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Volume 24, No. 20

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The Salvation Army USA Southern Territory

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Nov 20, 2007


Comm. Feener | Maj. McGee | Maj. Corbitt | Jude Gotrich

Capts. Santana


Sucess in DFW


Groundbreaking
for Sallie House


Come join our Army
Come Join Our
Army


NSC Division Up Close
NSC Division
up close

Captains Manuel and Ruth Santana lead worship service at the Durham, N.C., corps Hispanic ministry. (Right) Fervent prayer is lifted often in the worship services. Intense Prayer
The growing
season

Intense prayer has enlarged
harvest at Durham, N.C.,
Hispanic ministry

Manuel and Ruth Santana know how to grow a church. They’ve had a lot of practice.

The couple pastored a small Assembly of God church in the mountains of Cuba, nurturing that ministry into a congregation of over 100, with two seed-churches nearby with about 25 members each. The couple also spent a year as evangelists in their native country. Soon after immigrating to America, they began attending The Salvation Army at the Miami Hialeah Corps and “fell in love with the Army’s mission and method” of serving both spiritual and social needs.

After a three-month stint at the corps in El Paso, Texas, the Santanas returned to Miami to work at the Citadel Corps. Eventually they heard of an opportunity to head the fledgling Hispanic ministry in Durham. After much prayer and deliberation, they moved to North Carolina. » Read More


The Growing Season

Intense prayer has enlarged harvest at Durham, N.C., Hispanic ministry.

By Major Frank Duracher
Southern Spirit staff

Manuel and Ruth Santana know how to grow a church. They've had a lot of practice.

The couple pastored a small Assembly of God church in the mountains of Cuba, nurturing that ministry into a congregation of over 100, with two seed-churches nearby with about 25 members each. The couple also spent a year as evangelists in their native country. Soon after immigrating to America, they began attending The Salvation Army at the Miami Hialeah Corps and "fell in love with the Army's mission and method" of serving both spiritual and social needs.

After a three-month stint at the corps in El Paso, Texas, the Santanas returned to Miami to work at the Citadel Corps. Eventually they heard of an opportunity to head the fledgling Hispanic ministry in Durham. After much prayer and deliberation, they moved to North Carolina.

First as sergeants, now as auxiliary-captains, the Santanas began promoting the four territorial priorities - an ideal formula for the Hispanic ministry that has mushroomed into an average of 47 worshippers, 21 uniformed soldiers, nine junior soldiers and five corps cadets.

"We found that despite a large Latino presence in Durham, very few churches were doing anything to reach them," A/Captain Ruth Santana said. "It was quite literally ‘a field ripe for harvest!'"

Majors Bruce and Sandra Smith, the Durham corps officers, have been very supportive of the Hispanic ministry.

"We are enjoying a cooperative effort between our English-speaking congregation and the Hispanic ministry," Major Bruce Smith said. "The two congregations meet together often for worship and fellowship. We are even conducting a Christmas music festival for a Sunday in December, which will feature families and individuals of both congregations as well as the Army's Boys & Girls Club Choir."

Smith observed that the success of the Hispanic ministry has a direct correlation to the territorial priorities, particularly visitation and prayer - both serving as the cornerstone for everything they do. The other two priorities (Quality Worship, Sunday School/Discipleship) are also contributing factors.

"The Santanas began visiting almost from the moment they arrived. They literally built their congregation from nothing to what you see here now," Smith said. "And every meeting they conduct is bathed in prayer."

"When our recruits become soldiers, they take the signing of their covenants very seriously," A/Captain Manuel Santana said. "We conduct soldier preparation classes in their homes, and that encourages neighbors to attend as well, even though they aren't necessarily interested in becoming a Salvationist."

The Santanas and their soldiers are vigilant in observing the needs of those outside the corps fellowship; always looking for ways to draw them to Christ.

Less than a year ago, Nestor Gonzalez was a selfdescribed "unbeliever drowning in grief" over the death of his daughter (see related story). After giving his heart to Christ, Gonzalez, his wife and children are now uniformed soldiers of the corps' Hispanic ministry.

"Coming to The Salvation Army saved me!" Gonzalez said. "I want to be more than a soldier - I want to be a Salvationist of valor. I'd rather be a slave to Jesus and do what He wants; then I can look Him in the face when I meet Him in heaven."

Corps Sergeant-Major Santos Castro and his family are also products of the intense visitation program conducted by the Santanas and their teams. The style of worship and hearty prayer services "sealed the deal" for the Castro family. He and his wife soon became uniformed soldiers, and their three children are very active in youth programs.

