Divisions Report on Camp Meetings – Golden State
Holmes Honored at Division’s First Event
By Captain Keilah Toy –
Brigadier Lester Holmes, 88, along with his twin brother, has celebrated every birthday since he was a young boy at Northern California’s Labor Day Camp Meetings. With over 75 years of experience, his overwhelming response to the Golden State Division’s first such meeting was, “Every year it just keeps getting better!”
There were tears in his eyes Sunday afternoon as he witnessed the dedication of seven new outposts: Turlock, led by A/Captains David and Diane Ebel; Fresno Laotian, led by Lts. Khampaeng and Khamsaveuy Saengthasy; Los Banos, led by Lts. Carol and Carlos Hernandez; Redwood City Hispanic, led by Lt. Roberto Vasquez; Castroville, led by Captains Pedro and Maria Yepez; and the Marina Outpost.
Under the leadership of Majors Jerry and Jeanine Gaines, Golden State divisional leaders, more than 500 delegates were blessed and inspired by the witness and messages of Colonels Bill and Gwen Luttrell from territorial headquarters and Lt. Colonels Donald and Esther Sather, Sierra Del Mar divisional leaders. The delegates raised over $35,000 in three days toward a new baseball field for Redwood Glen Camp and Conference Center in the forests of the Santa Cruz Mountains.
The theme of the weekend was “Count on Me,” and was confirmed as six accepted candidates were farewelled: Michelle Newman, Benjamin and Rebecca Bosque, Antonia Perales, and Bouaphet and Oulay Banh Sidavong.
Evident throughout was the tremendous cultural diversity of the new division. The Hispanic, Laotian, Chinese, and Korean cultures were celebrated and affirmed throughout the meetings and in the rousing finale, “Praise from Every Nation,” presented by the Mass Youth Choir and Creative Ministry Team, led by Ramon Ocano from the Monterey Corps.