March 2-5, 2017 From the beautiful North Carolina Mountains of Asheville to the rich plains of South Carolina, the combined forces of the Territorial Band, Songsters and Creative Arts Ensemble gathered in the North and South Carolina Division to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ through music and creative arts.
Receiving a warm welcome by the Asheville, NC Corps family, under the leadership of Majors Mark and Mary Satterlee, the groups began rehearsals and program preparation on Thursday. Because they meet only a few times a year, the groups enjoyed the fellowship and fine-tuning of program content. Additionally, spiritual preparation began immediately with specific time set aside for prayer.
Friday, with rehearsals completed, the groups joined with local Salvationists and members of the Central United Methodist Church in downtown Asheville for a Concert of Praise. The Territorial Band, under the leadership of Territorial Music Secretary Bandmaster Nick Simmons-Smith, opened with “Make His Praise Glorious” (Wolaver, arr.Gordon). Other featured band items included “Festivity” (Leslie Condon), and “Fanfare on the Doxology” (Steve Kellner). Territorial Songster Leader Dr. Beatrice Holz skillfully conducted the Territorial Songsters in challenging repertoire including “Pilgrim’s Hymn” (Stephen Paulus), “A Song of Thanksgiving” (Michael Kenyon), and “An Offering” (Dan Forrest). The Territorial Creative Arts Ensemble (TCAE), led by Territorial Creative Arts Director Bethany Farrell, enhanced worship with dance, costume, and dramatic Scripture readings. Particularly moving was the TCAE presentation of Psalm 139, “Oh, Lord, you have searched me. You know me!”.
Saturday, the combined groups traveled east, with a quick lunch stop in Hickory, NC, hosted by Captains Tim and Bethany Delaney. Following lunch, the groups continued on toward Winston-Salem, NC, andarrived at First Presbyterian Church, where they were welcomed by Area Commanders Majors Stan and Deborah Colbert. The evening concert offered a wonderful opportunity for the Salvation Army to share its Mission and Faith with members of the local community.
The highlight of the weekend program was certainly “The Dream Isaiah Saw” (Text: Thomas Troeger, Music: Glenn Rudolph), a visually and musically dramatic presentation written “In memory of those who perished on September 11, 2001”. This moving piece featured all three groups, the message resounding in the words of the chorus “Little Child, whose bed is straw, take new lodgings in my heart. Bring the dream Isaiah saw: knowledge, wisdom, worship, awe!”
The culmination of the ministry weekend was Sunday morning worship. One Songster member stated, “We enjoy all of our concerts, but we always look forward to Sunday worship!” The individual groups went separate ways in order to offer support to more NSC Corps. TCAE shared their ministry with the Charlotte (NC) Temple Corps (Lts. Howard and Katie Tate, Corps Officers; Majors Larry and Debra Broome, Area Commanders). In place of a traditional message, TCAE performed their full-length show, “Story Worth Living.” God moved powerfully and the altars were lined at the time of reflection. The Territorial Songsters were blessed by participating with the Greenville KROC Corps Community Center, Greenville, SC (Major Leona O’Bryant, Lts. Randull and April Tiller), where Major Pete Costas shared God’s Word on the theme “With His life, He bought you!” A capacity crowd at Raleigh, NC Corps (Majors Stephen and Connie Long, Corps Officers) welcomed the Territorial Band in worship and praise to the Lord. Local Bandmaster Henri Kissaska had the privilege of conducting the band in the march “Celebration” (Leslie Condon) – an exciting statement to conclude a wonderful weekend of ministry.
Article submitted by Ruthanna Corbitt