OOB16: Daily Wrap-up
Saturday Evening at OOB Camp Meetings
July 30, 2016—General AndréCox and Commissioner Silvia Cox installed new leaders of the USA Eastern Territory in an intimate ceremony at a packed Old Orchard Beach (OOB) Pavilion. The Army was also busy reaching hundreds more people at the OOB Pier, ministering to a younger generation through music, drama, dance, and the Word.
The opening night of camp meetings was historic, featuring the installation of Commissioners William A. and G. Lorraine Bamford as the new territorial leaders. Commissioner William Bamford III will serve as Territorial Commander and Commissioner G. Lorraine Bamford as the President of Women’s Ministries.
Following the Bamford’s installation, the General recognized Colonel Kenneth O. Johnson, Jr., as the new Chief Secretary and Colonel Paula Johnson, as Secretary of Women’s Organizations.
Among the capacity crowd were Salvationists as well as many beneficiaries of the Adult Rehabilitation Centers.
The New York Staff Band, the Eastern Territorial Songsters, the ARC Chorus, and the Massed Chorus set the tone for worship. The General delivered a thoughtful and sobering message, challenging Salvationists to appreciate their history, to contemplate their future, but to fully engage in the present, facing the problems of today’s world with a soldier’s spirit.
The first official night at the Old Orchard Beach Pier Ministry attracted hundreds of people of all ages. Visitors marveled at the aerial performance of Kathryn Higgins, who dazzled onlookers as she spiraled above them on threads of silk. The crowd danced to the music of Christian rock band Unbound. Beatboxer Edgar Garcia, a.k.a., Black Rhythm, a soldier from the San Juan Corps in Puerto Rico, made his debut at the Pier.
“This is a new experience for me to be in the U.S. and so far north of home,” said Garcia. “[Being here] has exceeded my expectations, and it’s great to share what I love to do with the Eastern Territory and the OOB audience,” he said.
—Warren L. Maye and Hugo Bravo
Sunday at OOB Camp Meetings
That Old Orchard Beach Camp Meetings literally stepped up its presence at the Pier today with a “March of Witness” led by The General and Commissioner Cox that culminated with a concert, and imaginative dance. Lt. Colonel James LaBossiere, Territorial Program Secretary, also offered a heartfelt invitation to everyone within the sound of his voice to come and join the evening festivities at the Seaside Pavilion.
Despite some rain, the New York Staff Band and Eastern Territorial Songsters offered a rousing concert at the Pier.
LaBossiere introduced the Staff Band and the Songsters, and shared some of The Salvation Army’s history at Old Orchard Beach.
“For 134 summers, The Salvation Army has held camp meetings at the Pavilion just down the street,” he said. And for many of those years, we’ve come to the Pier to share the gospel in music.
“We invite you to stay with us.” LaBossiere looked to the sky and said, “We’re keeping our eye on the weather. But after all, it’s only a little water!”
That evening at the Pavilion, Commissioner Sylvia Cox, World President of Women’s Ministries, was the keynote speaker. In her testimony, she encouraged parents to be the teachers of the Word of God at home to their children.
“You don’t need much to start a Bible lesson in your own home,” she said. “Simply open a Bible and open your heart.”
Colonel Kenneth Johnson Jr., Chief Secretary, asked Salvationists in the audience to take the encouragement they felt at the Pavilion home with them to their corps. “After you head home following OOB, nobody knows what happens. But you know who will be in the car with you as you go home? The Lord. Our God is a burden-lifting God. Let Him embrace your life.”
Performances by outstanding Christian artists took place at the Pier and will continue to do so tonight and in the coming days.
— Hugo Bravo and Warren L. Maye
Monday at OOB Camp Meetings
This morning, runners gathered at Old Orchard Beach (OOB) High School for the Freedom 5K Run/Walk. The event, now in its 3rd year at OOB, raises money to support the Army’s human anti–trafficking programs in southern Maine. The Salvation Army’s efforts to combat human trafficking in the greater Portland area include among other initiatives a street outreach program and daytime drop–in centers.