"It is very special for me to worship and serve here at The Salvation Army," Castro said. "I never imagined my life could be so fulfilling as we work here to win others into the Kingdom of God."

Castro is convinced that God called him to the corps' Hispanic ministry, adding that it has proven to be "the best opportunity I've had to work for the Lord in my life."

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Success in Dallas Ft. Worth

Scotty Landry, executive director; Jim Francis, annual luncheon co-chair; Karla Baldelli, special events manager for the DFW Metroplex Command; and Major Mark Brown, DFW Metroplex commander, celebrate raising $2.2 million on the 2007 Doing the Most Good Annual Luncheon in Dallas.

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Army breaks ground for St. Pete Sallie House

The Salvation Army St. Petersburg Area Command recently broke ground for a new, state-of-the-art emergency shelter for abused, neglected or abandoned children. The 11,000-square-foot building will be a safe haven for up to 24 children, a 33% increase in the current location's capacity.

The ground-breaking took place following The Salvation Army's third annual Justice for Children luncheon where campaign chairman Steve Piazza introduced an initiative to raise $5 million to build the facility. A total of $2,120,471 has been raised as of Oct. 25, 2007, including early gifts from advisory board and campaign cabinet members. A lead gift of $1,000,000 was donated by Army supporter Bob Keelean.

Piazza and his family became involved with Sallie House several years ago on Christmas Eve when his young son decided he wanted to give presents to needy children. After an exhausted day of shopping for presents and searching for a location that would receive and distribute the gifts, the Piazzas were directed to Sallie House. Since then, the Piazzas have been faithful supporters and volunteers for the program.

The Salvation Army's Sallie House is a safe haven for children up to 11 years of age who have been removed from their homes because of abuse, neglect or abandonment. Sallie House was founded in 1990 when concerned community leaders realized that when a child needed to be removed from the home quickly, there was no immediate shelter to
take them to while their future family life was determined. The Salvation Army stepped up and took action. A one-story apartment building was Army breaks ground for St. Pete Sallie House renovated, furnishings were acquired and professional staff and caring volunteers were recruited.

The new Sallie House will not only increase the capacity to care for more children but will provide a significant improvement in operational efficiency.

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Come Join Our Army

By Brooke Turbyfill
Southern Spirit staff

The Come Join Our Army campaign was developed in January 2007 as a three-year national battle plan to combat low soldier enrollment. The Southern Territory's goal is to increase its soldier roster from 33,754 to 40,000 by 2010.

The South's implementation of the campaign kicked off in June when Commissioner Max Feener appointed Majors Dalton and Casey Cunningham to promote the advancement strategy, through which all 347 corps in the territory aim to add an average of six soldiers per corps annually by June 2010. Each division has been asked to roll out the campaign this fall, in whatever way works best within their divisional calendars. Two dates have been added to the territorial calendar for emphasis on the enrollment of soldiers: March 2 and Sept. 28, 2008.

"This campaign is to be folded into the already-existing territorial emphasis of Lifting Jesus Higher, which has four priorities: Effective Prayer, Dynamic Worship, Sunday school/Discipleship and Visitation/Relationships. We felt the Come Join Our Army campaign would fit well into this initiative, particularly under Visitation/Relationships," said Major Dalton Cunningham.

As part of the campaign promotion, posters for the fall promotion and Sunday bulletins for the territory's two designated Enrollment Sundays will be mailed to every corps. A theme chorus developed by the territorial Music Department has been sent to each division to give to every corps. The scriptural emphasis for the campaign is John 10:3: He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out. When He sets them all out, He leads them and they follow because they are familiar with His voice (The Message).

A separate two-year Junior Soldier Advancement Campaign has been established through the territorial Youth Department. The campaign goal is to provide resources needed to increase the number of junior solders being enrolled through the Totally His program; to promote the Training Junior Soldiers curriculum; and to encourage integration of the Honor Junior Soldier materials into regular corps programming.

Two major benefits to participating in the campaign are new uniforms and the opportunity to send junior soldiers on a trip to Atlanta. The territory will provide $100 towards the cost of every junior soldier uniform for newly enrolled youth. The campaign's first year, themed "Becoming a Junior Soldier," will be celebrated with newly enrolled junior soldiers marching alongside senior soldiers at the Gwinnett Arena during the 2008 Holiness Congress in Atlanta. Year two of the Junior Soldier Advancement Campaign is themed "Living as a Junior Soldier."

