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Volume 26. No. 12

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The Salvation Army USA Southern Territory

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Aug 6, 2009

Major Robert Lyle (right) teaches a leadership class for the Discipleship Training series. Garry Dawson, Johnny Lewis, and CSM Larry Miller will qualify to teach all eight levels of the study course to Hagerstown soldiers and recruits.
The Dicipline of Discipleship

By Major Frank Duracher
Southern Spirit staff

Soldiers in Hagerstown, Md., are learning the importance of discipline in setting quiet time aside for prayer and the study of key Scripture verses. Majors Robert and Karen Lyle are employing the material “Discipleship Training” by Dr. Charles Lake in an ongoing Bible study, and it has literally transformed their corps.

“There are eight levels through which our people can work their way up,” Major Karen Lyle said. “Every level is nine weeks long, and during those nine weeks they have memory verses they must memorize.”

The first group that started out last year is right now at level 6, so they have successfully memorized 54 verses of meaningful Scripture.

Perhaps the most important tool of the course is an accountability sheet where students log their daily progress. Their logs are brought to class every week for the instructor to inspect. The daily ideal is 30 minutes alonewith God, if not more, she said.

At the end of each nine-week study, each graduate is given a certificate and moves up to the next level.

Meanwhile, Major Robert Lyle is teaching a special group of leaders who are being trained to teach the first few levels to soldiers and adherents coming aboard for the first time.

“This makes the course a ‘leadership identification tool’ because it is from this pool that we identify potential teachers of this material, as well as likely candidates for local officership in the corps,” Major Karen Lyle said.

CSM Larry Miller, Garry Dawson and Johnny Lewis are in the leadership class, and not surprisingly, they are among a group of men who have become a driving force in this corps. Major Robert Lyle calls this group of about a dozen, “Men of Integrity” (see related story).

Five new conversions are the direct result of the program, just this year. At present, 60 soldiers, adherents and recruits are enrolled in the program since it began in September 2007. That represents about 45% of the soldiership, and the percentage is growing.


“We began the first group, which met on Sunday evening in place of our salvation meeting,” Major Karen Lyle said. “As time went on and subsequent level 1 groups formed, we started meeting at various times during the week.”

For instance, a men’s breakfast meeting on Monday morning is popular – as is a group that meets before the normal Home League meeting one weeknight. It also applies to Corps Cadet groups and classes for young adults.

“It even benefits married couples,” she added, “because it helps to have a prayer partner. Some married couples have never prayed together before! Now they are.”

The secret of the success of this program is for the students to document their accountability. “I don’t want to use the word ‘habit,’ but it’s important to make quiet time with the Lord, and the concentration on the key verse for that week, a real part of your daily schedule,” she said.

“That accountability log is the key to making this study work. Somebody by the end of this week is going to say (to you), ‘O.K., let’s see it!’”

This discipline soon “separates the wheat from the chaff,” Major Robert Lyle pointed out.

“Make no mistake, this program requires commitment. It is for the soldier who is serious about being a disciple of Jesus,” he said.

“No matter where you are in your Christian walk, this plan targets any aspect of your spiritual life,” Miller said.

Miller, who works for the state of Maryland as a corrections officer in a nearby prison, said that the discipline of prayer and Bible study in his life has brought inward peace and transformed his outward countenance.

“This plan challenges us toward a step-by-step lifestyle of holiness,” Miller said.

“That’s the beauty of it!”




Camp Season




Men & Woman in Ministry



The H1N1 flu virus that made headlines across the nation this summer left several Salvation Army camps reeling, with affected campers and counselors required to be quarantined. Perhaps hardest hit by the swine flu, however, was Camp Happyland in the National Capital Division.

Major Teresa Newsome is adept in running summer camps for the Army – working alongside her husband for nine seasons in two divisions provided her with experience to encounter nearly every possible challenge that may arise. With 2009 bringing her first term on her own as divisional youth secretary, she naturally hoped everything would go smoothly.

