruitt leading a jazzy presentation of “We are Soldiers in the Army.” In addition, youth from the Evangeline Booth College executed a musical presentation of Kirk Franklin’s “Lean On Me,” illustrating the talent and Christian spirit that moves beyond the cadets themselves.

In addition to Cadet-driven worship and participation, the Southern Territorial Band and TAM dance ensemble joined forces to deploy a professional-quality artistic experience. Nick Simmons-Smith, territorial music secretary, presented a new musical selection based on General Booth’s “A Vision of the Lost,” with expressive movement and fantastic visuals.

Prior to the start of the selection, Cadet King set the table with a simple challenge.

“Sometimes in our efforts to do the most good, it can get easy to turn our eyes away from the mission,” he said. “But I believe that, where we have lost focus, we can turn back – we must turn back – and answer the call of our Lord and Savior to rescue the perishing.”

The musical feature included the tunes of “Rescue the Perishing,” later sung by Cadet Jae Sung Park in unforgettable fashion, and “Love Lifted Me,” with references to a vision of a dark and stormy ocean clashing with lightning and thunder. In the midst, the theme of one emerging from the stormy water with an eye toward going back to save others was clear.

“Rescue the perishing,” the song says. “Care for dying. Snatch them in pity from sin and the grave. Weep o’er the erring one. Lift up the fallen. Tell them of Jesus, the mighty to save.”

Cadet Roger Galabeas offered an inspiring vocal rendition of “Rescue,” a contemporary selection from recording artist Lauren Daigle. He was supported by the Southern Territorial Band, TAM Dance Ensemble and transMission in a fitting and powerful message and charge to rescue others in the vision of Jesus.

On the heels of the vivid imagery created by the combination of music and art, Commissioner Willis Howell, territorial commander, provided a call to action; to search for those who are in need and do one’s best to save them.

“What would you give for God to send someone searching for them?” Commissioner Howell said. “What would you give for God to send someone to rescue them? How fervent is your prayer that that person is approached for the sake and the cause of Christ? How heartbroken would you be if you ever learned that the Lord moved in someone’s heart to have a word, and they didn’t?”

The cadets’ vocal benediction titled “The Blessing,” provided a portrait of what they had experienced. While the night featured high-level performance and, in turn, emotional resonance, the overarching charge and message were clear.

“My friends, each of you who carry the name of Christ, and all the more so if you call yourself a Salvationist, this is our call,” said Commissioner Howell. “What will you do?”

Source: southernspiritonline.org

Paying tribute to Divisional Man of the Year recipients

Paying tribute to Divisional Man of the Year recipients

Five divisions in the USA Southern Territory recently paid tribute to distinguished men by announcing their Divisional Man of the Year recipients at divisional men’s camps. As shown below, these men are serving their corps, their divisions and The Salvation Army in many ways.

Robert Krebs — Florence, Alabama — Alabama-Louisiana-Mississippi Division

Robert Krebs is a living example of a servant of God. He helps with every event at the corps and asks for nothing in return. He was recently named the safety sergeant and makes sure that the building is safe and efficient when in use and secure when closed. He assists daily with the after school program and makes sure the children receive their snack and that the facility is clean after they depart. He also helps with the setup and cleanup for women’s and men’s ministry programs. He also helps with midweek services. Robert fills in as needed with custodial services at the corps and the Center of Hope. He is an excellent volunteer bell-ringer and helps in any way he can with the kettles. He also pitches in to help pick up and unload daily donations. He stands ready to do whatever God opens the door for him to do. The Salvation Army is blessed to have

Michael Schlichting — Russellville, Arkansas — Arkansas-Oklahoma Division

To say this man is active in the corps ministry would be an understatement. He has touched virtually every aspect of corps life, including the hearts of those in the corps. He is always encouraging youth, he started a youth worship band, takes the kids to Divisional Arts every month and volunteers with the DARTS Band, teaches nursery lessons and memory verses, takes care of the kids in the nursery most Sundays and Thursdays, and he helps every week with youth programs. Michael is very active in Russellville’s Men’s Club, and he volunteers to help with cleaning, yard work, painting and helping secure and collect donations. He helps with kettles and Angel Tree, fundraisers, and he preaches as needed. He is an active member of Corps Community Ministry. He has even helped with the Family Store by doing pickups, helping with our rag deliveries, moving furniture and recycling old electronics. All of that is just the tip of the iceberg … there are many things that don’t even fit into a category. The Russellville Corps would not be the same without Michael.

Felix Quinares — Marietta, Georgia — Georgia Division

Felix Quinares is involved in many aspects of the corps. He is a Bible study teacher, character-building program teacher, involved in canteen ministry, Men’s Club president, corps cells leader, and he is involved in visitation ministry. He is a driver for corps pickups for various corps programs, a Sunday school teacher, and he does maintenance and landscaping as well as painting and repair in the corps. He is a volunteer bell-ringer and a volunteer helper at VBS. One of his greatest ministries is that he consistently invites people to church and offers them transportation. Felix is the substitute drummer for praise and worship, and he does pastoral care and leads devotionals. He also has made himself available to be with corps members during difficult times. He is always at Men’s Camp and encourages others to come. Felix accepted Jesus as his savior at The Salvation Army and became a soldier. His wife is also a soldier and his children are junior soldiers. He is an example of a good and faithful soldier, father, husband and servant. He always wears his uniform with respect and dignity. He has a good testimony of Jesus Christ in him.

John Travers — Frederick, Maryland — Maryland-West Virginia Division

John Travers is one of those rare soldiers which every corps desires and needs. He is a pillar in the Frederick Corps, always a source of support and encouragement. He is an active musician and bandsman and plays bass in the praise band. When the corps officer is not at rehearsal or present on a Sunday, he takes an active role in leading the band. John can be found at the back of the chapel on Sunday, making sure the audio-visual equipment is in working order. He takes time to train the young people to run the sound board and presentation material. He is always looking for ways to help others and make sure that everyone has a great worship experience. John is a great husband and a caring father to his twin teenage girls. He is truly the spiritual head of his household and makes sure he is setting the right example for his family. He is known and well-respected across the division. He practically grew up at Camp Tomahawk and is a great asset to the camp. The Frederick Corps treasures this man of God who takes his walk seriously.

Joe LaSalle — Concord, North Carolina — North-South Carolina Division

Joe is the corps sergeant major, and he is involved in every aspect of the corps. He is a driver for pickups, a Sunday school teacher, Men’s Club member and Adventure Corps leader. He records the names of the seekers on Sunday, as well as the number of people attending all corps meetings. He is also Concord’s social services director, providing oversight for shelter and social services ministries. Joe makes himself available to preach in the absence of the corps officer and conducts the mid-week Bible study when needed. He is a wonderful witness to the corps people, shelter residents and anyone who comes in for assistance at the social services office. A kind-hearted man who gives of himself willingly and abundantly, Joe is a godly man who loves and serves the Lord with all that he has.

Source: southernspiritonline.org