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Volume 26 No. 8

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The Salvation Army USA Southern Territory

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May 21, 2009



Love is the key to building relationships in Hendersonville, N.C.

There is no “outreach” at the Hendersonville, N.C., Corps, according to Captains Gary and Beth Sturdivant. Instead, they have what he calls “reach out.” Motivated by Christian love, the Sturdivants are known for thinking out-of-thebox.

“We want to ‘reach out’ to bring them in,” Gary Sturdivant said. Entire families are coming to the corps because they hear of quality relationships fostered through a variety of ministries designed for all ages.

“We want people to know
when they visit, and hopefully return, that we genuinely love them,” Beth Sturdivant said.

“We have a wonderful group of retired officers and older soldiers,” she said, “and those corps programs continue to flourishthe consensus was that we should target young
people. This corps was ready to grow, and with everyone working together it has really taken off!”

The Sturdivants acknowledge that their “secret weapons” are their teenage children: Austin, 18, Aaron, 15, and Aleah, 14. The three Sturdivant teens are active in all youth programs that have reached out to high school and college students in the area – particularly in the schools they attend.

The most visible evidence of the corps’ success in recruiting youth into the corps ministry can be seen on Friday nights at an informal gathering they call “Holy Grounds” Coffee House (see related story).

“Everyone keeps up with each other using MySpace and Facebook,” Beth said. “Most of our announcements are made online because that’s how kids communicate today. And it works because we always have a great (usually about 50-60) turnout!”

“Cadet Joshua Morse (a soldier now at the training college) came up with the name ‘Holy Grounds’ because we want a sacred, yet fun, environment for these students to come to after a hard week of study and work,” Gary said. “The name stuck, although we don’t serve much coffee – mostly pizza, sodas and sweets.”

If you think that is out-of-the-box, consider another “reach-out” to the community by the soldiers of the Hendersonville Corps. On most Saturday nights, the Sturdivant family and their Corps Cadets brigade can be found at the local wrestling ring. The teens regularly work the concession stand, which raises money for their youth councils, summer camp and mission trips.

Gary Sturdivant’s outgoing personality landed him the duty of being the ring announcer for every match. At several times during the evening, Sturdivant invites families to worship the following morning at The Salvation Army if they have no church home.

“They even let me pray with the wrestlers backstage,” he said. “Everyone knows who and what we are, and we’ve recruited a few families, with others coming around to visit now and then.”

Susan Strickland is a soldier who grew up in the Hendersonville Corps from the age of 10 until she left for college. Her career took her elsewhere, but she has returned home and now attends with her 15-yearold daughter, Brooke.

“I had been away for a while and at one point
when I was looking for a church home, I felt a leading to come back to what I knew,” Strickland said. “There is a touchstone of love here that is hard to put into words.”

“This is a wonderful family corps – a very loving and welcoming group of people,” she added. “There are people here now that were faithful back when I was a kid. Since that time, others have joined, and that provides an interesting mix of cultures and styles of worship. And we all love one another!”

Gary said he received the greatest compliment of his life following youth councils this year. A large group went from Hendersonville, and upon returning in time for the Sunday night salvation meeting, Sturdivant reported to the corps family about how excellent their delegation was – going down the line and mentioning something great about each teen and young adult by name who attended.

“After the meeting, one of our wonderful retired officers came up to me and with misty eyes said to me, ‘You know all your sheep by name!’

“It just doesn’t get any better than that!” Gary Sturdivant declared.


image cadets

Spring Missions


Breaking New Ground

Come Join Our Army




Cadet Spring Mission


Purified brigade


Exhorted by a prayer from Major Willis Howell to “be in the ministry” rather than to do the ministry, the Purified brigade traveled to Orlando, Fla., and saw firsthand God’s power to transform lives through relational ministry. The “Alive” meeting at the corps brought the members of the brigade into contact with people of the community on a “come as you are” basis that promoted spontaneity and was filled with the Lord’s presence. Throughout the week the daily ministry known as “The Well” brought the cadets out of their personal comfort zones and into close contact with the homeless and other people in the community. “It pushed us to be more of who God needs rather than what we need to be,” one brigade member said. “We prayed with a woman for her son to come home, and he came. We prayed for lives to be changed, and they were transformed. We obeyed, and God moved.”

