By: Cyrondys Jackson
(Bessemer, AL)- Following a five-year closure, The Salvation Army Greater Birmingham Area Command celebrated the “reopening and rededication” of The Bessemer Corps, located at 525 13th Street North Bessemer, AL 35020, on June 12, 2022. The occasion was marked by the dedication of The Bessemer Corps’ Flag, which will “Stand resolute at special occasions such as marriages, funerals, marches of witness, open air meetings, enrollment of soldiers, dedication of infants, farewells, and retirements,” said Major James Allison (Retired).
The ‘Blood and Fire’ flag, dedicated to the Bessemer Corps, was carried by Salvation Army Soldier, Carl Bailey, and serves as a visual reminder of the purest of sacrifices made by Jesus Christ.
“This flag is not decoration, but a declaration that Jesus can forgive us of our sins, the Holy Spirit can purify us, and keep us from sin,” said Major Allison.
Water damage and dwindling attendance shuttered the Corps, and operations shifted to a Service Center model, leaving social services programming as the only connection to neighbors living in western Jefferson County. In 2021, newly appointed Area Commanders, Majors Robert and Karen Lyle, visited the Bessemer Service Center, and immediately felt a “calling from the Holy Spirit” to reopen the Bessemer location as a Corps, reigniting a fire for the Lord that began decades ago.
Work began to renovate the fellowship hall, kitchen, and classrooms in February. In March, Bessemer launched Seasoned Adult Lunch and Teaching (SALT), a twice-weekly program that gives seniors a safe, faith-based place to fellowship. The location also hosted ‘Resurrection Week’ events, including an old-fashioned tent revival, family carnival, and cookout that brought neighbors and members of the community, as well as friends and families that grew up in and around the Corps.
In late May, renovations to the chapel were completed, with plans to hold a “Reopening and Rededication” worship service, that reconnected the Corps and community. “If there is just one man or woman, boy or girl, that comes into The Salvation Station for crafts or a soda, we want them to leave with the love of God, knowing that we are here,” said Major Robert Lyle, Area Commander and Corps Officer.
Sunday services include prayer at 10:00 a.m. and worship services at 10:45 a.m. For more information, please call 205-425-4303.
“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”- Philippians 2:12–13 ESV