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Conference addresses urban mission issues

Gwendolyn Carter, a delegate to this year's Urban Mission Forum, summed it up succinctly. Ministering at Dallas' Carr P. Collins Harbor Light Corps, she reminded the delegates of Jesus' words: "If you have seen me, you have seen the Father." She then related what He told us, His followers - "We make an invisible God visible!"

Eighty-nine delegates gathered at the Continuing Education Center at Evangeline Booth College under the theme "Race and Reconciliation: Melting Pot or Mosaic?" The Southern Territory was well-represented as delegates from 19 corps in eight of the nine divisions participated.

The forum was launched by the founder of FCS Ministries, Robert Lupton, who spoke on the current trend of gentrification and its impact on ministry in the inner city.

Ray Aldred of My People International, a ministry to aboriginal tribes in North America, was equally challenging, pointing out that ministry to poor people is about sharing the gospel story with them - proclaiming the gospel story and receiving from them the gospel within them. Shane Claiborne, author of "The Irresistible Revolution," spoke on "The Economics of Prosperity: Rebirth and Redistribution." He alluded to John the Baptist's message that, if you want to demonstrate your repentance to God, give one of your coats to someone who has none, don't collect more than you need, and be content with your pay (Luke 3:10-14). He then called for a theology not only of belief but of practice. Simplicity is a part of the theology of what we believe and live out of our love for our neighbor.

The forum allowed delegates free exchange of ideas and the rare chance to hear what other frontline soldiers were seeing God do in their communities. There was open time when new initiatives were shared for discussion and awareness. Everything from community capacity building projects to Recreate Cafés were presented.

Two NFL moms love the action

at Home League

In college and pro football circles, the names Freddie Gilbert and Jesse Tuggle are well-known for their defensive play on some pretty good teams. But in Griffin, Ga., at the Salvation Army Home League, their moms are well-known and valued members of a group of ladies that support each other in good times and bad.

And they know how to have fun.

"My sister invited me to come to the Salvation Army Home League just after my husband passed away a few years ago," said Ada Tuggle, Jesse's mother. "Being with these ladies every week helped me cope with my grief and gave me something fun to look forward to every Tuesday."

Jesse Tuggle played middle linebacker at Valdosta State University before joining the Atlanta Falcons in 1987. He played for 14 seasons, and was a five-time NFL All-Pro player. His jersey is one of four retired by the Falcons, and his name is one of five displayed in the Ring of Honor at the Georgia Dome.

"The Salvation Army has always been a big part of the Griffin community," he said. "The passing of my dad was toughest on my mom. Coming here and making many friends has been very good for her and I am so grateful for that."

Another NFL mom, Dorothy Gilbert, is currently in the midst of crisis - having lost her home and most of her possessions in a house fire in early December.

The 98 members of the Griffin Home League (also calling themselves "the Lunch Bunch") brought household and clothing items for Gilbert, instead of the regular exchange of gifts for their Christmas party.

Dorothy's son, Freddie, played defensive end at the University of Georgia in the early 1980s. He was a two-time All-American and a three-time All-Southeastern Conference honoree. He was drafted by the Denver Broncos and played in two Super Bowls, before ending his career with the Arizona Cardinals.

"My mom has been coming to The Salvation Army's ladies group for four years now, and I'm glad she has so much fun here. She also loves to help serve others and at times like this (the house fire) it is good to get her mind on something fun," Freddie Gilbert said.

Major Frank Duracher

Majors Cecil and Elma Brogden

Majors Cecil and Elma Brogden celebrated 44 years of service as Salvation Army officers, joined by family, friends and fellow officers at a retirement dinner and ceremony. Commissioners Willard and Marie Evans conducted the ceremony and presented the certificates of retirement. Their retirement became official Oct. 1, 2006.

Jim Wise gave a spoken tribute representing advisory organization members who have worked with the Brogdens over the years. Majors Leonard and Dolores Taylor spoke on behalf of friends, and Pamela Brogden Morgan represented the family.

The Brogdens served in the Adult Rehabilitation Centers Command for the last 15 years of their careers. They were assistant administrators in St. Petersburg, Fla., and Dallas, then they were appointed to lead the ARCs in Baltimore, Nashville, Tenn.; Orlando, Fla., and Houston. They also served in a special pro-tem ARC Command appointment in the three months preceding their retirement from active service.

Prior to their work in the ARCs, the Brogdens served for 29 years as corps officers. They were commissioned in 1962 with the Soldiers of Christ session. Cecil was appointed to assist in Kinston, N.C., and Elma to assist in Wilmington, N.C. Cecil was subsequently appointed to command the Mount Airy, N.C., Corps, and Elma joined him there after their wedding in June 1963. Later corps appointments were to Hickory, Reidsville, Concord and Washington, N.C.; Bristol, Tenn.; and Greenville, S.C.

Cecil and Elma both grew up in Goldsboro, N.C., and lived in a neighborhood close to the corps. Cecil began attending Sunday school at the corps when he was 5 and was enrolled as a junior soldier two years later. During his early years, Cecil's focus was on sports, but he gave his heart to Jesus when he was 16. Elma began going to the corps a year later. She accepted Christ when she was 7 and became very active in corps youth programs and activities.

They have made Gaffney, S.C., their home in retirement. Their daughter, Pamela, and her family live in Gaffney, and their sons Steve and Michael and their families live in Greenville.



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