Feature

Hills and Valleys

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One of the best kept secrets of Alliance history is the rich ministry that took place in the Ozark Mountain region of Arkansas, reaching a peak in the 1940s and 1950s. Alliance Bible schools sent many graduates into the hills to minister among almost 30 preaching points and mountain churches. Pinecrest Camp (near Ozone) functioned as a hub for mountain ministry, and the region became a training ground for C&MA missions candidates. Ozark workers were often licensed through the C&MA’s Overseas (now International) Ministries because of the great cross-cultural challenges they faced.

Representative of the dozens of faithful servants who labored anonymously were two young ladies who graduated from the Missionary Training Institute (now Nyack [N.Y.] College). Lititia “Letty” Waite and Arbutus Barr both grew up in Pennsylvania but did not meet until moving to Arkansas. Originally appointed to “temporarily” carry on some of the mountain work until more pastors could be found, Letty and Arbutus lovingly served in their “temporary” role for 28 years, when they were asked to go to Elgin, Ill., to work among the Lao people. Together Letty and Arbutus copastored the Cowell Alliance Church, started children’s Bible clubs, led young people’s meetings and even held Bible classes in the public schools. The mountain folk hold the two women in high esteem to this day.

Among the young people blessed by Letty and Arbutus was a young girl they invited to attend Pinecrest Camp. When her parents objected because it would interfere with her responsibilities on the family farm, Letty and Arbutus went out into the fields and worked alongside the child for days until the chores were completed. The girl, Robbie Skaggs, was able to attend the camp, eventually committing her life to Christ and to a lifetime of missionary service with The Alliance.

Unfortunately, Alliance missions work in the Ozarks has all but died out. The population has declined because many people moved to the cities in the last several decades. Churches have followed their migration. Pinecrest Camp, however, is still going strong and shares the legacy of the other Alliance camps, where many met Jesus and were called into a deeper life with Him, some committing to full-time service both at home and abroad.

Past Alliance Life Issues

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