General points to the cross in Dallas
General Shaw Clifton held the cross
of Christ high as he brought the message in meetings in Dallas Oct. 14-15.
General Clifton, making his first visit to the Southern Territory as The
Salvation Army's international leader, joined other leaders who gathered at
the Texas Division's Camp Hoblitzelle for conferences.
Salvation Army leaders from the territories of the Western
hemisphere gathered for the Pan American Conference and other meetings. The
intent of the Pan American Conference was to create strong unity around the
Salvation Army mission in the Americas and to deepen the understanding and
appreciation of how different cultures express the mission through effective
The week opened with meetings across the Dallas
area in which the leaders participated. The General, accompanied by
Commissioner Helen Clifton, brought the message at a soul-saving rally at
Dallas' Lover's Lane Methodist Church on Saturday evening and again in
the Sunday morning worship service at the Dallas Temple Corps. Other leaders
from the Americas participated in Sunday morning meetings at other corps in the
Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Clifton's message on Saturday
evening was an invitation to accept Christ, while on Sunday he challenged to
the congregation to enter into a deeper and more fully-committed walk with the
Lord. In either case, man must confront the cross and determine its meaning for
"Everything comes back to the cross of
Christ," Clifton said. "It's the turning point in the history of
mankind. We cling to the cross. It's our only chance for redemption, our
only chance for righteousness."
Commissioner Max Feener, Southern
territorial commander, presided over both meetings. Saturday's commander,
presided over both meetings. Saturday's rally got a rousing opening by the
spirited singing of the Carr P. Collins Social Service Center Choir. Cheryl
Crowley and Keith Sanders, both soldiers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, gave
their testimonies of God's grace in transforming their lives and Roberta
Simmons-Smith, a soldier at the Dallas Temple Corps, performed a vocal solo.
The offering that was collected was designated for the Americas and Caribbean
Zonal Project. The altar was lined with seekers at the conclusion of the
Captain David Feeser, Dallas Temple
corps officer, welcomed the congregation to Sunday's holiness meeting,
Simmons-Smith led a time of praise and worship. Commissioner Helen Clifton
greeted the worshippers and read the Scripture from which the General's
message was taken. Lt. Colonel Deise Eliasen, training secretary for the Brazil
Territory, gave her personal testimony and challenged the congregation to leave
their comfort zones minister in a meaningful way to others. "Holiness
means to be like Jesus," she said, "and to be like Jesus means to go
The General acknowledged the challenge that
comes with God's call to a deeper commitment. "Going into God's
house is a risk-associated activity," he said. "We run the risk of
being disturbed. We have to be ready to go deeper into Christ, to walk further
Corps re-opens to put Army
back on map in New Orleans
Oct. 1, 2006, is now engraved in the
Southern Territory's history for an event rivaling the official opening of
a new corps. The reopening and rededication of the New Orleans Citadel Corps
caused one observer to compare it to "an Easter Sunday - with a sense of
resurrection in the air."
Complete with all the pageantry akin to early-Salvationists who would
"open fire" when starting the work in a new town, the only difference
for the New Orleans Corps is that the Army's work here has been in
existence since 1886.
near-capacity crowd filled a spacious and refurbished chapel that for weeks
following Hurricane Katrina had been flooded by some four feet of putrid water.
The congregation included returning soldiers, supporters, advisory board and
women's auxiliary members, and families receiving recovery assistance
during the past 13 months.
"We are here today to officially reopen and rededicate the New
Orleans Citadel Corps," said Major Michael Hawley, New Orleans area
commander. "While it is true that normal Sunday meetings and traditional
corps programs were suspended because of the destruction to our properties and
the ongoing recovery effort - in reality, the Army's work continued. Our
mode of worship for the past 56 weeks merely took a different form - that of
service in the name of Christ."
The festivities were supported by territorial leaders
Commissioners Max and Lennie Feener, and Alabama-Louisiana-Mississippi
divisional leaders Majors Dalton and Casey Cunningham. A Salvation Army brass
ensemble was on duty, and the "Crazies 4 Jesus" singing group
provided special music and an afternoon praise concert.
The celebration also honored CSM
Edward and Peggy Langdon, for completing their service as Southern Louisiana
recovery commanders. Ed Langdon paraded the corps flag past a wildly-applauding
congregation, returning the Army banner to its rightful place on the
Chermane Allen, and Ronald and Angela Netter were among Citadel soldiers
returning to their restored corps. Batchelona has been a soldier for
eight years and an employee of the New Orleans
Adult Rehabilitation Center. Chermane Allen and her daughter, Mary Aaron, were
involved in many programs at the Citadel before Hurricane Katrina curtailed
normal corps activities. Chermane's first question upon arriving for the
rededication: "When does Home League begin?" The Netters lived just
down the street from the corps building. Ronald Netter testified during the
meeting that they are "thankful to have their home and their church
was punctuated by bursts of applause, and shouts of "hallelujah!" and
"amen" - particularly during Feener's sermon, the first preaching
in the Citadel's new era of ministry. Feener's topic, "Get
Ready," was drawn from Joshua 1.
"When God speaks, great things begin to
happen," the territorial commander said. "Leadership emerges, the
Word of God becomes prominent, strength is offered, and action
to Jesus' parable of the wise man who built his house on a rock, Feener
drew a comparison to the structure's strength to withstand wind and
not able to deter the work of God in New Orleans," he said.
"That's because Katrina does not have the last word about it - God