The Barracks! - Salvation Army Canada
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    The Barracks!

    Retrospective #13 September 20, 2017 Randy C. Hicks
    Featuring a commonly used fortress-like design.
    Featuring a commonly used fortress-like design.

    The photos accompanying this post (you'll find these on our Facebook page where this RETROSPECTIVE was first published) will bring back memories for some of you. I have no idea if any of these buildings are still standing or whether or not they still serve as places of worship and service for The Salvation Army. Known to Salvationists as Citadels, Temples, Halls and of course "The Barracks!"

    I wrote the following poem with my first Corps appointment in mind. It pretty much describes the little "Barracks" used there through the years with perhaps an overlap of some details from other very similar structures.

    What comes to mind when you read it?

    What memories are prompted by the snaps?

    The Barracks!
    Randy C. Hicks
    July 24, 2016

    Its form was really simple
    A box up on a mound
    It stood through weather's worst fare
    Just sitting on the ground!

    A peaked roof with old shingles
    Windows of single pane
    White clapboard wrapped it snugly
    Each fought against the rain!

    One door to grant both entrance
    And exit too of course
    A day might bring a visit
    Some sheep, some cows, a horse!

    Inside was somewhat dingy
    Bare bulbs, just eight or ten
    Were hanging from black wiring
    One thinks of way back when!

    Benches to seat four people
    Each one was painted gray
    Comfort was not their purpose
    Sitting one fought to stay!

    Set up in just two sections
    Divided by one aisle
    A congregation gathered
    Oft greeting with a smile!

    And somewhere near the center
    There sat a jolly friend
    When seasons brought cold weather
    On it they could depend!

    Pot-bellied stove 'twas known as
    With flue stretched way up high
    Connected to the chimney
    Through which the smoke did fly!

    The Sergeant-major stoked it 
    With wood and shoveled coal
    To outlast the young preacher
    His designated goal!

    Up front a tiny pulpit 
    On small platform was raised
    A bass drum in the corner
    With snare, our God was praised!

    One can't forget the organ
    Next to it stood the flag
    Better days had passed them by
    As now they both did sag!

    Finally the mercy seat
    An altar some might say
    One of the gray benches turned
    To face the other way!

    Men and women, boys and girls
    This mourner's bench did use
    The promise of the Gospel -
    The Lord would none refuse!

    The rafters oft were ringing
    Glorious sounds of praise
    Did echo down twisted lanes
    Back in those good old days!

    The place was called the Barracks
    Where Sally-Anns did pray
    Sing songs, give testimonies,
    Preach Christ - Life, Truth, and Way!

    A sadness overwhelms me
    As through nostalgic eyes
    I long to see the old saints
    Who then seemed O so wise!

    To hear their simple stories
    Watch as the tears did fall
    With passion cry to Jesus
    As on Him they did call!

    Their lives had not been easy
    Sometimes life was unkind
    Yet in that piece of heaven
    They never seemed to mind!

    I stood there reminiscing
    A young Lieutenant's start
    Amazed by all the mem'ries
    In this old Major's heart!

    As now a rusted padlock
    You'll find upon the door
    The once proud little building
    Will share the Faith no more!

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