Local

October 18, 2013

Gospel service celebrates 40 years

Tags:
JAYSON BURNS
Thunderbolt staff writer

The contemporary gospel service poses for a group photo during their first anniversary in 1974.

The Luke Community Chapel contemporary gospel service celebrated its 40th anniversary Sunday with the theme “Forty Years of Grace and Mercy.”

“The gospel service has such a rich history, but one of the facts that most people might not know is that the Air Force did not reintroduce chaplains to oversee the gospel service at Luke Air Force Base until 1996,” said Chaplain (Capt.) Kenya Gray, 56th Fighter Wing Chapel.

First established by Col. David Rathjen, former installation chaplain and now retired, the gospel service has been alive on Luke since 1973.

“My intention was to present the truth; it was the main thing,” Rathjen said about the gospel service. “Evidently it’s been very good. Obviously it must’ve been successful.”

Originally overseen by Chaplain James Calloway, the position was eventually given to his close friend Reverend Lee Montague. The late Montague had to seek permission from the Air Force’s Chief of Chaplains Office in Washington, D.C., as well as the Luke gospel service.

“Reverend Montague led by word and by deed,” Gray said. “He was a great teacher, mentor and organizer. He was the early visionary and the driving force behind the gospel service for 23 years.”
Montague passed away on May 19, 2004. He is survived by his wife, Shirley, who has played the service’s piano for the last 40 years. Mrs. Montague’s musicianship and leadership will be another point of recognition during the 40th anniversary celebration.

“It’s been a blessing in my life and for lots of people,” Montague said. “It was a unified thing, it was a church meant for all. I’m just grateful God used me for this service.”

“This year may be an end of an era for her as all of our music contracts were cut from appropriated funding,” Gray said. “We had to cut four fully funded contract music positions down to two, one for each Protestant service.”

For many involved with the gospel service, it has been a long yet fulfilling journey. Virginia Ponder, an usher for the service since its beginning, has many good memories of their history on base, one of which was when the church did not have a pool to baptize in, and Luke Air Force Base obliged them.

“When people needed to be baptized, the base opened the pool to the people,” Ponder said.

After 40 years of serving the spiritual needs of service members and their families, the contemporary gospel service meets at 10 a.m. Sundays in the Luke Community Chapel.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Senior Airman
JAMES HENSLEY

F-35 pilot training underway

Senior AirmanJAMES HENSLEY Travis Byrom, Lockheed Martin instructor pilot, briefs students in the first F-35 Lightning II training course before the start of class May 5 at Luke Air Force Base. The students are Lt. Col. Sean Ho...
 
 

Everything I need to know about leadership, I learned …

I am sure you’ve heard of, or even read, Robert Fulgham’s best-selling book, “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.” Fulgham’s text resonates with many for the simplicity with which he describes “how to be a person.” Leadership in the 21st century Air Force is a much discussed topic, and one can...
 
 

Which one are you?

Have you ever worked for someone you felt was impossible to deal with? How about someone who you simply tolerated? Or have you worked for someone you actually really wanted to work for? What was your work environment like, and what was the attitude of the people among the different types of bosses? Let’s be...
 

 
Senior Airman 
DEVANTE WILLIAMS

Wild Weasels reunite

Senior AirmanDEVANTE WILLIAMS The Wild Weasels gather for a group photo during their reunion May 1 at Luke Air Force Base. The Wild Weasels were formed during the early days of the Vietnam War. Their mission was to seek out and...
 
 

News Briefs May 15, 2015

Leadership Gold Members of the Profession of Arms Center of Excellence are visiitng Luke to present Dr. John Maxwell’s Leadership Gold, which grows leaders and fosters teamwork, at 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 2 in the Navy Operational Support Center, Bldg. 300, Room 412. Open to civilians and all ranks of enlisted and officers....
 
 

AF announces senior selects

The following master sergeants have been selected for promotion to senior master sergeant: 61st Fighter Squadron Heather Hefner 56th Maintenance Group Christian Brandon 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron Paul Branstetter and Brian Leonard 56th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Andres Vasquez 308th Aircraft Maintenance Unit William Jennings 310th AMU John Taylor 56th Civil Engineer Squadron Tommy C...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin