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Volume 26. No. 10

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The Salvation Army USA Southern Territory

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July 01, 2009

An invitation to the party
New Orleans Corps taps into festive spirit of free-wheeling city

By Major Frank Duracher
Southern Spirit staff

Its not that folks need a reason to party in New Orleans people go apey down there at the drop of a hat. And most of the time, its's for the worong season.

But Captains Ethan and Sue Frizzell hit on a novel idea to lift Jesus higher by establishing and nurturing relationships with hundreds of families with children – many of which are still reeling from the effects of Hurricane Katrina.

“It’s always a party atmosphere, and it’s yearround,” said Captain Ethan Frizzell, New Orleans area commander. “For example, celebrating Christmas really isn’t over by Dec. 26. Many people here go on to celebrate Three Kings Day (January 6), then on to Mardi Gras, followed of course by Lent, and Easter.”

So then, basically from Thanksgiving to Easter, the local culture observes the An invitation to the party New Orleans Corps taps into festive spirit of free-wheeling city I Christian calendar that roughly follows the life of Christ from his birth, through his suffering and death, and finally to the glory of his resurrection.

“We see this as a wide-open door,” said Captain Ethan Frizzell, who is an admitted “out-of-the-box” thinker.

Whether a Valentine party in February or a Back-To-School promotion in August, the Frizzells move through the calendar of holidays, writing letters to families, and conducting activities that connect to the Citadel Corps program and continue recovery efforts following the worst disaster to ever slam the Crescent City.

“All of this ties into their school work,” Captain Frizzell said, referring to the children. “They must bring their report cards and if they are doing well in their grades, they get extra special treats.”

The citywide promotion is called Emerge. The concept came to the Frizzells from a campaign conducted by the Territorial Youth Department.

“Not only are we ‘emerging’ from the devastation of Katrina, but we are ‘emerging’ into a relationship with God, a good education, environmental activism for God’s Kingdom and a community of love and commitment,” he said.

Area businesses are buying into the concept. The New Orleans Hornets basketball organization sponsors the annual Christmas party,


and Mardi Gras World hosts a family soirée during the season leading up to Fat Tuesday. Merchants donate candy for an Easter egg hunt, and school supplies for back-to-school giveaways.

“This is a social scheme that is producing significant effects,” Captain Frizzell said. “In fact, we hope to have open positions for anyone wanting to help us in this work.”

Even parents are getting involved. Many are collecting recyclable plastic bottles that will provide scholarships for hundreds of children to go to Camp Hidden Lake this summer.

Allaine Gibson is one grandmother who collected 2,000 plastic bottles for the drive. She met The Salvation Army when her five grandchildren were invited to the Christmas party last year. Gibson and her family lost everything in the flood, but they have returned to New Orleans to try to build a new life.

She said that she loves what the Army is trying to do for the children year-round and wants to do her part to help out.

“I have lots of friends helping me collect the bottles,” Gibson said. “I’m not sure how many kids can go to summer camp, but I’m very happy to do this.”

Some of the families have even accepted the invitation to attend the corps. Once there, they are welcomed and accepted by the Citadel soldiers, many of whom are new themselves to the Army’s revitalized mission in New Orleans.

One such couple is Dan and Diana Ketcham, originally soldiers from the USA Central Territory (see related story).

“I was enrolled as a soldier by General Frederick Coutts in St. Louis in 1964,” Dan Ketcham said. “Diana and I relocated to New Orleans to help in the recovery effort. In fact, we came to the corps here just two weeks after the reopening (in October 2006).”

The Ketchams are very involved in the Emerge program, both at area command and the Citadel Corps. Saying the Emerge program is “just the kind of ministry that attracted” him and his wife to the Army in the first place, Ketcham has been an objective observer of the program that is designed to benefit their new community and church home.

“We have lots of room to grow this mission, and we’re having fun doing it,” he said.


Kroc Center

by the concerns
of others

Advisory Board






While The Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center Augusta began quietly accepting money from private donors in January 2009, the kickoff for the public awareness and fund-raising campaign was May 11.

Captains Todd and Wilma Mason, center administrators, along with the Augusta Advisory Board, campaign team and Salvation Army employees and soldiers welcomed community, government and business leaders to take a virtual tour of the facilities through an interactive presentation given by Derek Dugan, coordinator of the facility. An outdoor ceremony followed on the site where the facility will be built in the Augusta neighborhood of Harrisburg.

The Augusta Corps Band played Salvation Army classics before Norm Schaffer, advisory board co-chairman, and Jim Hull, campaign nucleus chairman, stood in for campaign chairman Boone Knox, who was recovering from surgery.

Hull and Schaffer introduced several local business representatives whose companies, along with other private donors, had pledged a combined total of $10,486,273. Some of the companies included the Foundation for the Central Savannah River Area; the Masters golf tournament; Atlanta Gas Light Company; Cherry, Beckard & Hollard Certified Accountants & Consultants and the Georgia Power Foundation.

Captain Todd Mason thanked the community and business leaders for their continued support, adding that The Salvation Army staff members and soldiers were integral parts of the team.

“We’re so thankful,” said Mason. “Today for us is like a dream come true. The hope is that this will bring a new breath of life for our entire community because this facility will be life-changing.”

The Augusta facility will be unique in its “First Stop” concept, which includes office space for over 20 non-profit service agencies, under the leadership and management of The Salvation Army, so that a continuum of services is offered in a single location. The partner agencies will have a presence in or provide portions of programming in some aspect of the facility, which also includes a new office for the United Way of the Central Savannah River Area.

Two additional focal points of the 85,000-square-foot building are the recreation center, arts, education and worship center. The recreation center will include a full-sized fitness center with gym and an aquatics center with swim therapy programming, waterslide, splash park and lap lanes.

The arts, education and worship center will house The Salvation Army chapel and administrative offices, skills training facilities, a 400-seat theater/chapel, Senior Citizens lounge, computer lab, classrooms, drop-off child care and an outdoor playground.

The facility, situated on a 17-acre campus, will also feature a 270-seat banquet center with teaching kitchen for job skills training which will also double as a catering kitchen for the banquet hall and an outdoor terrace overlooking the banks of the scenic Augusta Canal.

For more information on Kroc Augusta, please go to their web site at or their page on facebook under “Kroc Center of Augusta.”



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The 9-year-old boy sat on the street curb in front of what used to be his house. It had burned to the ground and the family had lost everything. Little Johnny Poole shivered in the night air, wondering what his family would do now that they were homeless.

To make matters worse, it was two days before Christmas.

With the smell of charred wood and a veil of smoke illuminated by the headlights of the firetrucks, Johnny saw a man in a strange uniform walking toward him. He soon learned that the man’s name was Lieutenant Stanley Jaynes of The Salvation Army – a newly-opened ministry in Warner Robins, Ga.

Captain Johnny Poole, now a trainee in the Northern Virginia Adult Rehabilitation Center, said that he never forgot the love and compassion shown to his family by Jaynes and Salvation Army volunteers back in 1963.

Fast forward to 1985 when another lieutenant, Robert Parker, invited the 31-year-old Poole to church at the Warner Robins Corps. Poole enjoyed playing on the corps softball team in the Salvation Army church league; but by now he was also heavily involved in both drugs and alcohol. His life had begun to spiral downward, and he was in danger of losing everything.

“But Lieutenant Parker saw something in me, I think,” Poole said. “He took me aside and told me he knew I had a lot of baggage in my life, but that also I was a child of God through what Christ did for me on the cross.

“That, plus the genuine Christian love I felt every time I walked into that corps hall, convinced me that I should give my heart to Jesus and make him the Lord and Master of my life,” he said.


Captain Poole got the victory over his drug and alcohol addictions, but it was at youth councils in 1988 that he went to the altar and “lost the taste for cigarettes.”

He later learned that his 8-year-old son gave a simple childlike testimony back home in the Warner Robins Corps, asking the corps family to “pray that my daddy will give up smoking cigarettes.”

“He didn’t know what I had done at that altar at youth councils, and I didn’t know what he was praying for back at the corps, but God answered the prayer of a child,” Captain Poole said. “I cannot put into words how powerfully God reached down to me through the words of my son!”

