100 years old and still growing!
Long Beach Citadel Corps has a vision for the future.
Long Beach Citadel recently celebrated its 100th anniversary. But, not resting on tradition, its soldiers are marching forward in the 21st century. Major Glen Madsen, corps officer, shares some of the innovative activities at this “need-centered” corps.
At the Long Beach Citadel Corps, our desire is to respect the needs of the people that God sends our way and to minister to them in a fashion that is sensitive to their spiritual journeys. We are serious about the Great Commission, believing that it is God’s will to fill the church with people of all ages. To accommodate the explosive nature of God’s Holy Spirit we have found it necessary to present the gospel in a way that is attractive and meaningful to every generation. The end result…people get saved, God is glorified and the Army grows!
Long Beach United, our youth worship program, exists to “grow young saints in the Lord.” During the week we have 80-100 young people attend our youth programming. United provides a regular venue for our youth—and those from around the division—to worship God in a contemporary fashion at monthly meetings. They carry out their own worship experience in a manner that speaks to them. Due to its relevancy, this meeting has attracted over 200 teens and young adults each month.
Youth music programs are underway. Recognizing the need to mentor and teach young musicians, we are targeting a number of young people for special music classes. The Army supplies the instruments and private instruction in exchange for a serious commitment on the part of the young people to fully embrace their responsibilities as beginning musicians. It is our goal to bring them together in the future to form a youth band. A youth choir for children ages 6-12 will resume in January 2007.
One great success story is a young man of 15 whose family came to us homeless. We cared for them in the transitional living center and assisted the mom in retraining for the job market. She and her family graduated from our program complete with a new job and permanent housing. They attend the corps and the son, Aaron, is taking private music lessons from the executive director of the transitional living center, Dr. Audrey Newman. This young man holds great promise and was awarded special recognition by the public school system. I have told him that he is one of the future leaders of the Army, and I believe he has seriously embraced that mantle!
At Long Beach Citadel, our goal is to have a congregation with Sunday morning worship attendances averaging 300 prior to our move into the beautiful new sanctuary housed at the Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center. The Long Beach Kroc Center is set to break ground in 2007 and open in 2009.