Major Annette Lock, corps commanding officer for The Salvation Army’s Portland, Maine, (Citadel) Corps, said that more people are running this year than in its two previous years.
“We’re very happy with the turnout his year,” said Lock. “We have about 80 more runners than we did in 2015.”
That evening at in a packed Seaside Pavilion, the USA Eastern Territory paid a musical tribute to Ron Waiksnoris, New York Staff Band bandmaster and territorial music secretary, who will retire this year. The NYSB and the Eastern Territorial Songsters performed a concert in his honor. Via a video presentation, Waiksnoris and the entire audience saw his 41–year career flash before their eyes in pictures, narration, and heartfelt greetings from Salvation Army leaders, composers, bandmasters, and friends from around the world.
The General also acknowledged Waiksnoris for the “legacy” he leaves behind.
In response, Waiksnoris thanked everyone for sharing in his special moment in the spotlight, especially members of the NYSB. “I don’t really relish attention, people who know me know that,” he said. “I would just hope that we never stop playing this kind of music. It’s great for younger people, older people, and ancient people—all in the same band.”
Waiksnoris also expressed a heartfelt thanks to his wife, Carolee and their two daughters for their support. “I thank you and I love you, Carolee. I know a lot of people don’t have that.”
Waiksnoris shared memories from the NYSB’s recent ministry journey to Cuba earlier in the year. He recalled how the band had played Gloria Estefan’s “Conga” at a Saturday night concert, and how the following day during a meeting in Havana, Salvationists in the audience chanted “Conga” in hope of hearing an encore performance.
“I’ve done some crazy things,” said Waiksnoris, “But ‘Conga’ at the end of a Holiness Meeting? It must have had a very spiritual meaning to people who enjoy it.”
Tuesday night at the Pavilion will offer a “Carnival” of activities, including a “Family Night.”
An amazing line up of artists, singers, dancers, and musicians will continue to mesmerize and minister to crowds at the Pier starting at 7:00 P.M.
— Hugo Bravo, Warren L. Maye
Spinning the Gospel message
“‘Not by might nor power, but by my Spirit’says the Lord.”—Zechariah 4:6.
It was a night for superheroes and champions at the Old Orchard Beach Camp Meetings.
Everyone from officers to children could be found decked out in face paint and capes at “Family Fun Night”in the Pavilion.
The evening got started 90 minutes before the regular camp meetings with children and their parents enjoying a photo booth, bungee trampoline, balloon animals, pony rides, a bounce house, petting zoo, face painting and even a unicycle demonstration.
The Camp Meeting Kids’ Chorus entertained with musical selections, including “Jesus You’re My Superhero.”
“Champions Forever”performed a Spin-tacular Basketball Show. Bruce Crevier and five of his 12 children rode unicycles and wowed the crowd with their ability to spin basketballs.
The group has performed on “America’s Got Talent”and at Game 6 of the 2016 NBA Finals in Cleveland.
Crevier presented the Gospel message and led the audience in the sinner’s prayer. At the end, several people stood and said it was the first time they had recited the prayer.
Crevier told the audience he is in the Guiness Book of World Records for his basketball spinning abilities. His photo appeared on the same page as NBA great Michael Jordan, but Crevier quoted Revelation 20:15 in noting that his name is in a much more important book.
“Be glad your name is in the Book of Life,”he said.
The night also featured performances by Summer Brass and a skit from the Creative Arts Services Team (CAST).
Everyone concluded the night with snacks and ice cream.
The camp meetings continue tomorrow with CAST’s performance of “Moses”at 7 p.m. in the Pavilion.
‘Moses’lights up the Pavilion
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by the yoke of slavery.”—Galatians 5:1.
