May 5, 2003
Corpus pastor reports on Fort Bragg event
___By Mark Wingfield
___CORPUS CHRISTI--A Texas Baptist pastor who attended an evangelistic training event at Fort Bragg, N.C., reports the event was inspiring and educational.
___The conference, arranged by Bobby Welch of First Baptist Church of Daytona Beach, Fla., as part of the training for the FAITH evangelism curriculum, had been criticized by First Amendment groups as a violation of church-state separation. That was reported in last week's Baptist Standard.
___Michael Hale, pastor of Travis Baptist Church in Corpus Christi, told his congregation April 27 that he left Fort Bragg inspired by the work of the United States military and encouraged to tell others about his faith in Jesus Christ.
___"FAITH is a tool that we use to discover needs in the community and then to try and meet those needs," he explained. "The Green Berets use a term called 'force multiplies.' They are trained to go into an area and train the locals on how to be an army. One man trains 100, 100 trains a thousand, a thousand trains an army.
___"For FAITH to be really effective, we must train an army of believers who go out into their communities to discover the needs of people and families (and) try to meet those needs in the love of the Lord Jesus Christ."
___The day's events, Hale said, included a parachute demonstration, a visit to a $5 million wind tunnel where personnel are trained in how to free fall, a demonstration of hostage-freeing techniques and sniper techniques. Participants also were given opportunities to fire the weapons used by Green Berets.
___The day ended at a national forest, "where we had a camp fire meeting with Maj. Gen. William Boykin, who is the commanding general of the U.S. Army Special Warfare Center and School."
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