Faith in ActionMagazine

A rich Salvationist history

For Tom and Marsha Walker of Tom Walker’s Gospel Train Big Band, ministering at the Old Orchard Beach Camp Meetings was like coming home.

ArichSalvationisthistory_insThe Walkers, who live in St. Louis, are both children of officers.

“Between the four of them, [they served] 160 years,” Marsha says. “We’re very proud. We consider it a rich heritage to have been raised in the Army.”

Tom, who has taught music at several universities, said his parents spent their entire careers in one Mississippi division. After his father learned to play three chords, he formed a family band.

Marsha had a similar upbringing.

“I learned to sing [and] I learned music in The Salvation Army and a lot of that happened at camp when someone put a cornet in my hand when I was about 7 years old,” she says.

The Walkers showed photos of their parents on the big screens. And at one point during a concert in the Pavilion, they performed in their soldier uniforms.

Marsha said that, while growing up in the South, she encountered many people who were curious about The Salvation Army. She performed a song she wrote about those experiences called “More Than Ringin’ Bells,” which includes a story about ringing bells at a local Kmart™.

“The Salvation Army is a gift to me and I’m proud of that legacy,” she says.

Later in the week, the band performed at the Pier. “Thank God for The Salvation Army and this evangelistic outreach,” he says.

by Robert Mitchell

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