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Volume 25, No.18

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The Salvation Army USA Southern Territory

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November 24, 2008

 

A dream realized
Southern Territory’s first Kroc center dedicated in Atlanta

Friday, Oct. 31 in Atlanta’s innercity Pittsburgh community was a time and place for existing
dreams to be realized and for
new dreams to be birthed.
The Salvation Army Ray and Joan
Kroc Corps Community Center was dedicated after more than four years of planning, preparation and construction.

The Kroc center, adjacent to
Evangeline Booth College in south Atlanta, is the first to be dedicated in the USA Southern Territory and the third in the nation. It is one of nine
planned for the territory. About 30
Kroc centers are projected nationwide. The centers are the result of an unprecedented $1.5 billion donation made in early 2004 by Joan Kroc,
the widow of McDonald’s founder
Ray Kroc. Her intent was to provide funding for the establishment of centers that would create opportunities for economically disadvantaged people to access people, activities and arts that they might not otherwise encounter.

“This is a place of dreams,” said
Commissioner Max Feener in his
dedicatory address. “Mrs. Joan Kroc had a dream, and what a dream it was!

Joan looked to The Salvation Army and gave it the largest single gift in our 143-year history. That brought our dream to life.”

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Feener referenced the experiences of athletes Julius Erving, Emmitt Smith and Sugar Ray Leonard, as well a singer Kenny Rogers, all of whom were influenced by The Salvation Army through their involvement in Boys &
Girls Clubs and community centers.“The same dreams that they realized can certainly happen again, only this time here in Atlanta. It was Joan’s dream that this center become a place where the people of this Pittsburgh community might find fertile ground for their own dreams; a place of

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New dreams ready to be born at Kroc center
Continued from above.


dignitaries. "When I first heard the term ‘Kroc center,' I asked myself, ‘What the heck is a Kroc center?'" Marion Platt told the audience at the open-air dedication. "So, like any web-savvy person, I googled it." As Platt learned, the Kroc center will offer the the Pittsburgh community a variety of programs and services in a $21-million, 53,000-square-foot facility. "Kroc Atlanta will serve to provide economically disadvantaged men, women and children with spiritual, social service, recreational and cultural activities that help to build character, stabilize families and restore confidence in Atlanta's Pittsburgh community," Platt said.

 

” As Platt learned, the Kroc center will offer the the Pittsburgh community a variety of programs and services in a $21-million, 53,000-square-foot facility. “Kroc Atlanta will serve to provide economically disadvantaged men, women and children with spiritual, social service, recreational and cultural activities that help to build character, stabilize families and restore confidence in Atlanta’s Pittsburgh community,” Platt said.

The center includes a gymnasium, outdoor play areas for infants and toddlers, a cardio fitness area, life enhancement and family support programs, a performing arts theater, vocal/instrumental/dance instruction, computer lab, Internet-based library, meeting/event space, pottery room and elevated walking track. Following the dedication, the more than 400 attendees were given a tour of the center, which is scheduled to open in early December.

The center’s year-round programs will include a mix of the Army’s worship, character-building, literacy and homeless service initiatives and an array of new performing arts, education and senior programs.

“Let us nurture our dreamers, provide them a place where limits are lifted and commitment is rewarded,” Feener said. “Where hard work meets opportunity, where setbacks are temporary and where the success of one os a result of the efforts of many.”

Following Friday’s dedication marking the beginning of a new dream, a chapter of Salvation
Army history in Atlanta was concluded. The Lakewood Corps, which will now operate in the Kroc center, held a poignant closing service on Saturday morning. Bandmaster Antoine Terrell recited an entertaining history of Lakewood in verse, and long-time soldiers of the corps were honored by Majors William and Debra Mockabee, Georgia divisional leaders. The national and corps flags were posted in their accustomed places on the platform and moments later were carried out the corps doors by Cadets Joe Contreras and Jeremiah Romack for the three-mile walk to the Kroc center. Lt. Colonel John Mikles, a formerLakewood corps officer, brought the message.

The bridge from old to new continued on Sunday morning, culminating a weekend of ceremony and commitment to ministry in South Atlanta.

A tent erected in the parking lot of the Atlanta Kroc Corps served as a chapel for the inaugural worship service held at the new facility. Three teams of soldiers and corps cadets went out into the surrounding neighborhood to invite residents to worship. Once the meeting began, joyful songs from the praise and worship team echoed in all directions of the neighborhood. There could be no doubt as to the message that would resonate from this place for years to come: praise to God for his goodness, and an invitation to all to find salvation in Jesus Christ.

Captain Robert Parker, assistant corps officer, preached the first sermon of the new corps, drawing his lesson from the parable of the vineyard. Parker reminded the congregation of Jesus’ statement that “the first shall be last, and the last shall be first” – explaining that there is no seniority in God’s Kingdom.

“We are here by invitation of Jesus Christ,” Parker proclaimed, “and we are here in obedience to that invitation. We are forgiven regardless of our station in life. Our message to this neighborhood is that there is no shortage of God’s grace!”


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2 become 1 in Atlanta
International, Hispanic corps join forces

Continued from above.


By Brooke Turbyfill
Southern Spirit staff

Nov. 2 marked a historic date for two Atlanta
corps, the Hispanic and International Corps, once known as separate entities. They became one church, and over 200 congregants attended a special celebration called “The Grand Merge” after the Sunday meeting.