That way took Captain Poole and his wife, Rebekah, to the Evangeline Booth College in 1994 as members of the Messengers of the Truth session. They were commissioned in 1996 as lieutenants, hoping to make similar influences on others as had been shown to their family. The thought even occurred to him that he now wore the uniform similar to the man he saw bringing help to his family that awful night when his home burned down.

Captain Poole’s Articles of War is framed and hangs in his office. He looks at it daily, and at least once a week he reads every word of it, to remind him of his sacred covenant with God.

“Both of those lieutenants figured prominently in my life, and so did even my son,” he said. “I owe my life to the Lord and to the Army.”


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Salvation Army Advisory Boards


Dr. Bobby Lyle, leadership committee chairman for the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex Area Command Advisory Board, addresses the board while Major C. Mark Brown, then metroplex commander, looks on.

An influential, hard-working advisory board can do wonders for a corps’ community outreach. From Seneca, S.C., to Dallas, these boards show the breadth of what advisory members can accomplish when they work together as a team.

Located in Seneca, S.C., the Oconee County Corps Advisory Board prides itself on an all-volunteer bellringing campaign during the Christmas season.

“This campaign is organized by the board under the leadership of board member Curt Davis,” said advisory board member Grady Long. “Curt, along with his committee, has developed a strategy that continues to improve each year as we build on what was done the year before. The churches, clubs and school groups in our area take pride in ringing with us. Each year we enlist more ringers and hopefully raise more money,” he said.

Two of the key components to this board’s success are active board members and keeping in contact with past Christmas volunteers.

“We contacted civic organizations, churches and other community groups to obtain names and addresses,” said Chairman Curtis Elliot. “Then, the contacts were made by telephone several months prior to the start of bell-ringing.”

Increasing public awareness of the campaign has been spurred by recruiting new board members, which in turn adds to the pool of bell ringing volunteers.

Sergeants Mike and Cathy Michels, corps officers of the Oconee County Corps, are new to corps officership and are entering training next fall. Mike Michels said the advisory board welcomed them last June with open arms.

An illustration of the board’s generosity is when Michels chose a January board meeting to cook breakfast and thank them for their Christmas work. “They enjoyed the breakfast and then they donated money to defray the costs,” he said.

One of the Oconee County Board’s goals for the upcoming year is to help the corps find a new building that would be more suitable for children and youth ministry.

Eight key leaders on the DFW Metroplex Command Advisory Board have been tapped in recent years to serve on the National Advisory Board.

Charlotte Jones Anderson, Ruth Altshuler, Gene and Gerry Jones, Bobby Lyle, Margot Perot, Steve Reinemund and Charles Wyly have brought to their posts strengths in everything from public relations to strategic planning.



Shining volunteer achievements that elevated these individuals to the national level include Anderson’s direction of the National Red Kettle Kickoff production, Perot’s influence in the formation of the William Booth Society and Lyle’s work on the Financial and Institutional Development Committee, which facilitates national collaborative fundraising through major foundations and corporate America.

As NAB members, each individual travels around the country, at his own expense, to meet in two-day sessions three times a year.

The Greater Hickory and Davidson County, N.C., Advisory Boards have recently taken part in strategy development sessions to help them expand their roles. Ashley Delamar, development director for the NSC Division, conducted the strategy session for both North Carolina corps.

Part of each session included recognizing board strengths, such as the Greater Hickory Advisory Board’s strong staff and brand recognition. Its goals include developing church partnerships and raising public awareness.

Chairman Michael Swann of the Davidson County Corps in Thomasville, N.C., brought board members into his home to share a meal during their strategy session. About 15 members met to look primarily at strengthening existing relationships with other churches. “There are 200 churches in Davidson County, and our primary commitment is to reach the churches to raise the profile of The Salvation Army,” said Swann.

“Providentially, our corps officer was already meeting with the pastors of several churches at the same time that the board was looking at how those relationships could be strengthened. When most of the churches expressed a common frustration about how to meet needs in the community, the corps officer said, ‘Well, that’s what we do here at The Salvation Army. Send them to us.’ And they just didn’t know.”

In the future, the board has plans to expand through an advisory board mentoring program. “The idea is to have a mentoring program for new board members and do more to equip current board members to understand who the Army is. We can only do the most good when we know what doing the most good is,” said Swann.




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