Leaders: Majors Matt & Kathy Riley
Address: 2410 8th Avenue North, Birmingham, AL 35202
Area Website: www.birminghamsalvationarmy.org
Photo Galleries: Gallery 1 | Gallery 2
Alabama, USA — We started in May of this year with an existing corps that we adapted to fit the 614 criteria. We are geographically located in the downtown Birmingham area and our congregation is predominantly street people/sheltered people. We have spiritually mapped out our area and do ministry (open-airs, one on one visitation, building relationships,etc.) at the parks and other “hangouts” our congregation frequents. We do have some who are not homeless and they are actively involved in the ministry. We have two retired officers who are true prayer warriors and support and encourage us as we continue to seek out new avenues of ministry in our area. We have just recently (September) started a 614 Battle School of Ministry with 10 guys who stay in our shelter (all of our students come through our emergency shelter). We have classes on holiness, books of the Bible, Salvationism, etc., specific prayer times, hands on ministry training, and a variety of other activities to keep the men focused on God and to strengthen their relationship with Him so that at the end of their year of school they will be ready to go out and continue to minister on their own. Our congregation is growing steadily as more of our congregation take ownership and get “serious” about their relationship with the Lord.
Adult Book Store Closing
We have been praying about the adult book stores in our immediate area for some time. We pray for the staff and the customers and we pray that the store would be closed down. We also have had an active sign ministry at those book stores. No shouting, confrontation or accusing, merely a silent witness on the corners around the stores. There are two stores we have primarily focused on because they are in our direct ministry area. God has finally answered our persistent prayers. We received a phone call from our
Public Relations Director and she said she was at a City Council meeting and she was informed that one of the bookstores we have been standing at has been closed down. God is faithful if we remain persistent in our prayers and are witnessing for Him, in whatever form that takes.
Battle School Graduation
We have had our 2nd class of Battle School of Ministry students graduate. The Battle School of Ministry is a year long commitment between the students and 614. These students all come directly from the streets of Birmingham. Most, if not all, have drug or alcohol addictions and all of them, prior to joining the Battle School, have been living a riotous life in the world. Five graduated in January 2007 and 9 months after graduation three of them are still very much involved in the work of the Lord – Damon Graham has gone on to The Salvation Army in New Orleans, LA to be the Spiritual and Emotional Care Chaplain, Oscar Sims and Rhonda Jackson are still here at 614 and are active in the Corps. We pray for the two who have fallen by the wayside and we believe that the year they spent with us will make a difference in their lives if they will just allow God to work in them.
Two neighborhoods in our ministry area have been hit hard with the gospel out with food,
games, tents and the gospel. God blessed us with great weather and good turn outs. At our Norwood Outreach there were over 400 and at the Southtown Outreach over 200 showed up. Prior to the Saturday outreaches we had much prayer and then an evangelism seminar so that folks would be properly trained to share the gospel. This was then followed by door to door visits, sharing the gospel and invitations to the outreach the next day. The outreach was all that we had hoped it would be and God blessed as people gave their lives over to Him. Several families are now part of the 614 worship community and meet regularly with us for various community fellowship events.