"The church's growth is through our kids' discipleship - building the next generation," said Sheila Livingston, territorial Christian education director.

Information about the campaign will be mailed to corps in December 2007, and follow-up material will be sent monthly about the Totally His curriculum, Junior Soldier Enrollment Sunday and how to submit names of newly enrolled junior soldiers from each division.

Several corps throughout the South have already enlisted new soldiers under the Come Join Our Army campaign. The Johnson City, Tenn., Corps recently closed its summer theme, "Dancing with the Stars of the Old Testament," with an in-depth look at the ultimate star of the Bible - Jesus Christ. Corps officer Captain Todd Mason created a Powerpoint presentation to show members of his congregation that a commitment to Jesus Christ, and to soldiership, involves. A fanfare followed during the October enrollment of one junior and one senior soldier, and two adherents were enrolled at an open-air service.

The new soldiers and adherents each come from a different background. Soldier Amber Strickland grew up at the corps while Jose Cooper, a junior soldier, came through the Adventure Corps program. New adherents, Will Hawkins and Kenny Ellis, came to the corps through The Salvation Army shelter. Both men have since gained employment and own homes.

One family's commitment to soldiership expanded the Fayetteville, N.C., Corps. Similar to Lydia and her household in Acts 16:14-15, Sherry Fulton and four other family members were enrolled as soldiers on Aug. 12, 2007.

The Shelby, N.C., Corps is drawing soldiers from many avenues. Soldier Annie Oberly was recently reinstated, while Mary Geeter enrolled as a brand new soldier after coming to the corps through the Home League. Twenty-four-year-old Regina Cooke invited neighborhood kids Michael and Johnathan Goforth to church, and all of them were enrolled on the same day.

According to Major Roni Robbins, AOK divisional secretary, the Pine Bluff, Ark., corps officers, Captains Ernie and Debbie Hull, have embraced the vision for the new enrollment campaign. "When I was at their corps recently for multiple enrollments, the enthusiasm was contagious. The young people are actively involved, and there is a sense of excitement in the air. They have enrolled 16 unior soldiers and three senior soldiers over the past fiscal year," she said.

Other corps with recent enrollments are Oak Cliff in Dallas; Corpus Christi, Texas; West Palm Beach, Fla.; Frederick, Md., and Conway, S.C.

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NSC Division Imparts Kingdom Values and Vision

A broad overview of the North-South Carolina Division's reach plainly reveals that its strength is a value of people and a vision for Christ. With 13 divisional events and camps and a variety of corps outreaches, the NSC Division is actively lifting Jesus higher on every level. The men's ministry is thriving with rallies and deepsea fishing trips to bolster community, and The Salvation Army Boys and Girls Clubs are partnering with corps to draw more youth into the Kingdom. Conference on the Word and camps for all ages round out the list of activities designed to nurture relationships between the division and local corps, local corps and their communities, and ultimately, between people and Jesus Christ.

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Holiness Congress Themes to Explore God's Wonder, World, Way and Will

The four sessional themes of our Territorial Holiness ongress will encourage us all to "Go Deeper With God," our objective for the weekend set for June 6-8, 008. With every detail being developed, we are all the more excited about what God will do among us as we delve into the riches of His love and power.

The Friday evening opening session will encourage is to "Go Deeper...Into His Wonder." The program, planned by Majors Dalton and Casey Cunningham, will be a call to holiness rooted in Isaiah 6 - recounting Isaiah's vision of God on His throne. The program will usher us into God's presence and lead us to rediscover His words and our relationship to Him.

On Saturday morning, we will "Go Deeper...Into His World." This program will be led by Lt. Colonels Don and Connie Canning, as we will respond in love to the world and community in which we live. In obedience to Christ's command to love one another, this will be a celebration of the Army's ethnic diversity. We have many faces - but one faith, and one Army. Again anchored in Isaiah 6, we will explore our unique calling in answer to our Heavenly Father's imploring plea: "Who will go for us?"

The Saturday evening session will feature the highly-anticipated musical written by Major Eddie Hobgood on the life of Commissioner Samuel Logan Brengle. The theme for this session is
"Go Deeper...Into His Way," and will showcase Brengle's concept of "The Way of Holiness" as demonstrated in various phases of his life. The Evangeline Booth College staff and cadets
will be on stage with Major Hobgood, and we cannot wait to see and hear what the Lord is preparing for us in that musical drama.