For Oracia Morris, this year’s presentation of “Moses”at the Old Orchard Beach Camp Meetings was far more than just another performance. She saw it as a teachable moment.
“It’s the story of how God used an ordinary man with a stutter,”Morris says. “God used someone like that to set His people free. It teaches us that He uses anyone …anyone at all to get His message across or to help His people.
“I think that message is important—God uses anyone.”
Morris played a Hebrew slave in “Moses,”billed as “Thirty Minutes of Original Music and Movement.”A large, appreciative crowd filled the Pavilion on Wednesday night and Morris hoped they got the message.
“God is real,”she says. “He works within our lives and He sets us free from our addictions and the problems that we have.”
The Creative Arts Services Team (CAST) that presented “Moses”features Josh Pelletier, Bethany Kelly, Olivia Renkel, Jonathan George, Sarah George, Alex Voeller, Zachary Kelly, Oracia Morris, Laura Hevenor, and Hannah Furman. Ian Smith leads CAST.
Carol Jaudes, director of special events and arts ministries for the Eastern Territory, developed the script and concept. Kathryn Higgins handled staging and choreography, Joseph Skinner music and Jerome Green video.
The contemporary evangelistic rock band “Unbound”got the night started with an hour-long concert. Led by Doug Berry, the band is known to tweak the lyrics of popular songs (such as Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’) to offer a more hopeful message.
The group usually appears at the Pier and Berry said he enjoys performing for the vacationers who stop and listen.
“They’ve had some big crowds,”he says of this year’s Pier Ministry. “People have been saved …and they’ve heard a great message.”
During the day, Bible studies on the beach and in the Pavilion kept everyone busy. Retired Commissioners Judy and Steven Hedgren, former territorial leaders in the Eastern Territory, led the Pavilion Bible study and focused on leadership through the life of Moses.
Commissioner Steven Hedgren, who has battled cancer in recent years, said he has been off chemotherapy for a year. He and his wife have been traveling and speaking.
“I’m doing terrific,”he says. “I’m in what you might call remission, though the doctors don’t call it that. The cancer is still in my system, but it’s asleep basically.
“It’s just been the prayers of people that have generated such a wonderful feeling in my wife and I.”
The camp meetings continue tomorrow with “Pier Praise”at 7 p.m. featuring the best of Salvation Army artists, singers, dancers, and musicians. Many of those entertainers have also performed all week long at the Pier.
‘The Holy Spirit is doing something here’
A spectacular fireworks display at the Pier concluded an evangelistic “variety show”on Thursday evening at The Salvation Army’s Old Orchard Beach Camp Meetings.
A team of the Army’s finest artists, singers, dancers, musicians, and illusionists entertained a huge crowd that congregated for the pyrotechnic finale. An evangelistic fervor was in the air.
“This is a church without walls,”said Envoy Steven Bussey. “People are stumbling into the sanctuary. This is the cathedral of the open-air. This is our birthright as Salvationists.”
Bussey and his wife, Envoy Sharon Bussey, were in charge of the Pier Ministry again this year. The Pier Ministry is held each night from 6-10 and coincides roughly with the camp meetings at the Pavilion.
However, one night a week during the camp meetings, everyone gathers at the Pier.
Among the performers this year were the Creative Arts Services Team (CAST); Summer Brass; Crossfire Brass; DJ Morph and Rell; Zaney Janie and Mr. B. Loon; “Juggler for Jesus”David Cain; Resurgo, a musical group from Quebec; move.meant, a dance group; illusionist Bryan Drake; sand artist Lt. Colonel Carole Voisey; an aerial presentation by Kathryn Higgins; Unbound, a Christian evangelistic rock group; illusionist Eli Morgan; and beatboxer Black Rhythm.
Bussey and Captain Claude Dagenais of the Sherbrooke Corps in Quebec welcomed vacationers to the Pier in French as many are French-Canadian.
