The Arkansas-Oklahoma Divisional Band (Bandmaster Andrew Barrington) spent a wonderful Memorial Day weekend of ministry in Mountain Home, Arkansas, spreading the gospel of Jesus and His glorious grace.
The band traveled from all over the division to arrive in Mountain Home in the middle of a rainstorm. The band pressed on, in faith, as they prepared for their evening concert, an outdoor celebration in the town square. As the stage was set, the rain slowed; as the instruments came out, the rain stopped; as the first notes of OKC 120 boomed across the square, the sun began to shine.
On Saturday, the band played a concert at Twin Lakes Baptist Church. Major Johnny Poff, Mountain Home corps officer, welcomed the audience and encouraged everyone to remember that, though we may be Baptists or Salvationists, we all love the Lord and that is what is important. The band began the concert with a rousing march, Life in the Spirit (James Anderson), which features the unlikely pairing of the tunes “Spirit of the Living God” and “Every Time I Feel the Spirit”.
Bradley Egan, assisted by his father, Major Paul Egan, presented a memorable (and hilarious) skit that brought home the message that we must give God control of our lives and allow Him to remain in control. Band Sergeant Troy Mitchell, a soldier from Tulsa Citadel, gave a touching testimony about his desire to share God’s love with everyone who hears him sing, and the joy, blessing and lessons he has received from his three sons. Mitchell’s eldest son, AJ Mitchell, then joined him for a vocal selection.
One of the featured pieces throughout the weekend was Faith Reborn (Leslie Condon). The work is full of contrasting themes, ranging from melodic lines that sing over the band to brash moments of dissonance, chaos and pain. At each performance, Major Tony Barrington, executive officer of the band, shared the wonderful story behind the music and the part of Salvation Army history that it represents.
In June of 1950, North Korea invaded South Korea, bringing with them persecution of Western missionaries. The Salvation Army was well-established in South Korea, but now many workers fled, fearing persecution by the invaders. Those who remained did not fare well; at least two officers were martyred and the fates of many others are still unknown. Some of those who remained were members of the Seoul Boys’ Home Band. One day, the boys were marched off toward the North Korean border, never to be heard from again. In 1978, at the International Congress in London, England, Major Condon premiered Faith Reborn, performed by members of the “new” Seoul Boys’ Home Band.
The Divisional Band concluded their visit to Mountain Home with a beautiful Sunday worship service, led by Major Poff. Major Barrington brought the Word, reminding everyone that if you have Jesus, you have peace.
Southern Spirit Online, article posted on 12 June 2014 by Chris Raymer