Frontlines — News Briefs of the West Bob Bearchell

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Bob Bearchell

By Bob Bearchell – 

For the past four and a half years I have had the privilege of communicating the exciting “happenings” of Army events, personalities and programs throughout the wonderful world of the West. It has been a rewarding experience. This will be my final column.

As I leave beautiful Crestmont for my new and challenging assignment as Executive Director for the National Advisory Organizations Conference in Pasadena in 1999, I commend my successor, Captain Bob Rudd. The Captain will bring his own unique personality, insight and perspective to Frontlines.

While I conclude my responsibilities in composing the Frontlines column, I will not disappear from the front lines of Christian service through The Salvation Army.


Ken and Phyllis Bricknell are special people. For the past four and a half years, this well-known Salvationist couple has given 12,000 hours of volunteer service to the Army. Since their “retirement” from positions at the So. Calif. Division, they have driven 100,000 miles commuting from their home in Orange County, doing whatever was needed. Our heartfelt appreciation to this wonderful and dedicated couple.


This has been a startlingly successful year in major gift fund-raising. The total for current gifts in 1997 was more than $5.5 million, up from $4.03 million for 1996. When we add in the deferred gifts for which the financial development staff have responsibility, the total is nearly $8 million. Best of all, the “cost of fundraising” for this program is at about 15 percent, a goal that is four years ahead of schedule. Congratulations to Bob Gregg and his staff!


Karen Porterfield, development director for the Northwest Division, is the first in The Salvation Army in the West to have her certification for the Advanced Certified Fund Raising Executive (ACFRE) Program. We are proud to have this accomplished professional on our team. Congratulations!


Let’s pray for the Mission Service Team, led by Territorial Evangelists Lt. Colonels Mervyn and Shirley Morelock, which is going to Jaluit, Marshall Islands to build a new corps hall. An advance team from Hawaii led by Clarence Ing has poured the concrete foundation. The rest of the job is to be completed in nine days!

Envoys Ongra and Hemrina Hanerc of the Rita Corps on Majuro opened an outpost in the fall of 1996, and are having attendance of 150-200 on Sundays. Accommodations will be primitive, and we will also pray for good weather. Best of luck with this challenging mission!


Kristy, a Montana fifth grader, recently wrote a touching letter to President Bill Clinton, saying she, her brother and single mom were cold since the power had been cut off. They couldn’t go to school because there was no water for a bath and clean clothes. “Please write back, Mr. President!” she concluded.

The White House sent Kristy’s letter to The Salvation Army National Headquarters, and it was forwarded to Rick Silva, Northwest Division’s Service Extension representative. Things happened fast, as Silva quickly marshaled his volunteer forces. First, an advance payment was made to get the power back on. Local stores provided discounts so they would all receive Christmas gifts. Gasoline vouchers helped her mother in her job search. Kristy and her brother are back in school. Her heart and home are warm again.

As Divisional Commander Lt. Colonel Chris Buchanan says, “Every day of the year The Salvation Army helps families like Kristy’s, whether asked by the White House or a poor family in crisis…”

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