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History of Austin & Oakbrook Terrace Corps

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Many of the soldiers who had attended the Chicago Avenue Corps made a nucleus from which growth has remained steady. Since then, the Oakbrook Terrace Corps has continued to flourish as it remains true to its mission to preach the gospel to all people and serve those in need without discrimination. Community outreach programs such as Summer Day Camp have resulted in bringing in new people. Qualified, consistent local leadership has contributed to developing a strong ministry and precipitated an increase in attendances and ultimately the need for expanding the facilities. The expanded building was dedicated in 1994.

Through music, character building, Sunday school, women's ministries, Bible studies, prayer partners, YPL and numerous other programs, the corps is continuing to thrive and is an active training ground for future Salvation Army leaders. In addition, Oakbrook Terrace is a model corps for uplifting, inspirational, intergenerational worship. The fellowship and love of this body of Christ is spilling over into the community and around the world. Each year a team of active members of the corps spends a week conducting a day camp in Freeport, Bahamas, and countless young people have been a part of Territorial Summer Mission Teams ministering in locations as close as down-state Illinois to as far away as Nigeria, Argentina and Australia.

 

The Oakbrook Terrace Corps Council, motivated by a desire to be increasingly more proactive in its ministry and service to the community, commissioned Soldier Stan Kelley to conduct a comprehensive community analysis which resulted in a clear and all encompassing seven point Vision Statement.

One of the study’s key findings was the sustained increase of Hispanic population in the immediate Villa Park and Oakbrook Terrace communities and throughout DuPage County.

Inspired by these findings the soldiers were motivated to reach out to the surrounding community under the leadership of Majors Brad and Heidi Bailey and Lt. Scott Hurula. In November of 2001, a Latino Ministries was initiated which has proven to be an exciting and strategic endeavor, as dozens of new Hispanic comrades have been added to the congregation in the last three years, five of which have already answered the call to full time service as Salvation Army Officers.

In the spring of 2002, in partnership with Metropolitan Divisional Headquarters, the Oakbrook Terrace Corps initiated a new Outpost in Barquisimeto, Venezuela, begun under the leadership of OBT Soldiers Enrique and Nancy Azuaje. Most recently, the Oakbrook Terrace Corps initiated a pioneer work in the Hanover Park community. Now known as "The Bridge," this pioneer ministry will soon be dedicated as a Corps under the leadership of Majors Marc & Karen Johnson.

Over the past 110 years the faces and facilities of The Salvation Army of Oakbrook Terrace have, and will, continue to change. But we will always seek new and effective means to share our faith and ministry in the name of a God whose love and faithfulness never changes.

 


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