People of Korean, Spanish, American, African,
Indian, Chinese and Russian nationalities now
worship together as the Doraville Corps. Prior to
the merge, the Hispanic and International corps
shared a building, but they held services at different times, had separate corps officers and sang worship songs in singular languages.

“Kingdom-mindedness means that we are
inclusive. So that is our biggest goal – that we
worship together as one body,” said Major Wanda Browning, program director at the corps.
Music has a multicultural flair, and each service
opens with congregational prayer offered up in
every language."

Right now, sermons are delivered in English,
like the celebratory sermon about unity given
by corps officer Major Doug Browning. Wanda
Browning said that she envisions some sermons
being given by the associate officers, Captains
Yong Kwan and Young Soon Kim and Captains
Kelly and Regina Durant, in their native languages – Korean and Spanish. The corps pays interpreters to translate during the Sunday service, and non- English speakers listen to the interpretation through headphones. Browning said she hopes to improve the equipment used for interpretation by replacingthe headphones with more efficient models.

Other than language, she said, there have
been far fewer challenges than she expected. “It’s coming together so well, and people are excited.”

She said the Holy Spirit’s involvement in the
transition has been evident, even before she and
her husband were appointed to leadership. Many
of the congregants told her that they prayed for
leaders who fit their exact description, even down to their physical appearance.

 

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After the Nov. 2 holiness meeting, the
celebration continued with a variety of cultural foods prepared by members of the corps.

Browning said they are doing a few additional things to ease the transition from two corps to one. For the most part, individual service roles in the corps have not changed. “If you were a Spanish Sunday school teacher before, you’re still a Sunday school teacher.” Leadership training is also a uniting factor. Corps leaders are learning together about growing as mature Christians.

Judith Scorzza, the corps Salvation Army mission specialist, summarized the experience of becoming one church. “It is not easy to go to a service when it’s not your own language, but this is the church that Jesus talked about in the Bible. I get excited to think about Acts when Peter said everybody was talking in a different language, and everyone understood. He was talking about the Holy Spirit. We all pray in different languages, and the HolySpirit moves."

Browning said she feels their preparation for
service in Doraville was planned long before they even knew the two corps would unite. Before transferring to Doraville, they mentored a Hispanic couple, an African-American couple and two Korean couples. "Our passion for different ethnic groups has been here our whole career, so it's just the perfect blend."

 
 

A Good Friend
Continued from above.

Connie Graham, a soldier at the Jackson, Miss., Corps, is best known for her warm heartimage and caring smile. Of all the comments made about Graham, chief among them is the friendship she offers without discrimination.

Corps assistant Jamie Leonard said, “When I first met Ms. Connie, she came to me with the biggest hug I’ve ever received from a perfect stranger. ‘You’re in our family now!’ she said with a smile. She welcomed my husband and me into this corps and into her life, and I’ve seen her welcome other guests the same way – whether she knows them or not, they are ‘in her family now.’”

Besides welcoming newcomers into the corps, Graham is also an active Home League member. That’s how she met Judy Powell, a close friend and active Home League member.
The pair is in Songsters together, and Powell described her friend as “upbeat, outgoing and friendly.” She also said that Graham keeps the records at Home League meetings. In addition to corps activities, Graham crochets in her spare time. She recently donated handmade scarves to the Home League and regularly gives crocheted slippers to cancer patients at the hospital where she works. Graham herself is a breast cancer survivor, and even
her personal battle with the disease couldn’t slow this 62-year-old down.

Christie McCain is a single mom who lives in Graham’s neighborhood. As Graham befriended
her and her family, she started taking McCain’s three children to church on Sundays and youth meetings during the week. They’ve been corps regulars ever since.

Retired officer Lt. Colonel Gene Slusher remembers Graham from the 1980s when he
was corps officer at the Jackson Corps. He said Graham’s sister, a soldier at the corps, recommended Graham to come from another church and teach Bible school. “I called her, she was happy to help us, and the rest is – as they say – history. We enrolled Connie as a soldier.”
Slusher described Graham as someone who “never meets a stranger and is always looking
out to help others. She is gifted with several spiritual gifts, and she uses them freely.”

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Northern Virginia ARC dedicates new destination for bargain hunter

By Major Frank Duracher

An enthusiastic crowd anxiously awaited the ribbon-cutting of the new Family Store located in
Manassas, Va.

“From my perspective, even more important than the grand opening of this store is what I call the ‘Wow’ factor – our customers seemed very pleased at the bargains that stretched their dollars during this extremely tough economic crisis,” said Major Michael Vincent, administrator of the Northern Virginia Adult
Rehabilitation Center.

As for the new store’s aesthetics, Vincent added, his customers seemed equally pleased. He described the gala mood as quite possibly “like a grand opening
at Macy’s.”

Records were broken on a number of fronts with this grand opening. The 27,000 square feet of sale

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floor space combined with the 37,000-square-foot warehouse make the store the largest SalvationArmy Family Store in the USA Southern Territory. In addition, sales receipts for both the opening day and the store's first full week set new high marks for the territory, Vincent said.

Dignitaries present for the opening included Jim Dimodica and Martha Henley, representing the Prince William Regional Chamber of Commerce, and Major
Larry White, Southern ARC commander. Members of the ARC advisory council were also present for the historic celebration. Just prior to the ribbon-cutting, Vincent spontaneously led the crowd in singing the first verse of "Amazing Grace."

"It was like being in church!" Vincent observed. "These are tough times," he said, "and we felt overwhelmed as customers all day long thanked us for helping them realize how their dollars can be stretched for their family."






Major Frank Duracher

 

 

 

 


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