Harvesters brigade

The Harvesters brigade joined the soldiers of Kerrville, Texas, with an intentional mission of winning souls for Jesus Christ.
The brigade’s week kicked off by visiting nursing homes in two different communities with the cadets in high-collar uniforms.
The Harvesters transformed into superheroes on spring break for a week-long adventure at day camp and served in work projects such as painting, adopt-a-highway cleanup and compiling food bags.
Proclaiming “the world for God” as they marched through the streets with their flags waving, the brigade was invited to surrounding churches to lead several children’s meetings. The Harvesters also led the St. Patrick’s Day Home League program and the Men’s Club outing to McDonald’s, tagged along to the movies with the corps cadets and conducted spirit-led holiness and salvation meetings.
The Harvesters were “doing the most good” on spring missions in Kerrville!

It’s like ripping off a band-aid – you are probably not ready for it but you wince and pull it off quickly. That’s the best way.
It would be nice to keep sitting in the classroom where it is safe and warm, and you don’t have to worry about mistakes you could be making in real life. But life isn’t like that and we are called to go out so here we go!


Keepers of the Covenant brigade

Perhaps one of the best-kept secrets in the USA Southern Territory is located 40 miles south of the nation’s capital in the community of Fredericksburg, Va., a treasure chest of American history that was a crossroads for the armies of the Civil War. The Keepers of the Covenant brigade “invaded” Fredericksburg with the battle cry of “Come Join Our Army” as its theme. During their 10 days there, the Keepers of the Covenant found themselves surrounded by people who were openly receptive to the message of the Lord, with many making the decision to “Come Join Our Army.” The brigade participated in service projects, led revivals, enjoyed fellowship and prayed with, worshipped with and ministered to the people of the community. In turn, members of the brigade were ministered to by the people of the area and were most deeply enriched by the experience.

Blood and Fire brigade
Spring missions started out with the Blood and Fire brigade arriving in Danville, Ky., after about a 6½- hour drive from Atlanta. After its arrival the brigade joined Lieutenant Dan and Captain Sarah Nelson for a tour of the corps buildings, followed by some much-needed rest and personal preparation for the upcoming week.
The actual spring missions started on Sunday morning. The brigade participated in the weekly “knee drill,” led preliminaries, taught Sunday school classes and led the Sunday holiness meeting. After enjoying a covered-dish lunch and leading an action- filled nursing home service, the team set up for the “Bible Boot Camp” (children’s VBS) and “Hope Under Construction” (adult VBS).
Both VBS programs had a tremendous impact on the people that attended. “Hope Under Construction,” held in the morning, allowed the cadets to get to know the adults that attended and learn that one is never too old for VBS to make a difference. “Bible Boot Camp” was a military-themed VBS. The leaders wore military fatigues and by the end of the week, some of the children were bringing fatigue style clothing to change into.
After a tour of Asbury College on Wednesday, the brigade led and participated in the Senior’s Club and lunch on Friday, then traveled to Frankfort for divisional youth councils on Saturday. Sunday morning involved participation in their “knee drill”, preliminaries, Sunday school classes and leading the holiness meeting, an old-fashioned service complete with high-collar tunics, bonnets, Army War Songs and proud flag-waving.
“We all came away knowing without a doubt that God had a hand in all of our programs and in where we went,” said one brigade member.
Harvesters brigade

From the moment the cadets of God’s Chosen brigade arrived in Charleston, W. Va., for spring missions, they felt welcome and at home. The people of the Charleston Citadel, St. Albans Corps and Huntington Corps exemplified Christ’s love to the cadets and others through worship and service.
The brigade worshipped, participated and served in 16 different programs such as Golden Agers, VA Long Term Residence, Boys and Girls Clubs, a motorcycle church, door-to-door visitation and a homeless feeding program. During each visit or program, God’s presence was unmistakable and his blessings on the brigade were unceasing.
One of the most memorable programs was the “Showers of Blessings” program at the Huntington Corps. “Our brigade was just a small part of a wonderful program to feed and clothe the homeless,” said one cadet. “As we sang, preached and performed, we felt God’s presence rain down. Over 300 people were served and ministered to that day and souls were saved! It was a blessing beyond words for our brigade to be a part of this experience.”





