The Dove Award Program

The Journey to The Dove Award/Legacy Award is a Internationally Rated Award. You must meet our Criteria and guidelines to be honored with such. A point value of 95 is required.  We have tried to explain in great detail about several steps in our program so that you understand each part that you follow.  We thank you again for wanting to “make the difference”  and allowing our panel to visit your site.

“When you know you have made the difference”

Back to the Index page  Ratings and memberships of this Award ProgramContact information e-mail/addresslegal information about copyright terms of use/privacy  Award program updates   About the Author of this program site map Home page of our site

A certified and rated web site award is more than just another badge to place upon your web site. It is a statement that you have achieved a honor of your mission, your purpose that your site has meet the requirements set forth by the AP community.  It is not a ‘fake or give away award’.   By being honored with The Dove Award you can be sure that you have made the difference through the eyes of our judges and especially  those who visit your site, the internet surfer. That your site is one that leaves a lasting impression both in design and content.

 “Why was your site created? What makes a good web site? How can a web site make a difference?

What do judges look for in evaluations?

What makes a great web site

what to know more?What to know more click here

A word about Ethics A word about our Standard for this program and our Web site 


 Preparation for your journey :prep a ra tion

1. The act or process of preparing.
2. The state of having been made ready beforehand; readiness.
3. A preliminary measure that serves to make ready for something
The Free Dictionary by Farlex

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Please read and take the short test before you continue your journey to the dove awardPre-Qualification before you begin your Journey  some programs have a Self-test, this is like a self test for you to take only it is placed at the beginning of our program.  Please read each of the 10 questions very carefully before you proceed.

Warning please read the age requirements of this program1. We understand that the COPPA law is for the United States but we feel that all good web sites and respectable web masters should hold to some values and principles for young people and their safety, especially for collecting information and privacy. Are children in other parts of the world to be treated different? To us it is more than just posting that you are trustworthy or family friendly. We require that ALL sites have some posting or listing about collecting information from youth and children upon your site. no matter what country your site is from. If your site is located within the United States you must post that you support the COPPA Law or your site will not be evaluated by us. This is a automatic disqualification. Your journey will never begin here without some statement concerning the privacy and safety of children! We support International Children’s Safety The Virtual Global Task force and Childnet and will report Internet abuse that targets children and youth. Online Privacy AllianceMembers] CRIN Childs Rights Cyber Bullying Kidscape.                        

ICRAceop The Virtual Global Taskforce protecting those who target children and youth supported by International Police agencies Childnet a International organization protecting children and youth

Not sure? Test Links from these programs

ICRA Family Friendly Safe Surf [We test each page of your site]

On this journey you must be a family friendly site and listed with such a organization 2. My web site is a family safe site? Your site must be a member and must be listed with a organization approved by this program.  Our Approved List is : ICRA/Safe Surf/Family Safe/ Watchdog. Trustworthy is a fine program to which we respect but has no placement of PIC’s or code to deem a site is family safe. We will not except badges that a site is family safe, or friendly only by those organization posted above in our approved list.

                 What are labels and pics on a web site

 You must have PIC’S posted within the code of your site and they must be placed and operate properly. This Award Program reserves the right to certain materials that we will allow,we post a list within our program so be sure to check the materials we do not evaluate.

 On this journey you must have a the Proper statements3. If you can not check off all the following 5 then please stop your journey here. Your site must Contain all five of the following statements or information about such to continue in our AP program. 

 1.  Update Statement Must list the date and items updated.   2. Mission Statement [Purpose] The purpose must define your  mission. It must be a well defined statement not just a sentence. 3. Copyright Statement  Must be well defined    4. Privacy Statement  A statement about collection of items within your site, what you do with such information. 5A site map

A copyright and privacy statement are a must for you to continue on this journey4.  No self-made validation badges or other membership/organization badges unless you have permission from that source to create your own badge.  Certain organizations will not allow you to resize your badge or create your own.  If your site is compliant with W3C we will only except their official badge. For more detail click here. 

  If you have a question about this please ask before you continue.

Warning please read the age requirements of this program5. I am 18 years of age or over? age requirement is 18 years of age.

This program supports the COPPA laws and we comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act Of April 21, 2000. This program has chosen to except no applications for our award program or W.O.R.D. or any website from anyone under Eighteen (18)

On this journey we except no free hosting sites you must own your own domain6.  No advertising pop ups/no more than 3 animations per page will be permitted. 

You must always pack for any journey the things you need here your site must have at least 5 pages of content7. You must have At Least 5 pages of content ?

