Prescott Salvation Army celebrates 110

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by Alice Brown, Major – 

Lt. Colonels Don and Debora Bell unveil the commemorative plaque.

Attracted by the beating of the drum and the strains of music, I was drawn to a group of peculiar, uniform-clad men and women. This was my introduction to The Salvation Army over sixty years ago on a street corner in Hammond, Indiana. Thus began a “love affair” that still exists after those many years. I’m so glad “I was there.”

Recently, we observed the 110th Anniversary of The Salvation Army in Prescott, Arizona and “I was there” to be part of this glorious event. For weeks I had observed the painting of a large mural and the construction of a lighthouse on the front lawn of the corps, in the corner where the chapel and social services walls meet. Hundreds of by-standers and passer-by also became interested; offering their comments and telling of the blessing it was to them. The beautiful mural was unveiled and dedicated to the Glory of God by Lt. Colonel Donald C. Bell at this wonderful anniversary celebration.

Lt. Colonels Donald and Debora Bell had arrived at the occasion via a horse-drawn carriage while an open-air, much like those conducted by the early Salvationists in the late 1800s was in progress on the front lawn of the corps. In the background, the mural was draped and hidden by a huge and resplendent Salvation Army flag. Also present for this special event were Prescott Mayor Rowle Simmons; State Senate President Ken Bennett; Luis Sharpe, former professional football player with the Cardinals and many other dignitaries.

Painted on the mural are the words of our founder, William Booth, “While women weep as they do now, I’ll fight; while little children go hungry as they do now, I’ll fight; while there yet remains one dark soul without the light of God, I’ll fight, I’ll fight to the very end.”

“Hard work and planning by Captains Nathanael and Lucilla Doria, Captain Julie Garcia, advisory board members and staff was well rewarded at the 110th anniversary of The Salvation Army in Prescott,” said Lt. Colonel Don Bell. “Approximately 200 people gathered for the unveiling of the mural depicting the Army’s work in rescuing individuals and providing them a refuge from the struggles and unfortunate situations of life. The unveiling was a great open-air meeting of praise for what Christ will accomplish as we yield to his power. The Army is growing in Prescott, Arizona.”

Nearby, on the front of the corps building is a new plaque, which states “The World Has Changed. Our Mission Has Not.” While the local choir sang and a brass ensemble from The Salvation Army in Phoenix played, the crowd also joined to sing several rousing Army songs.

Following the service out-of-doors, a group went inside for the dedication of our new multi-media classroom, fully equipped and ready for operation. Here, Major Mona Moore spoke on “soup, soap and salvation” and the needed transformation for each of us. It is our hope that new computer center will allow clients from the social service center to gain new skills to help them integrate and achieve employment.

Later that evening at our annual advisory board dinner, over 160 community leaders gathered to celebrate the work of the Army in Prescott; many donors were recognized and honored. The Others Award was presented to Gene and Barbara Polk, two most-deserving Prescott philanthropists. Before Lt. Colonel Bell spoke, we were favored and blessed by the singing of “More Than Wonderful,” a duet by Majors Clement and Evangeline Leslie.

Our corps officers, Captains Nathanael and Lucilla Doria, the soldiers and adherents, as well as many other friends of the Army pray that this mural and lighthouse will point many to Christ, the light of the world. I feel truly blessed because “I was there.”


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