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Center’s ground-breaking marks milestone in post-Katrina Biloxi


The Salvation Army’s South Mississippi Metropolitan Area Command recently marked a milestone 10 years in the making with the groundbreaking of The Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in Biloxi. The state-ofthe- art worship, technology and performing arts community center will greatly enhance service and outreach to the Mississippi Gulf Coast and serve as the cornerstone for future recovery efforts on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Ten years ago, Joan Kroc, widow of McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc, donated $2 million dollars specifically to The Salvation Army in Biloxi to build a community center in east Biloxi. Planning and fund raising began immediately on what was to be the second center in the U.S. In January 2004, Mrs. Kroc donated an additional $1.5 billion to The Salvation Army to build 25-30 comprehensive community centers throughout the United States.

“Mrs. Kroc’s dream was to use her fortune to help other people’s dream’s come to reality and in turn influence the dreams of others,” said Commissioner Max Feener.

After Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Mississippi Gulf Coast, leveling The Salvation Army’s Corps Community Center in Biloxi, the city became the center of operations for the Army’s post-Katrina recovery effort.

“In keeping with Mrs. Kroc’s charge that every center be a beacon of hope and an agent of change in an under-served community, the center in Biloxi is located in the very heart of the East Biloxi community ravaged by Katrina,” said Major Will Cundiff, South Mississippi Metropolitan area commander.

“The center 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 a sense of community lost post- Katrina.”

“I am not unaware of the turmoil this community has been through the past few years,” the Terrotorial Commander said. “This (center) is a gift to the community of Biloxi and a statement that The Salvation Army believes in the future of Biloxi and the Mississippi Gulf Coast.”

The center will include a chapel/performing arts center with state-of-the-art audio/visual capabilities; full-sized gymnasium for indoor recreation sports; weight and exercise rooms; dance and aerobic studio; men’s, women’s and family locker rooms; multi-purpose room/dining hall for Salvation Army and community events; computer training center with wireless capabilities, and monitored childcare; classrooms; meeting rooms; and a multi-purpose lobby for art and music exhibits. The center will feature an indoor swimming pool with exercise pool with zero degree entry and lap pool for lessons and sports programs; and an indoor/outdoor water park complete with splash pad and two-story water slide. The outdoor recreation area will include a stadium complex with a full athletic field, quarter-mile track and visitor stands.

While the center will be ideally located to meet the needs of underserved residents, the programs and services that will be provided are being designed to serve as a magnet that will attract the entire coast community, be financially self-sustaining and further the mission of the Army.


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Come Join Our Army



Rallying cry to be sounded Commissioning weekend

The theme for Commissioning weekend this year, “Come Join Our Army…To Battle We Go!,” will be the rallying cry for soldiers of the USA Southern Territory taking their rightful place in the Salvation War, and for others attracted to the mission to join in the fight.

Events begin at the Evangeline Booth College on Friday, June 5, with an open house at the sprawling campus and Historical Center tours conducted from 3:30 to 6 p.m. The commencement service for the Witnesses For Christ session is at 7 p.m., on the front lawn of the training college.

The venue moves on Saturday and Sunday to the Georgia International Convention Center. Registered delegates will have chosen two seminars spanning the morning hours on Saturday, profiting from classes which include: “Front Line Evangelism,” “Take Your Mission to the World,” “As Your Money Burns,” “Equipping Your Recruiters to Enlist for the Battle,” “How to Be a Spiritual Leader in Your Corps,” and “How to Detox Your Corps.” One workshop, “Joining a Worshipping Community,” will only be offered during the first session, and a second topic, “The Making of a Marriage,” will span both session timeslots.

All delegates gather at 7 p.m. on Saturday evening for a grand Territorial Soldiers’ Rally led by the chief secretary, Colonel Terry Griffin. Music and drama will be offered by the Southern Territorial Band, Territorial Songsters and the Territorial Creative Arts

The evening will also spotlight recognitions of Long Service and newly-retired officers, and the mass enrollment of new soldiers by the Territorial Commander, Commissioner Max Feener. Soldiers with 50 years or more service will also be honored. The results of the Territorial World Services Ingathering will be announced, as well as the Salvationist Service Corps members to be deployed during the summer of 2009.