“And for the first week or two, it did,” Newsome said with a nervous laugh. “Then the swine flu hit!”

The news reports hit very close to home at Happyland – which is located near Richardsville, Va. With 12 Sunbeams becoming ill within two days, Newsome realized what her staff was up against.

“We quarantined the girls, as well as a few counselors who seemed to be coming down with it too,” Newsome said. The health department came to the camp to offer assistance. “The Rappahannock-Rapidan Health District was so helpful,” she said. “Without a doubt, they helped save our camping season.”

The following week of camp, slated for Girl Guards of the division, had to be cancelled. Happyland was shut down, and Newsome and her staff went to work sterilizing the entire camp. Cabin counselors were trained to enforce a stringent hand-washing regimen for the campers. A new team-building exercise had to be employed to bring the staff back together as a united force. Tougher screening was begun for each group scheduled to come to the camp for the remainder of the summer.

Incredibly, only four actual camping days were lost. Service unit campers arrived when Camp Happyland reopened on July 6, seemingly unaware that a health crisis had been averted – which could have easily put a damper on their summer fun.

Major N.J. Pope, who heads the Risk Management Department at territorial headquarters, commended Major Newsome and her staff.

“Major Teresa Newsome in consultation with Major Mark Bell and the divisional staff appears to be handling the situation in a magnificent way,” Pope said in his statement to the territorial administration.



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Sharon Flynn came to The Salvation Army because she had an earache. Needing some over-the-counter meds, she stood in the checkout line at a Walgreens drug store in Dallas, Texas. Standing directly behind her was a man who coincidentally had the same last name. The two struck up a conversation and within a few weeks began dating.

What she did not know then was that her new boyfriend had some serious addiction issues. After several rehab tries, and the subsequent relapses that always followed, Flynn decided that her world was falling apart because of her boyfriend’s addictions.

“We decided to break up, but just in case there was any future for us we promised each other to meet in exactly six months, at a certain time, and at the highest point in Dallas – the Reunion Tower,” Flynn explained. “It was right out of that movie, ‘An Affair to Remember.’”

Sure enough, they both kept the date, and Flynn was surprised to find a man totally changed. His demeanor was different; his face boasted a confident smile, and he talked about the Army's center in Dallas.

"You need to come to church with me there," he told her. "we may not have a chance (to be together) but I think you'd really like this church!"

In fact, Flynn had been looking for a good church home but with no satisfaction. With nothing to lose, she decided to join him the next Sunday morning at the ARC for worship.

"From the moment I walked in, I loved it!" she said.





The relation ship ended when Flynn's ex-boyfriend relapsed again and left the program. But by now, the Army was under Flynn's skin. The only proplem was that with her "ex" out of the program, could she still attend church there?

Flynn was inquisitive about everything Salvation Army she couldn't get enough knowledge about what the Army is all about; its history, doctrines and ongoing mission. And the more she learned about the Army, the closer she drew to the Lord Jesus whom she had always loved, but was now more real to her than ever.

Some months later, Majors Mike and Judy Vincent were transferred to the Northern Virginia ARC. Flynn visited them on her next vacation. She shared with them that the only peace she felt in her life was when she was at an Army function. She lived in a trendy part of Dallas, had a salary of six-figures, a car and a job with a Texasbased corporation that literally took her all over the world.

“Yet I was miserable!” she testifies now. Vincent offered her a job as his administrative assistant, and Flynn decided to give the matter a lot of prayer.

“God would have to open many doors, which he did,” she said.

Soon after she came to the Northern Virginia ARC, she began asking about Salvation Army officership. Her calling had come full circle. This month, she will report to Evangeline Booth College as a member of the Ambassadors of Holiness session.

“My search is finally over,” Flynn said. “Nothing came from that chance meeting at a Walgreens in Dallas, but at least one good thing did – I met The Salvation Army!”

