Salvation Army Seattle Temple Corps Outreach is a page about the Evangelism Explosion Team my wife, Bonna, and I put together and the great success we had at The Salvation Army Seattle Temple Corps.
When I reflect on my life and think about different situations I often wonder what God intended from whatever event I am remembering. We never know how we will affect other people or what the outcome of our actions will be. Most of the time, we never find out. However, one day when I was in high school, I got on a bus near the Pacific Science Center. I notice 4 boys towards the back of the bus. I sat fairly close to them. It wasn't long before I realized that one of the guys was alone and the others were harassing him. One of the guys took out a compass for drawing circles, spread it open and stuck the guy in the kneecap. That was too much for me so I stood up and said, "Knock it off" or words to that effect. Suddenly, the guy wasn't alone any more and at the next stop, the other guys got off the bus. I got to talking to the kid and asked him if his knee was OK. He said it was alright and in the conversation I told him I was on my way to The Salvation Army. We had talked long enough that he told me he was going to go to a tech school somewhere around Chicago. I told him he ought to look up the Salvation Army when he got there because it was a pretty good church. We said goodbye and I got off the bus.
A year or two later, I saw a familiar face in the War Cry. It was the boy on the bus and he was wearing a Salvation Army uniform with insignia from the Central Territory. He had gone to the Chicago area and joined the Salvation Army.
When I was being transferred from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, to Fort Hood, Texas, I spent about 45 days in the Seattle area. I was single and available so I was getting quite a bit of attention from girls and men who wanted me to marry their daughters. I met a gal named Patty. One day Patty called me up and asked me if I would like to come over to her place for dinner on Saturday evening. She would do all of the cooking. I agreed. Then, like the dummy I tend to be, I went up to the mountains with Deleen on Saturday. My brother was along with another girl. We were driving my VW bus up some logging roads. I decided it would be a good idea to take a picture of the four of us so I set up my tripod and put the timer on. I went back down the mountain a little ways and looked back at the camera. At that instant, I saw that the sun was going down behind the mountains and that was in the direction of Seattle. All of a sudden, I remembered Patty. I looked at my watch and got this sick feeling in my stomach. I told the rest of the group I had to get to a phone. Well, I didn't have Patty's phone number with me. I had to wait until I got back to Seattle to call her and apologize.
I got back to Seattle, called Patty and apologized profusely. She said, "That's OK. When I realized you weren't going to be here, I called Wayne. We had a great time. Wayne was the boy on the bus who I had talked to about the Salvation Army in Chicago. He had gone to the tech school, joined the Salvation Army and had moved back to Seattle. Apparently Wayne and Patty got along so well that they got married. They went to the Salvation Army School For Officer's Training and are now Majors in the Salvation Army's Western Territory.
What if I had never stepped in when Wayne was being harassed by the guys on the bus and I had never invited him to the Salvation Army? Hmmmm? Divine Appointment?
What if I had made it on time to Patty's place? Hmmmmm?
When Bonna and I moved back to Seattle from Texas for the last time we had been involved in Church Growth. We had studied everything that Elmer Towns wrote about church growth. We had attended several seminars where he had spoken and we purchased every single program he had developed on church growth and several programs from other church growth experts. We even had boxes of a program he had written with a money back guarantee. If your church didn't grow with his program, he would buy it back at full price. While moving to Seattle, we attended one of his seminars in San Francisco. After moving from Texas to Seattle, we even attended a seminar he held in Seattle.
In addition to Elmer Towns material and lectures, Bonna had trained in Evangelism Explosion in Houston. She was so excited about it that she told me if I ever got the chance, I should go for the training. In Houston, Bonna had been in charge of church growth at Spring Branch Church of the Nazarene. The economy had collapsed in Houston and people were leaving town in droves. Every month, two or three families would leave our church to return to their home states. The summer we left Houston to return to Seattle, 35 families, including ours, left the church to return from whence they came. However, church growth had been such a priority at Spring Branch, you could never tell the losses by looking at the church statistics and attendance records. Even with those horrible losses, the church attendance was still increasing because of the strong church growth program directed by Bonna.