The focus shifts back on Sunday morning to the Witnesses For Christ session of cadets, who receive their Ordination and Commissioning as Salvation Army officers during a sacred service at 9 a.m.

Music and mission made the difference

Asbury College Junior Christian Loftus first heard about The Salvation from his high school band director who was a Salvationist.

When Loftus took private music theory lessons from his teacher, he learned about The Salvation Army and Asbury College. During his first year at Asbury, Loftus played in the same brass band at the Salvation Army Student Fellowship as another student, Josh Powell, who invited him to play in a corps band.

While Loftus was enjoying his SASF meetings, band rehearsals and concerts, Sundays, were spent trying out different churches so he could find one to call home. After several weeks, Loftus was invited by Powell to a Sunday service at the Danville, Ky., Corps. He also attended a fall retreat with the SASF. He met Majors Mike and Cathy Himes, director and associate director of The Salvation Army Moulton Memorial Student Center at Asbury college.

“Majors Himes were always great to me. He is always cracking jokes; is so warm-hearted. They were both very welcoming,” said Loftus. “I liked Danville Corps right away. It had a small, hometown feel.”

In addition to the welcome he felt, Loftus was drawn to soldiership when he saw the importance placed on getting outside the four walls of the corps. “As for becoming a soldier, I was very impressed with the emphasis that the Army puts on missions. I wanted to be a part of a church that cared about more than theology; I wanted to be a part of a church that cared about more than theology; I wanted a church that cared about God and all people.



Four generations map soldiership together

The story of the Guerry family’s relationship
with The Salvation Army began in the 1930s when the Great Depression was still raging. Despite the times, the Columbia, S.C., Corps was thriving, a bustling hub of activity drawing young and old.

Evangeline Snelling began attending the corps
when she was 6 years old. An open-air meeting had drawn her mother to bring Evangeline and her siblings to a Sunday service.

About seven years later, a young man named Clifton Guerry began attending the corps, and they married at the corps in 1942. Within a few years, Joyce, Joan and Janice were born into their family, and they became junior soldiers and sunbeams.

After their son Patrick was born, Cliff promised Evangeline that if she would move to Florida, he’d make sure that they would attend The Salvation Army. But there was not a corps in Melbourne, Florida until 1969. The Guerry family attended another church for several years.

But in 2000 Cliff made good on his promise to attend a Salvation Army corps in Florida. One day, he simply said,"let's go back to The Salvation Army."

Major Tim and Captain Denise Williford were appointed to the Melbourne, Florida Corps in 2006. They noticed the quiet couple who always slipped in the back during Sunday school and left just as the benediction was being said. The Willifords spoke to them and learned that Cliff Guerry suffered from shingles; it was painful enough that he didn't want alot of interaction with people, but he still wanted to worship at the corps.

Beginning in March 2008, the family went through a difficult season when Cliff’s health deteriorated and he was hospitalized. Many people from the corps, including the Willifords, visited with Cliff and Evangeline. They got to know the family well during those visits.

After Cliff’s death on July 26, 2008, several of the family members visited the corps. Evangeline began attending more corps activities, and on March 22, 2009, she and her daughter, Janice McGinley, enrolled as soldiers, and Janice’s granddaughter, Rebecca Tait, enrolled as a Junior Soldier. At the enrollment service, Major Tim Williford said, “In all my time as a Salvation Army officer, I have never had the privilege of enrolling members of a family spanning four generations.”


Soldiers of service in. . .

Knoxville, Tenn.

God used several mix-ups to bring the May family to the Knoxville, Tenn., Corps. A mistaken school bus started it all.

Corps officer Ginny Robison explained. “When we moved to Knoxville, our son went to school on the first day and got on the wrong bus. He saw a girl (Nicole May) at the back of the bus and started talking to her. They became boyfriend-girlfriend, and the relationship blossomed from there. We became friends with the whole family.”