This program is based around music but you must have a way to turn it off if you use it on your site8.  If you have music on the page [ A Song/song clip/wave file/midi file/mp3 file] There must be a way to turn your music off? Criteria # 28. We do not consider a sound effect[s] music, but they still must be no longer than 5 second’s samples in length. A sound effect we believe can ‘paint a picture’ and if done in taste adds to the presentation of a site. Web Definition of sound effect: a sound in film other than spoken words or music.

Broken links those mainly without pictures9. No Multiple Broken links or spelling errors? Multiple means that many.  We take into consideration this question as due to the fact that I am faced with a health problem in my hands I understand that sometimes spelling problems have been present within this site. We try to correct them when found, it is with us a typing problem so we are a bit considerate in understanding of the spelling problem, and broken links, we are concerned about real 404’s.

Your site pages must load within 60 seconds on cable10. Load within 60 seconds or less? Longer load times is not permitted in our program. This is at 56K.

Please read and take the short test before you continue your journey to the dove awardIf you have checked all the boxes then please continue your journey. If you did not and could not check all the boxes then please Stop here, go make the corrections and please return. If you are in doubt please e-mail us and we will reply within 24 hours. We pray that your journey will be one in gaining knowledge and blessings.


To read our Ethic Statement you may from any page within our Program

Our choice of standard is the King James Version of the Bible, with the 10 commandments as a foundation that we have built our program upon.

Our program [s] are not that to make you believe as we do, or to pay any disrespect to that belief. That is your right, your choice. But as such it is also our choice and our right to Stand upon this proven Standard. We all will not see things eye to eye, but in the spirit of love let us abide in such. If your content of your site is not within our standard we use, it has nothing to do with your religion or belief, it is a matter of content according to our standard and ethics.

Plain and simple: If you are promoting cats, but worship the sun god, and the sun god say’s it is ok to have several wives, that is your choice, your right, and has nothing to do with you application for our award, we will evaluate your site on cats. If you promote the sun god, and have a pet cat, we are sorry that is not within our standard and guideline.

Thank you for visiting with us!

Ratings and memberships of this Award ProgramContact information e-mail/addresslegal information about copyright terms of use/privacyMission statement of our ministry programsHome page of our sitesite map

2 Timothy 3:16,17 — The Scriptures instruct us in righteousness, providing us to every good work. Yet we must apply the word properly, study diligently, and pray for wisdom (2 Timothy 2:15; James 1:5-7). We must learn to discern good and evil (Hebrews 5:14

). ethic Ethic Pledge

a. A set of principles of right conduct.

b. A theory or a system of moral values: “An ethic of service is at war with a craving for gain” Gregg Easterbrook.
2. ethics (used with a sing. verb) The study of the general nature of morals and of the specific moral choices to be made by a person; moral philosophy.

3. ethics (used with a sing. or pl. verb) The rules or standards governing the conduct of a person or the members of a profession

The first translation of the English Bible was initiated by John Wycliffe and completed by John Purvey in 1388.The Bible has since been translated in part or in whole into over 1200 languages and dialects.
The Bible was divided into chapters by Stephen Langton in 1228. The Old Testament was divided into verses by R. Nathan in 1488 and the New Testament by Robert Stephanus in 1551.
The entire Bible divided into chapters and verses first appeared in the Geneva Bible of 1560.
The Bible is the only book that reveals the origin, mission, and destiny of man.
The Torah is at least 3326 years old. Our Standard, our specific moral choice, our set of principles,philosophy,rules for this web site and Award Program is the Bible from cover to cover. There are 5 books of the Bible that came from the Torah. The Bible has been a very stable standard by which many people through out the world have based their standards upon.

Our program [s] are not that to make you believe as we do, or to pay any disrespect to that belief. That is your right, your choice. But as such it is also our choice and our right to Stand upon this proven Standard. We all will not see things eye to eye, but in the spirit of love let us abide in such.

Thank you for visiting with us!

Complaints from none-Christians top of page

The evangelical or conservative Christians answer to these complaints is typically that non-Christians have misunderstood or misconstrued what Christianity really teaches about these things.

Christianity, first of all, is about Christ, not about Christians. Some Christians may be racist or sexist, but Christ was not. Christians may be hypocritical, but Christ is not. He simply gave us a choice, that is free-will.

Second, Christians often respond to these charges by trying to show that Christian ethical standards are really good. Again this is a choice. The Bible teaches the essential equality of men and women of all races (Gal. 3:28); unbridled sexual pleasure leads to AIDS; abortion targets the innocent, while capital punishment targets the guilty. Christ was love and against violence, He gave His life for all humankind, for us all.