Before we left Houston to return to Seattle, we had decided to see if any of this stuff could work at The Salvation Army. If you've been in The Salvation Army for any length of time, you won't believe what happened to us at The Seattle Temple Corps. The first thing we did when we got to Seattle was to explain to the Corps Officers what Evangelism Explosion was all about. He agreed to pay the $100 fee for training for me in Portland, Oregon, at the Portland Four Square Gospel Church.
At the same time we were explaining Evangelism Explosion to the officers, we were compiling a list of everybody who had quit The Seattle Temple Corps. On the list were a bus driver and his wife who worked at a Christian school. We then started to find out who in the corps were friends of these people. We discovered that my brother and sister in law were close friends of the bus driver and his wife and still had contact with them. They were attending the Aurora Church of the Nazarene. Luckily, some of our Nazarene friends from Houston had moved home to Seattle some time before us and were also members of Aurora Church of the Nazarene. We asked Tim, my brother, and Marcia, his wife, if there was anything that would get the bus driver and his wife back into the Army. They said, "No." Well, through our Nazarene friends, we kind of kept an eye on what was going on at Aurora Nazarene and we would occasionally bring up the bus driver and his wife to Tim and Marcia.
One day, Bonna and I were having dinner with our Nazarene friend and our friend was upset about something their pastor had said in a Sunday morning service. The upshot of it was that he was going to start looking for more professional people with good jobs to become members of the Nazarene Church or something similar to that.
Now, I wasn't there, so I don't know what their pastor had said, but I know if our friend was upset, the bus driver and his wife would not be happy. Anybody raised in The Salvation Army would not be able to stomach this kind of talk. I called my brother, Tim, and I told him that if he called the bus driver or his wife, and asked them to come back to The Salvation Army, they would be there within a month. My brother called them and everything I had heard from our Nazarene friend was confirmed. In fact, the bus driver and his wife had already changed churches. We had missed the boat. However, it just so happened that my brother was moving from Ballard to Shoreline and he asked me to help and he asked the bus driver and his wife to help.
|I told Tim we should all go out for pizza when we were all finished moving and the next thing I knew, Bonna and I were sitting directly across the table from the bus driver and his wife at the pizza parlor. We talked and became better acquainted. Then I sort of began talking about The Salvation Army and finally I came right out and said, "You should come back." At that point, Bob got a tear in his eye and said, "Well, my uniform is still hanging in my closet." I said, "Put it on and come back." Not long after that, I was in a meeting with Major Peacock, the Divisional Secretary. I mentioned the situation with the bus driver and his wife. I have no idea what happened next, but within a very short time, they were back at The Seattle Temple Corps. They went into the Salvation Army School for Officers Training almost immediately and are now Majors serving in the Western Territory.|
I am the middle child of five siblings. Some people will say this has a great deal of significance. All it means to me was that I had an older brother and sister that were mean to me and a younger brother and sister that were just as mean. One day when I was about six years old, something happened that triggered a terrible event in my life. Whatever it was, all four of my evil siblings threw me out of the house and locked the door. They then ran around in the house locking the windows and doors so there was no way for me to get in. Don't bother asking them about this. They've fabricated some weird cover story that makes no sense to me. However, I was convinced that I was an "outcast," an "outsider" who just didn't belong in the family. I was locked out by my own brothers and sisters. Later I had managed to get back into the house, but I was still all alone because everybody else had found a sudden desire to leave the house.
