by Major Beverly Best
The National Seminar on Evangelism’s 50th anniversary marked one of the largest turnouts in years with 114 delegates from across the nation, including 47 from the Central Territory (the largest delegation), as well as representatives from Italy.
The Kansas City Citadel, Kan., Corps brought seven delegates of differing backgrounds to the seminar in Colorado. Some are survivors of abuse and homelessness; one is a former drug addict. Some have struggled with thoughts of self-harm. Three have their master’s degrees, and four are Ministry Discovery interns. What do they have in common? They are all saved by grace through Jesus Christ and have a passion to win the lost.
The delegates gathered for personal refreshment in the awe-inspiring natural beauty, enthusiastic worship, moving Bible teaching and real-world evangelism training from various teachers, including National Ambassador for Holiness Dr. Bill Ury.
Lt. Colonel Dean Hinson, then national secretary for program, opened the seminar with a powerful message, “Today is the day of Good News!” (2 Kings 7:9). He was quick to tell delegates, “What happens at Glen Eyrie, does not stay at Glen Eyrie!”
National Commander Commissioner David Hudson also encouraged delegates not to be satisfied with preaching to their weekly congregations but to go out into their communities and share the gospel and meet human needs.
Delegates met in small groups to share their stories, hone their testimonies and receive personal encouragement from each other. On Thursday evening, the teams ventured into Colorado Springs and Denver to parks, neighborhoods, shelters and rehabilitation centers to share the gospel. Some talked with strangers over a meal or a cup of coffee, while others handed out flyers and engaged people in conversation. The Good News was given to men, women and children, the homeless, prostitutes and atheists. Delegates were not shy to share their own stories of how Jesus has rescued them from sin and transformed their lives.
Delegate Charles Kristian from Kansas City said at first he wasn’t sure he belonged, that he felt inadequate among officers and longtime soldiers since his personal history included abuse and addiction, and he is just beginning to learn the Bible. Then he heard the testimony of a fellow delegate who had experienced many of the same circumstances. He was encouraged by this brother in Christ and realized the power of his own story.
The week culminated with a covenant service where delegates dedicated themselves to seeking the salvation of the lost, taking every opportunity God gives them to communicate the Good News of salvation, allowing nothing to deter them from their desire to win souls for Him!