Welcome to Pendleton, the real West!

Active, growing corps “rounds up” new seekers.

by Martha Sheppard – 

Pendleton recently welcomed new junior soldiers.

Welcome to Pendleton, the real West! Best known for the world-famous Pendleton Round-Up, our western heritage includes the Oregon Trail, explorers’ routes and stage coach trails.

Unfortunately, Pendleton also boasts an unusually large number of drug users and alcoholics—in various stages of using and recovering. Those in the process of recovery often have a difficult time finding “new friends” in such a small town.

There is “a refuge”—and it is found at the Pendleton Corps. As individuals find safety at the corps, they begin to realize that a restoring process has begun. Corps Officer Captain Don Sheppard emphasizes that the restoration process requires an individual to be honest with God, themselves, and others. He also stresses righteous living and holiness, adding “that each person should have a clear understanding and willingness to readily share the gospel message of grace.”

Those who hear the gospel are challenged to take responsibility for what is happening at the corps, and take an active role in reaching the community. This past year, 70 new people have joined the corps through the various community ministries; 20 adherents, nine senior soldiers, and 15 junior soldiers have been added to the rolls in 2006.

Recently, 15 adults completed soldiership classes. The adults help with the feeding program, cleaning the corps, attend Sunday morning and midweek Bible study (Bible Study averages 25-30 adults weekly).

This summer, the Pendleton Corps held monthly open air meetings, reaching up to 200 people each time. As the corps people share with others in our community, the term “round-up” takes on a whole new meaning!

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