I was laying on the couch crying. The radio was on and while I was there all alone crying I heard a men's choir singing:
I would love to tell
you what I think of Jesus,
No one ever cared
for me like Jesus,
All my life was full
of sin when Jesus found me,
No one ever cared
for me like Jesus,
Ev'ry day He comes
to me with new assurance,
No one ever cared
for me like Jesus,
Being "locked out of the house" by your "brothers and sisters in Christ" is what happens to so many Salvation Army officers who decide on a career change for whatever reason they have. When Bonna resigned her Salvation Army officership to marry me, she did not experience this. The Divisional Commander officiated at our wedding and the Divisional Secretary sang a solo at our wedding. However, my sister experienced this when she and her husband resigned from officership. I see this happen to soldiers and bandsmen as well as officers. This "being locked out" can happen to anybody in any church, not just the Salvation Army. When I see it, I can't stand idly by. Someone needs to be there representing Christ, putting "his loving arms" around them. I would prefer to be Christ's representative to the outcast than to be on the inside with the "in crowd." There was one officer who did this for my sister and brother in law. He was Col. Eugene Rice. Col. Rice made a point to call my sister and brother in law, to write to them and to encourage them for years after they resigned.
At the Seattle Temple Corps we had a single female Lieutenant as our Corps Assistant Officer. One day, Bonna and I parked our car at the corps and headed into the building. Coming out of the building was our Lieutenant. Bonna stopped to talk to her. We were stunned. She had a very serious problem. She was resigning. We had a lengthy conversation with her and she told us that she had been promised that she could go to college as part of her appointment to the Seattle Temple Corps. Someone had reneged on the promise. In fact, when she had discussed it with the person who had stopped her from going to college, the conversation had ended with her offer of her resignation. Further she was told not to come back to the corps any more. She was being locked out of her "home Church" by her "brothers and sisters in Christ." Our Lieutenant stood with us crushed, hurt and beaten down. Finally she said, "What am I going to do?" Then it hit me.
We had the identical "problem" that had ended with the Lieutenant's offer to resign. When Bonna and I left Texas with all of our church growth training and experience, we looked around the Salvation Army to see if any growth was taking place. We discovered that there was only one division in the Salvation Army in the USA that was showing any significant growth. It was Northern California. My brother was stationed in Northern Cal. In fact, when he heard about OUR "problem," he offered us a job at his corps doing evangelism and church growth work. He told us he would ask the Divisional Commander if he could hire us. In the proposal to the Divisional Commander, my brother went through all of the details and ended with, "There is one thing. They have a problem." When Col. Harvey asked him what the problem was my brother told him about our "problem." My brother told me that when Col. Harvey heard what our "problem" was, the Col. laughed and said, "That's the highest recommendation they could possibly have. You can hire them. Just work out the details and let me know when they are coming. We would love to have them in this Division." We never went to Northern Cal, but I remembered Col. Harvey's reaction to our "problem" which was identical to the Lieutenant's.
I said to our Lieutenant, "DO NOT RESIGN! Call Colonel Harvey in Northern California and tell him everything you told us. I'll bet you'll have an appointment there right away and I'll bet you'll be in college before you know it." We finally said good-bye to the Lieutenant. A few months later we heard she had been transferred to Northern California and was in college as part of her appointment there. That was fourteen years ago. We never saw the Lieutenant again after that "chance" meeting in the parking lot.
However, for thirteen years we have been asking ourselves (and God) if anything we ever did in Seattle was worth our time. Every time Bonna has said "What if ... " I have replied, "All we can do is trust that God had something in mind." Then she would ask, "All of the work we've done with the kids. What's become of it?" So, when I finished the story about our Lieutenant (above) and how we met her by "chance" in the parking lot of the Seattle Temple Corps and encouraged her not to resign her commission and told her abut Colonel Harvey and how he felt about our mutual "problem," I said to myself, "Self, I wonder what happened to our Lieutenant."
Last night, I went to http://www.google.com and typed our Lieutenant's name into the search box.
I recognized her immediately. With that one search on Google, I found that everything we went though with our "problem" was worth it. If God had brought us to Seattle just to be standing in the Lieutenant's way as she came out of the Seattle Temple Corps on the way to Divisional Headquarters to resign her commission and we were there to slow her down and point her to Northern Cal., it was worth the whole trip and everything else that happened to us. We have no idea what happened to the Lieutenant right after she left the parking lot, but we know what she's doing now. She did resign her commission, but it was after 15 years of solid officership working mostly with teens and youth and she left on very good terms. She is still in the ministry, but she is reaching tens of thousands of people at a time. If we do Evangelism Explosion every day for the rest of our lives, we will never reach as many people as our Lieutenant does in one year. What a life! What a God!