Commissioner Bill Bamford, territorial commander, publicly thanked Larry Mead, the town manager of Old Orchard Beach, for allowing The Salvation Army to hold “Salvation Army Week”in the town.
“We come with a message of hope and love,”Bamford said.
Mead said he has a great relationship with The Salvation Army in town.
“We really find them to be a helpful partner in making the town what it is,”Mead said.
In recent years, the town has allowed The Salvation Army to put up a huge stage and take the Pier Ministry to another level. Bussey said in the first five days of the Pier Ministry this year, 18 people were led to Christ and 284 asked for prayer.
The evangelism teams at the Pier also held 588 “meaningful conversations,”passed out 294 Bibles, 1,383 tracts, 48 books, and
2,862 giveaways emblazoned with www.searchthelimits.org, an evangelistic website.
Bussey said the evangelism team saw 9,542 “Gospel encounters”in the first five days.
Meanwhile, Captain Mike Laro was often live on his personal Facebook page during the Pier Ministry and received more than 6,000 hits.
“There have been a number of people watching it live and sharing it and then there’s been even more watching it after it’s posted,”Laro said.
Bussey noted that New England is one of the most “biblically illiterate”and unreached parts of the country and he was glad to bring the Gospel there.
“It’s a sign of the tried and tested principles of The Salvation Army historically and, along with that, the Holy Spirit is doing something here,”Bussey said.
“We’re blessed to be a part of The Salvation Army, which believes in getting the Gospel out to the whosoever.”
Bussey said he talked with some Old Orchard Beach police officers, who told him The Salvation Army brought a “positive spirit”to the Pier.
“People outside of here …often their lives are hell in many ways,”Bussey said. “They walk up here and it’s an environment of heaven and they realize there’s something different going on here. As a result of that, they want to stay.
“We’ve had people coming back again and again and again to engage with our evangelists, listening to our acts, and just absorbing these things, and they don’t even realize that where they’ve come is to church.”
What is it that God is asking you to do?
It was hard to miss Moses at this year’s Old Orchard Beach Camp Meetings.
Commissioners Judy and Steven Hedgren, the Eastern Territory’s former leaders, used the life of Moses to teach about leadership during the daily Bible study. The Creative Arts Services Team (CAST) presented the play “Moses”on Wednesday night.
On Friday, best-selling author and motivational speaker Ken Davis issued a challenge from the story of Moses to close the camp meetings.
“I’m an old guy,”said Davis, who is 70 and also a comedian. “I was here for the first camp meetings.”
Davis, who studied to be in the ministry, made his message relatable by noting that everyone gets calls on their cell phone and must make the decision to “accept”or “ignore.”
But what about when God calls?
“When God calls, pick up the phone,”Davis said. “Answer it.”
Davis, teaching from Exodus, examined each of the excuses Moses used to try to avoid his call from God to lead the Israelites out of slavery. We use many of the same excuses, Davis argued, but we are equipped just as Moses was.
“What is it that God is asking you to do? Listen, do you hear the ringtone?”Davis said. “All I know is the word of God says He will go with you—that’s all you need. He will tell you what to say. He will show you how to act.
“His Holy Spirit will accomplish whatever He wants from your obedience. And you, my friend, just the way you sit, are perfectly equipped to do what He’s asking you to do.”
Commissioner Bill Bamford followed Davis and talked about the obedience that led him and Commissioner G. Lorraine Bamford to be Salvation Army officers. They came to the camp meetings in 1983 when God spoke.
“It was right here that I stood when God called me,”Bamford said.
“I happened to walk in the back of this place with my wife and God called us to full-time ministry. Why we were here that night, I have no idea. God knew, though, and here I stand today. It’s about being obedient this evening.”
The congregation sang “I Surrender All”as people came to pray in the front of the Pavilion about the messages from Davis and Bamford.
The camp meetings closed with the traditional singing of the hymn “O Boundless Salvation,”written by Founder William Booth.