National Chaplain’s Conference – Big Success
 
We had an absolutely wonderful conference. If you have seen Beetle’s response to the conference it will be hard to top that. We both agree that we were blessed with hearing from some of the brightest and best of the South’s preachers and advocates of our common faith and history.
 
Friday was awesome. In the morning we went by a local charter fishing vessel to Ship Island. Call it coincidence or Divine Providence but we arrived at about the same time that there happened to be a park ranger and a member of the family there that has been bringing tourists to the island since 1926. He offered and we accepted a personal tour of the Fort and island. He told us the story about his family’s relationship with the island. His grandfather started the business of ferrying tourists to the island in 1926. His father gradually took over the family business and now he and his sons are running the family business. He had plenty of great stories to tell and did an excellent tour and explanation of the history of the fort and island. We heard more than I’m sure I will be able to retain. Picture 15 chaplains/preachers inside one of the rooms in this brick fortress singing Dixie! Can you hear it? What an awesome sound. What great acoustics. Those construction workers on the island had no doubt about us. We sang loud and clear. As brother Cecil said he likes to sing Dixie slow and deliberate. We did just that. We got to know one another throughout the two days together and had a great edifying experience.
 
We spent a good deal of time with your very own Charlie Schmitz on Friday. Swapped some stories and ideas. Visited Josette’s and ate a light snack at the Biloxi Schooner together. Thanks Charlie.
 
That afternoon we were joined by 7 more at Beauvoir for a special tour. We were very kindly greeted by Rick Forte and Richard Flowers the Curator who led the tour for us and did a wonderful job. We gathered on the porch and took advantage of the photo op. That was the best tour of Beauvoir I have had. At the conclusion of the tour we went into the gift shop where the worker’s graciously stayed until everyone had an opportunity to purchase what they wished. Thanks Beauvoir team.
 
After the tour we all made our way to the Biloxi Schooner for an excellent meal and good fellowship.
 
On Saturday our number swelled above 30. I’m not sure of the exact count. As far as I know we had people there from Kentucky, Arkansas, Virginia, Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and maybe others.
 
I learned more than I could retain so I plan to purchase the CD’s when they are available. We were able to record each of the speakers at Saturday’s conference. Mary and I purchased several books over the weekend. Some from the gift shop at Beauvoir and some from the conference.
 
Here are the topics and the speakers that I am sure you will want to hear when they are available. It will not be as good as being there but it is the next best thing.
 
Opening Prayer by MS Division Chaplain James Taylor
Throughout the day we sang 3 hymns and at the close Dixie. (Slow and deliberate) 🙂 !!!
Beauvoir: The Jefferson Davis Years. Cecil A. Fayard, Jr., D. Min.
Was Abraham Lincoln a Christian? Dr. Ron Rumburg
The Copperheads. Dr. Charles Blair
Lunch blessing offered by Chaplain Bill Allen, Sam Davis Camp
The Sam Davis Camp provided lunch. Thank you very much!!!!
The conversion of Dorsey Pender. Brother Kenneth Studdard
Books recommended for your personal library. Dr. Charles Baker
 
The tapes will be available within a month or so. Please be patient. An advertisement will go out in the Chaplain’s Chronicles and the Confederate Veteran.
 
Thank you Brother Cecil for reaching deep into your heart and personal pockets for putting together this excellent conference.
 
Someone we have not thanked for his tremendous financial support of this conference was Greg Stewart (spelling?)
 
May the Lord richly bless us in our relationship with him,
 
Yours in the service of the Master,
 
Don Heiden
Chaplain, Augusta Greys.