Just finding out what happened to our lieutenant makes me want to sing. If I sang now it would be:
This is my Father's
This is my Father's
This is my Father's
When Bonna and I arrived in Seattle, we made up the list of people to contact. We discovered that the Seattle Temple Corps was surrounded by former bandsmen not playing in any band. To the North six blocks was an elderly man who had played solo horn in the Chicago Staff Band. A mile north of him was a Trombone player from Norway. Further north, was a cornet player from California who was related to Col. Eugene Rice whom I have mentioned before. Still further north was a bandsman who had played in the Winnipeg Citadel band in Canada. He had also played in the Seattle Temple Corps band. It was his wife who had been our Lieutenant years when I was in Jr. High school. She is the person who taught me to play a brass instrument. Just arrived to the South at Seattle Pacific College was a student who had just won a Canadian territorial soloist contest. She was one of the best trombone players in Canada. Her father was a bandmaster in a corps in Canada.
One day eight people walked into the corps. Six of them were from the Chicago area. They were visiting a young couple who lived less than a mile from the Seattle Temple Corps. The husband had played Euphonium in bands around Chicago including a corps band and a divisional youth band. The six from Chicago were bringing the couple who had moved to Seattle to the Army to get them involved and keep them in the Army.
In the corps there were other people who were not playing in bands including some retired officers.
There was no band for these people to play in so the horn player who had played in the Chicago Staff band and I formed a "Reservist" band. At the first practice, the cornet player from California was there as well as a few officers and other soldiers who were not playing in any bands. This band played at a divisional retreat for senior citizens. People who had not been in the Army for years were calling me about this band. One family who hadn't been in the Army for years came to the corps. He had been a charter member in our Young People's band as a child. He now had children and wanted them to experience the same thing he had experienced in our Young People's band. They were on our list of people to visit, but returned before we had a chance to visit them. They had heard we were back in town and just jumped in their car and came to the corps.
We formed a sextet which was immediately invited to play at the Everett Corps Annual Dinner.
Including the 35 kids in the Young People's Band and these other organizations, we had formed enough bands that everybody at the Seattle Temple Corps who was remotely interested in being a bandmaster had an outlet for their creative abilities. There was an outlet for everybody who wanted to play n a band, but weren't invited. I turned each of these groups over to someone else. My main interest was in Evangelism Explosion. The only use I had for a band, even though I love music, I love leading a band and I love performing and even listening, was that it can get people into the church and saved.
Literally, everything we did, brought people into the Seattle Temple Corps. Our van, our Young People's band, Bonna's Sunday School class, all brought people to the Seattle Temple Corps. There was nothing we did that didn't work. People literally flocked to the corps.
|A. Salinas Music Day Camp||B. Seattle Temple Young People's Band|
|C. Outreach||D. Our 15 Passenger Van|
|E. Hospital Visitation||F. Bonna, the Burden Bearer|
|G. Oasis of Love, The Corps Pamphlet||H. Christmas Kettles, Whitecenter Corps|
|I. Evangelism Explosion|
|Visit Salvationist.org. Register to find old Salvation Army friends. Tell which Salvation Army corps you have attended in the past and now. Your friends will be able to find you. We've found friends we hadn't seen in thirty years within minutes after registering.|
|Tell your Salvation Army friends about this website. Chapter Ten about our Seattle Temple Corps Experience is going to be very interesting, but you have to read every chapter in order to understand Chapter 10. You won't be disappointed.|
Dan Ross Bonna Ross Jordana Ross Dan & Bonna Ross Dan and Bonna Ross drdan71, email@example.com cornucopiagenealogica 09/30/03
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