Thirty minutes prior to that program, we will recognize all of the junior and senior soldiers enrolled
to date under our campaign, "Come Join Our Army." We will receive these new soldiers and present them to our national leaders, Commissioners Israel L. and Eva D. Gaither.

For Sunday morning, our focus will be to "Go Deeper...Into His Will." The commissioning and
ordination of the God's Fellow Workers session will be coordinated by Majors Willis and Barbara Howell and the training college staff, and will culminate an awesome weekend.

You should be preparing even now to join us on the first weekend of June for this magnificent
celebration of God's holiness. Make this weekend a matter of intense prayer as well.

We want you on board as we "Go Deeper With God!"

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Contemporary Chess

My wife's eyes glaze over when I talk about chess, so I am pretty sure she won't read one word of this column. That means I can write about anything I want this time without getting kicked in the shin for writing stuff she doesn't agree with.

The latest issue of Chess Life printed an article on contemporary chess that made me want to smack the writer with a baseball bat, but never mind that. I kept thinking that the writer's complaints were eerily similar to some we hear nowadays in the corps - but more on that in a moment. Here's what he had to say about the state of chess today:

Contention No. 1: Chess had a lot more class 40 years ago than today.

Contention No. 2: Younger chess players have an advantage in better technology and more information, but as a result they aren't as deep in their game play.

Contention No. 3: The sealed move and adjournament rules are a lost art to players 40-andunder. Those arcane and Byzantine procedures have been a dead issue for 20 years.

Contention No. 4: Because of the new time standard for moves in most tournaments, "The serenity and peace which derives from the slower time controls is lost to the younger players."

Contention No. 5: Because of sudden death rules in tournaments, new players now are not as concerned about the "pure" reason why we play in chess tournaments.

Contention No. 6: The new system of tournament schedule rounds are all at the wrong time and should revert to a more leisurely pacing.

Despite disagreeing with the author, I did agree with his quote in the middle of the article: "Directors need to start paying more attention to the needs and desires of the players. They must realize that without the players there are no tournaments."

By now you may have noted that the author's complaints about contemporary chess resemble those made about contemporary music in our corps.

- The old hymns have class; they are deeper in their meaning than this new stuff. The ways we do our services should stay the same, even though they no longer provide a realistic way to bring in new believers.

- With the new rhythms, pace, beats and words, worshippers can't achieve serenity and peace. The way that contemporary worship approaches the throne of God is not as pure as our approach.

- The times and places set for contemporary worship are wrong because they respond to a society and culture that are no longer agrarian in nature.

Until I read this article on chess, I saw the difference between contemporary worship and traditional as a matter of personal taste. Now I believe it is a fundamental cultural/generational difference that may be impossible to bridge.

Those who are younger than 40 process information, communication, worship and God completely different than I do. They are more visual-, audio- and tactile-driven than I will ever be. Theirs is a multimedia generation not only in regard to their entertainment, but also in the way they experience God. They approach God the way the first century
church did.

Stop using contemporary music as no more than bait to attract people into the building and then teach them the "right" way to worship. Know and believe that contemporary music is the way for them to accept the gift of salvation, experience worship and have Christ in their lives.


Can you hear me?

If you're in the building at 3 a.m., sleepy and alone, you will hear things. I have some experience with this, having spent a moment or two in the place at that particular witching hour. I know her well, her creaks and whispers, ghosts and secrets. Technically, she is not a "she," but men like to refer to objects, be they ships, cars, or buildings, in the feminine vernacular. I don't know why, other than the possibility that we need women to keep us afloat, travel with us through life and shelter us from cold and storms. I know she shelters me on many occasions, and I am at home in her embrace.

I was there when they tore the old place down and erected a shiny, fancy edifice that devoured the footprint of what once served us well. I didn't think much of her bells and whistles at the time. Sure, we needed the space, but this new gal lacked grace and personality. That was 21 years ago, however, and my feelings have changed. I've been given charge over her. They even gave me a master key! The strange sounds in the night no longer bother me. I have accepted that she is indeed haunted, possessed even, by an unseen force that breathes life into those that enter her welcoming doors.

For the past few days and nights the Holz Education Complex has been busy housing praying people. The talking and listening to God will go on through the rising and setting of seven suns. We'll split the time between us. There are plenty of people to go around in our little community and most of us will spend an hour or two in give-and-take conversation with God. The prayer time is part of a territorial initiative, viewed by some, unfortunately, as just another assignment handed down by management. How sad, first that we would ever allow for such cynicism and, secondly, that we should have to schedule a collective prayer effort in the first place. Is it not the responsibility of God's people to pray continually? Don't get me wrong, I understand the focus and applaud the plan. It's long overdue. We take communion with God for granted
and most of us, if honest, would have to admit to sleeping in the garden, much like the first disciples.

