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SA Rally Day in Hempstead, N.Y.

The Hempstead (Citadel), N.Y., Corps has enjoyed a five–decade history of musical excellence in a community where The Salvation Army flourishes and remains vital. On Sunday Sept. 8, the corps added another chapter to its legacy as the Eastern Territorial Songsters (ETS), led by Gavin Whitehouse, and Dorothy Nancekievill, International Staff Songster leader, shared in the Salvation Army Rally Day festivities.

Major Thomas Mack and Bandmaster Chris Ward welcomed the visitors to Hempstead. Following a brief rehearsal and a time of refreshment, the Songsters joined the Hempstead Citadel corps congregation for morning worship.

Major Mack initiated a theme of blessing and privilege that would be repeated throughout the day. He spoke of meeting believers throughout the years, saying that each meeting brought a new and special blessing to him.

Lt. Colonel Cheryl Maynor, ETS executive officer and territorial communications department secretary, shared a timely message. Using the parable of The Prodigal Son, she reminded the congregation that God does not want to be separated from His children. He longs for their devotion and obedience, and He rejoices when the lost turn toward Him.

In the afternoon, the congregation enjoyed a time of praise and witness. ETS members shared testimonies and offered selections from their spring and summer repertory.

Highlighting the afternoon was the recognition of Songster Leader Mack by Nancekievill and Whitehouse. They thanked him for his music making, teaching, and leadership. Mack led the singing of “By His Hand,” his composition and addition to the songster’s repertory. It was a memorable conclusion to an outstanding day of prayer, praise, and worship.

“The sensitive choosing of the songs, the words from Colonel Maynor, and the honoring of Major Tom Mack all touched me very deeply,” said Major Phillip Wittenburg, corps officer.

by David Cornish

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