U.S. Army reinstates Church of Christ service at Fort Sill in Oklahoma
For 35 years, the Northwest Church of Christ in Lawton, Okla., conducted the weekly assembly for soldiers.
But just before Christmas, the U.S. Army post’s chaplain suspended the services, “taking away the religious freedom of our soldiers,” Northwest member Don Cherry, who had led the ministry for 10 years, told The Christian Chronicle last month.
However, Cherry said an Army representative notified him today that the assemblies will be allowed to continue starting June 2.
“I am walking on air,” Cherry said. “This is the answer to prayers.”
Johnny Sandmann, military and veterans affair caseworker for U.S. Rep. Tom Cole, R-Oklahoma, contacted the Army on the church’s behalf.
The Liberty Legal Institute, which handles religious liberty cases, expressed an interest in the case after the Chronicle reported on it.
Read the Chronicle’s previous story on the suspended services.
FeedbackIt is gratifying that the Army will reinstate services of the church of Christ at Fort Sill. This is clearly a win for our troops, the community, the body of Christ, and Christianity. More military posts should follow suit.Edward OzMay, 10 2013Praise the Lord! Now if we can get the same kind of response everywhere the services are blocked by local COs and head Chaplains!Paul JohnsonMay, 10 2013I am the Youth Minister for Northwest where all of this has been taking place. I wanted to personally thank everyone for their prayers, calls, letters, and anything else you did to raise awareness of this issue and show your support. Please continue to keep this important endeavor in your prayers. Praise God!Troy RogersMay, 10 2013These services helped me make it through the summers of ’81 and ’82 without a doubt.David GoodMay, 10 2013To God be the Glory!DennisMay, 11 2013Praise the Lord! We took this to our brothers in Honduras to pray about and now see how God has responded. Thanks Chronicle for bringing these type of brotherhood needs to the attention of brethren around the world. If Christians in the U.S. can pray for us in Honduras, we certainly can pray for our U.S. soldiers around the world. Keep up the good work!Mark Young, Trujillo, Colon, HondurasMay, 11 2013Brothers and sisters, we better start opening our eyes to the increase persecution of Christians by the US federal government, as well as state and local governments. Many officials do not care anything about the protections the Constitution offers us, and sees Christianity as something that must be stamped out. The old-time prayers of thanks that “we may worship unmolested” may soon cease, because they will not be true anymore.
Many will fall away from the faith, but the church has always been strengthened by persecution.Steve BraggMay, 11 2013Praise God!Michael WoodMay, 11 2013I was a rather “new” Christian in 1980 when I did my basic at Ft. Lewis, WA, and there was not a service at the base chapel near my training area. Because I was an Officer Candidate, the basic was different at that time, and many of my compatriots went off base every weekend.
In 1984, I attended my Officer Basic Course at Ft. Ben Harrison, IN. And I was fortunate enough to work with the Amen Program (relatively new then), and met a number of other trainees through the North East side Congregation. It had a thriving group of military, mostly Army and a few Navy from the research center there. We grew close quickly, and met often at another Officer’s quarters for time together.
It was during these get-togethers that I really learned what was meant in the New Testament about “slaves being elders”, as we essentially took off our rank and were “equal” in all things non-military. It is something I share regularly to new Christians, especially those who are entering the service. I want to encourage them that, while there are those that persecute us, there are Brothers and Sisters everywhere, and the Christian life and serving in the Military is not at cross purposes. And that the New Testament frequently uses Military Service examples when teaching us how we are to live.
One comment about the Constitution and our faith: Remember that in the 1st Amendment, the VERY FIRST thing said is that “Congress shall make no LAW establishing religion, NOR the FREE EXERCISE thereof”.
The ACLU and anti-religion groups hope that we and the SCOTUS will forget that! However our nation’s founding fathers did not.Paul JohnsonMay, 11 2013As an Elder and former minster of the Churches of Christ, as well as a CAPTAIN, USN, Retired (Vietnam Veteran), I am gratified that the position of the Army at Ft.Sill has changed in favor of allowing this ministry to continue. I proudly continue to serve as Chaplain of the Military Funeral Honors Team in Lake County, California, serving the Lord Jesus Christ in whatever circumstance I am. Praise the Lord.Dr. Herman W. Hughes, CAPT, USN, Ret.May, 16 2013I am thankful for all the prayers. In the end God triumphed as he always will. But we, as his disciples, must strive to do his work. We will start again June 9th and I cannot wait, please continue your prayers for our service, those who will attend an particularly for those who will attend and answer the call of salvation.
Don CherryDon CherryJune, 3 2013