We assume that talking to God on the run in bits and pieces, thrown in hither and yon between higher priorities, will do the trick. Then, having ignored God for long, drawn out stretches of time, we have the audacity to complain when our direction turns aimless and our hearts grow faint. It's no wonder we suffer drought of soul. We are parched and thirsty for the fellowship of our Creator. Every now and then, we rise to the occasion, patting ourselves on the back for our commitment, but we squander our time with God by simply asking for stuff. We've reduced prayer to a list of requests we don't deserve to have granted because of the shortcomings of our devotion. It's a good thing the Lord is a faithful practitioner of grace and mercy. Did you ever notice that He never fails to hold up His end of the burden when we so miserably neglect to carry our part? He loves us, you know, and that's why He puts up with our laziness.

It's 3:45 in the morning now and my assigned prayer time is almost spent. At 4:00, I'll congratulate myself for having stayed awake for an hour. Someone will come in and replace me, scribbling their initials on the sheet to prove they were here at the appointed time. I very much doubt that God keeps a schedule, but I'm certain He waits for us to show up. He wants to see us, hear our voice, read our thoughts and console our hurting hearts. He also has a few things to say to us if we'll take the time to listen. Check your watch, friends, it's time to pray.


Prayer and Your 'Thankfulness' Quotient

I used to teach high school. I loved the age group. I enjoyed challenging their minds with new ideas and seeing them grasp concepts never before imagined. At that level of education, a teacher has the pleasure of interacting in a fast-paced learning environment. The students not only have a great capacity for knowledge, they are also on the brink of their own adult lives.

But one disturbing thing I observed in that environment was the lack of thankfulness. I rarely heard the phrase, "thank you," from any of my students. I was not looking for gratitude, but I was struck that the spirit of thankfulness seemed totally absent from their minds. I really loved these teenagers, but it puzzled me about this particular character flaw and how thankfulness seemed to have gone by the wayside in their development.

In our prayer conversations with God, I wonder about the "thankfulness" quotient. When I look at the measure of thankfulness in my own life, I like to think of my childhood. A beautiful, innocent spirit of gratitude came out of me when I least expected something - like the unexpected gift one special Christmas or the surprise when my brother came home from the military during the time of
Vietnam. But in retrospect, I see another measure of thankfulness - those things of my history that warm my heart: a delicious Sunday meal prepared by my mother's hands, the feeling of belonging to people who loved me, the many people, places and events that taught me invaluable lessons. It is good for me to recount those things often as they contribute to the "thankfulness" quotient I have on a daily basis.

One of the reasons for ingratitude perhaps stems from the notion that we did all the work ourselves. We seldom acknowledge God's direction and provision of everything we experience. We earn money and purchase things with that money. We educate ourselves and receive acknowledgement at work for our accomplishments. We bring up our children and ride ourselves in how well they grow and excel. We often look to the sum of all our deeds and have the shallow perspective that we authored the whole script of success. (Notice all the personal pronouns in those sentences.) Then something drastic happens in our life and we take inventory again.

If we are attuned to His voice, we hear Him say, "Where have you been? I have missed you and your dependence and trust in Me." When we see that He has been there the whole time, just waiting to receive our worship of thanksgiving, acknowledging His gift of life and its abundances and then pouring His generous spirit into our emptied souls, how can we not bow down and worship Him in gratefulness and give Him back the authorship He deserves as our help?

It was His great gift to our unexpected hearts that gave us purpose - a purpose that will last forever. All our striving for our "best to impress" is truly worthless in light of what will count in heaven as well as what really counts here on earth.

When our prayers are filled with thanksgiving, the Lord seems to create a greater perspective for us as we speak with Him in prayer. When I first read the prayers of the Old Testament, I was so impressed with the lists of thanksgiving at the beginning of these written prayers. God's character takes on immeasurable facets when we take the time to identify all the areas of just thanking Him for all varieties of His expression of love towards us. Intentionally listing your thankfulness changes your outlook and fills your prayers with His character rather than just your petitions which He gratefully receives.

Give thanks to Him and bless His Name. For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and His faithfulness continues to each generation (Psalm 100:4b-5 - New Living Translation).

 

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