Although the relationship between the two teens ended, they remained friends – as did the two families. Even though the May family expressed feeling burned out at another church, they continued to serve by bringing their Sunday school class to the Knoxville Corps to volunteer at a homeless dinner on Sunday afternoons.

Another mix-up was when the May family got their Sundays turned around. They brought their sol of serdviciee inrs... class to serve one Sunday when they weren’t needed. Instead of going home, they attended the holiness meeting. As the Mays continued to bring their class to the corps, they found themselves more interested in getting involved there.

Dad Mike sang a solo, and both he and his wife, Kristi, made comments such as, “I feel I am supposed to be here.”

“At this point,” said Robison, “the seed had been planted. The family was now in love with our services and programs. The kids came to Sunbeams, Girl Guards and teens.”

The entire family enrolled as adherents March 15, 2009. When Nicole attended youth councils, she accepted a calling to become a Salvation Army officer. Then on April 19, she was enrolled as a soldier.

“It only takes the interaction of one person to bring another to God, to peace and to The Salvation Army,” said Robison.

Baltimore, Md.

Before Captain Herb Frazier, corps officer of the Baltimore Temple Corps, met The Salvation Army, he was a substance abuse counselor. While attending a conference on addictions, Frazier had a vision in which he saw his entire family standing on a platform, dressed alike, and felt the Lord saying that his whole family would be in ministry.

On March 29, 2009, his vision came to life as two of his four children enrolled as soldiers, each accepting a responsibility at the Baltimore Temple Corps. Frazier said that a blessing he received from Lt. Colonel Vern Jewett during training has sustained him in ministry, which has paved the way for his children to enroll as soldiers.

Another soldier at the Baltimore Temple Corps has seen her vision for ministry come to life despite being born blind. Sabrina Richardson, Songster leader, suggested for more than three years that the corps have a children’s musical. However, there were not enough children enrolled as Junior Soldiers and senior soldiers to participate. But Richardson’s persistent encouragement paid off. Fifteen new junior soldiers, sunbeams, girl guards and two ARC soldier recruits took part in a passion play organized by Richardson. Corps officer Captain Herb Frazier said, “Over 300 visitors, friends and soldiers attended. The result of Sabrina’s vision has drawn the interest and enthusiasm of others to ‘come join our Army."

Stuart, Florida

Chuck Sista wanted to serve his community, and after he came to know Christ he turned to the Stuart, Fla., Corps for a church home and a place to serve.

Enrolled May 17, 2009, Sista makes food donation pickups from local supermarkets at 6 a.m. before heading to work. He drops the food at the Stuart Corps, where it is sorted and distributed daily.

“It is a pleasure to watch him interact with those who come through our doors for assistance,” said corps officer Captain Ruben Rodriguez. “He is someone whom I have come to depend on daily. On Saturday nights he leads our volunteer staff in our feeding program, where we feed 100-130 people. The corps is blessed with Chuck’s dedication.”


Owensboro, Ky

Although Frank Scott was a soldier as a teen, he walked away from The Salvation Army in his adulthood – until recently when his wife, Carolyn Scott, convinced him to attend a family camp in Owensboro, Ky.

The family was already attending the Owensboro Corps because Frank’s mother, Wilma Shelton, had been a soldier there since 1945. Frank and Cary thought it would be a good idea to attend the corps for their children – Tyler, Sarah and Christopher – when they moved back to Owensboro in 2005. All three children got involved and enrolled as junior soldiers.

Cary said she and Frank attended camp with their kids after admitting they only attended the corps half-heartedly. Frank said they had served before camp by doing disaster work simply because it was the right thing to do.

But at camp he gave his heart and life to Christ, and that changed everything. Frank said his relationships with others and particularly with Captain Paul Gilliam, corps officer, is what drew him to the Lord. “Even people I didn’t know seemed to care more about me than I cared about me. So that was eye-opening.”

After their enrollment March 29, 2009, the couple is eager to spread the word that The Salvation Army is more than disaster work and Family Stores.

“We want to get the word out,” said Cary. “My husband and I felt like we weren’t worthy enough to serve the Lord. But he takes you as you are.”









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