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Bell-ringers man kettles in several Southern cities to raise money during Christmas in July celebrations


This summer, Salvation Army locations in cities across the country have deployed their familiar red kettles to help balance a rising demand for emergency social services and a flattening number of charitable donations from individual donors. On a late-July Friday evening, in partnership with the Gwinnett Braves minor league baseball team, Salvation Army kettles and bell-ringers made their first-ever summer appearance with a festive plea for support during Christmas in July at Gwinnett Stadium in Lawrenceville, Ga.

The Braves joined the Army for Christmas in July as the Braves hosted the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. Santa and his elves were on hand to spread the cheer and the stadium was festively decorated.

Fans who donated an unwrapped toy or made a minimum $10 donation to the cause received a half price adult field box ticket, and one fan won a Gwinnett Braves autographed baseball. Radio celebrity Moby sang the National Anthem, and a Salvation Army brass band provided holiday music during the pre-and-post game activities.

Christmas in July kettle celebrations also took place in several other parts of the Southern Territory. NewBridge Bank Park in Greensboro, N.C., hosted a kettle fund-raising event with a Christmas tree, snow, Salvation Army red kettles and a visit from Santa the last weekend in July.





This is the second year for the Christmas in July program in Chattanooga, Tenn. Each July weekend, volunteers solicited donations that will assist clients in Northwest Georgia and Southeast Tennessee. According to Will Hale, director of volunteer services and special events, the number of clients seeking assistance has increased by 50 percent this year.

Kimberly George, director of development and marketing, said, “‘Need knows no season.’ We thought, ‘What better way than to get out and ring the bells? People recognize that, and they recognize the need.”

Other Southern cities that paticipated in Christmas in July kettle fund-raising activities included Staunton, Va.; Knoxville, Tenn., and Little Rock, Ark.

Little Rock bell-ringer Bob Gosser usually volunteers to man kettles in the winter and wasn’t sure anyone would donate in July. To his surprise he collected nearly $50 in his first 40 minutes. “People amaze me,” he said. “Sometimes I’m real pessimistic, but they sure change your mind.”

The Salvation Army first used a kettle to collect funds for Christmas 114 years ago. Today, the red kettle is a familiar part of the Christmas scene in communities across the United States. Donations at the kettle enable the Army to continue Doing the Most Good for the disadvantaged throughout the year.

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Men and women have different strengths and distinct needs. As a reflection of those strengths and needs, the auxiliary and advisory board members, soldiers and officers of the Southern Territory are gathering together as sons and daughters of the King to lift Jesus higher.

Whether it’s a golf tournament to raise money for women’s shelter programs or a men’s prayer breakfast, it is clear that the men and women of the South are doing the most good to the most people locally and abroad.

New commander of the territorial Men’s Ministries Department Major John White said one of the main differences between men and women is that “men don’t flock.” Where women tend to congregate and enjoy a casual chat or meal together, men more often gather around a task or common pursuit.

It makes sense, then, that men’s ministries across the territory are moving towards uniting around a cause or activity. Major White said some divisions have been successful with gathering men for prayer, while others are getting together to play a sport. In the year ahead, emphasis will be placed on anything men are doing together as ministry – which, according to Major White, reflects a sometimes overlooked need that men have: to be recognized that they are useful in the corps.





Women in the territory have a long history of working together for a common cause. Many have spent all year raising money for Mexico children’s homes while others came together at women’s camp to donate gifts to women officers overseas. Several divisions are also looking locally to create gathering opportunities for women beyond the corps, such as going out for ice cream or catching a movie.

Major Paula Powell, assistant territorial women’s ministry and women’s outreach secretary, said that women share unique needs addressed by the fourfold component of women’s ministries. The fourth component, which emphasizes service, is a prime motivation for fund-raising activities that benefit World Services, fair trade initiatives and Mexico children’s homes.

“Throughout the territory, women create projects to not only raise funds for these projects, but use these events to educate and ever keep the needs of these target groups before their communities. The result has been not only an increase in financial support, but also a steadfast commitment to make a difference in the lives of others in the name of Jesus Christ,” said Major Powell.

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