The Divisional Youth Praise Band recently had the privilege of ministering with the Stillwater, OK Corps. The weekend was filled with outreach, education, fellowship, and worship. This was the first such opportunity for this band to do a ministry tour of this kind, and they did fantastic!
We could not have been better hosted than we were by the Stillwater Corps. Captains Michael and Patrishia Knott, along with BFI Callie Ree-Corbett, planned a very well organized weekend, and we believe it had a positive impact on the ministry of The Salvation Army in Stillwater.
Arriving on Friday, February 3rd, the band went about setting up and rehearsing for the weekend. The following day began with a clinic for the Stillwater corps music programs. A number of our friends from Ponca City were also in attendance for the full day. Classes were offered in brass band, choir, guitar, percussion, and dance. All of the classes were led by the members of the Youth Praise Band. They were excellent examples of what skilled, Godly leadership should look like in the corps. With 22 people from Stillwater in attendance for the music classes, the corps music clinic was a great success!
Following the music clinic, the Stillwater Corps arranged an excellent outreach opportunity for the community. We had a cookout, complete with two bounce houses (of which the Youth Praise Band made great use!), and were happy to see people from the corps and members of the community coming together to enjoy a meal and each others company. The good reputation the Army has in the community was particularly displayed by the attendance of several first-responders who come by to take part. For the Youth Praise Band, this was a perfect opportunity to fellowship with the corps members, play with the young people from Stillwater, and support the ongoing ministry of the Stillwater Corps.
After the cookout, we all moved into a time of worship together. The Divisional Youth Praise Band led a simple meeting that consisted of Praise and Worship and a short devotion. The evening focused on the love of God. At the end, Jimmy Cox led a short devotion on Psalm 8, where we discussed the incredible fact that Almighty God, who’s majestic name fills the earth, cares about and loves each of us individually. The band closed out the meeting with “Majestic”, by transMission.
On Sunday, the band was privileged to lead the worship service with the corps. We attended an excellent Sunday School class where we discussed the dangers of addiction, and the freedom from addiction that is found in Christ. We then moved into the worship service, where the praise band morphed into a brass band! Several local bandsmen, including Captain Michael Knott, joined us. The praise band played a set that consisted of “The Lion and the Lamb”, “Christ For the World”, and “Majestic”. They did an excellent job leading us in worship. We were blessed to see an excellent dance performance by the Stillwater Corps dance class as well.
Jimmy Cox preached a sermon on the dangers of hidden sin. We discussed the fact that hidden sin can keep us from having the kind of relationship with God that He desires for us, and that we should ask the Lord the help us search our hearts and remove anything that is keeping us from Him. Then we can experience the full measure of His love and leading in our lives. The praise band then led us in a time of prayer as they played “Search Me”. We closed the meeting celebrating the freedom that is found when we turn everything over to God by singing “I Am Set Free”.
The work that is already being done by Captains Michael and Patrishia Knott and BFI Callie Ree-Corbett was evident while we were there. In addition to their excellent planning of this weekend, it was obvious that they were laying a strong foundation of faith, community, and musical leadership in their corps. There were several times in the music classes where a student would say “I can do this. Captain Knott has already taught me!” This was a great thing to hear! It was encouraging to see the hard work that they are putting in to the Stillwater community, and the effect it was having on the people there. As Captain Michael Knott discussed with the praise band, you never know what will sprout from the seeds you plant. All we can do is plant and nurture them. It is reassuring to know that the seeds are being planted in Stillwater, and it was a privilege for the Divisional Youth Praise Band to be a part of it.
The Divisional Leadership could not be more proud of the young people of the Divisional Youth Praise Band. Every time they are given the opportunity, they lead by example in every respect. They are models of what it takes to be great musicians, Godly leaders, and devoted Soldiers. We are looking forward to their continued ministry in the division.