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Church Army

The Least | The Last | The Lost

Dorathy Smokis as an evangelist of the Church Army based at Holy Trinity Plainville in Connecticut (a congregation of CANA East).

The Church Army was founded in England in 1882 by the Rev. Wilson Carlile, who banded together an orderly army of soldiers, officers and a few working men and women, whom he and others trained to act as Church of England evangelists among the outcasts and criminals of the Westminster slums. As a curate in the parish of St Mary Abbott, Kensington, Carlile would walk the streets and parks with coachmen, valets and others who would take their evening strolls. He held open air services, persuading onlookers to say the Scripture readings, and training working people to preach. Previous experience had convinced Carlile that the moral condition of the lowest classes of the people called for new and aggressive action on the part of the Christian Church and that this work was most effectively done by lay people.

Today, Church Army USA is a society of trained and commissioned evangelists in the Anglican Church. Their aim and purpose is winning persons to Christ, by providing the Church with trained, disciplined and socially concerned evangelists who shall: reach the least, the last, and the lost.

At the 2017 Synod, Bishop Dobbs presented this testimonty from Dorathy Smokis.

A couple of years back we started bringing underwear to Bushnell Park in Hartford CT, for those in need. One man named Dan, came week after week, sometimes with a brown bag in his hand, smiling and ready for a hug and prayer. One week Dan sat on a bench and fell straight over on his head. I called an ambulance and we waited with him until they came. The next time we saw him he was less drunk and thankful. In the middle of last year, Dan broke out in tears and began to share his testimony saying how much we made a difference and he wouldn’t be sober today if it wasn’t for these Church Army volunteers. Dorathy concludes, last fall my husband and I bumped into Dan. We were at a Dunkin Donuts in the next town. We could barely believe it was him. He was shaved, dressed nice and he told us that he couldn’t stay for coffee with us because he had to get to his job. He has a job, and an apartment, and most of all Jesus in his life. We were so happy for him! We hugged him like a brother. Dan was given a new life, as he witnessed us living out the gospel, week after week in the park.

To find our more about Church Army, please click here.

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