Our Standard is not how we view things, but how the Bible views things. If you practice certain morals, values, or religions, that is by your choice. We have tried to show through out our programs where our standard so speaks on these issues of principles, values, and morals. You may worship or practice what you choose, and come to us with a web site about flowers. We will evaluate your flowers, but not things that go against our Standard The Bible. If you are a Christian or Buddust, or Islam, Black, white, a member of this or that, is not our concern. We want to look at your flower ‘s not your belief or practices. So please respect our programs also as we respect yours. If you practice WICCA fine, just don’t promote it within your site that you want us to evaluate for it goes against our Standard. If you believe in abortion, thats your belief, just show us your site about flowers…ok?

The principles of right behavior in the Bible are really universal and they are not simply opinions.

From a none-religious viewpoint…To know with certainty, we must begin by doubting.

Let’s first deal with this question from a non-religious viewpoint.

There are two general approaches.

  1. Use general ethical criteria
  2. Appeal to universally accepted standards
What are general ethical criteria?

General ethical criteria are guidelines for thought. They help you think about situations by answering questions. Questions to use in evaluating an act or rule include:

  1. Does it respect the rights of the people affected by it?
  2. Does it meet the test of reversibility? That is, would it be right if you were on either side of the situation?
  3. Does it’s universal use or application produce good consequences in the long run as well as the short run, for the individual as well as society?

These questions take the approach that principles of universal standards of conduct are intellectually supportable. That is, though proper thinking you can discover those principles that ought to regulate society. But, it also recognizes that though unstructured thinking, you can justify anything. History is filled to the brim with actions that were based on faulty principles. The above questions could not be answered “Yes” to those actions.

These questions form an objective atmosphere for evaluating moral actions.

What are Universally Accepted Standards?

The experiences of mankind have left an impression on each of our minds.

We see wars and the oppression of one group of people by another. We see violence in our communities and political scandals in our state and national capitals.

We as well as all mankind have a sense of what is right and what is wrong.

This sense has been expressed in several ways. One way is through the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It states in part that “disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people.”

This statements of rights and responsibilities goes far beyond your home or community. They were intended to apply universally to all people for all time.

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Scientific Facts in the Bible

1. Only in recent years has science discovered that everything we see is composed of invisible atoms. Here, Scripture tells us that the “things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.”

2. Medical science has only recently discovered that blood-clotting in a newborn reaches its peak on the eighth day, then drops. The Bible consistently says that a baby must be circumcised on the eighth day.

3. At a time when it was believed that the earth sat on a large animal or a giant (1500 B.C.), the Bible spoke of the earths free float in space: “He…hangs the earth upon nothing” (Job 26:7).

4. The prophet Isaiah also tells us that the earth is round: “It is he that sits upon the circle of the earth” (Isaiah 40:22). This is not a reference to a flat disk, as some skeptic maintain, but to a sphere. Secular man discovered this 2,400 years later. At a time when science believed that the earth was flat, is was the Scriptures that inspired Christopher Columbus to sail around the world (see Proverbs 3:6 footnote).

5. God told Job in 1500 B.C.: “Can you send lightnings, that they may go, and say to you, Here we are?” (Job 38:35). The Bible here is making what appears to be a scientifically ludicrous statement that light can be sent, and then manifest itself in speech. But did you know that radio waves travel at the speed of light? This is why you can have instantaneous wireless communication with someone on the other side of the earth. Science didnt discover this until 1864 when “British scientist James Clerk Maxwell suggested that electricity and light waves were two forms of the same thing” (Modern Century Illustrated Encyclopedia).

6. Job 38:19 asks, “Where is the way where light dwells?” Modern man has only recently discovered that light (electromagnetic radiation) has a “way,” traveling at 186,000 miles per second.

7. Science has discovered that stars emit radio waves, which are received on earth as a high pitch. God mentioned this in Job 38:7: “When the morning stars sang together…”

8. “Most cosmologists (scientists who study the structures and evolution of the universe) agree that the Genesis account of creation, in imagining an initial void, may be uncannily close to the truth” (Time, Dec. 1976).

9. Solomon described a “cycle” of air currents two thousand years before scientists “discovered” them. “The wind goes toward the south, and turns about unto the north; it whirls about continually, and the wind returns again according to his circuits” (Ecclesiastes 1:6).

10. Science expresses the universe in five terms: time, space, matter, power, and motion. Genesis 1:1,2 revealed such truths to the Hebrews in 1450 B.C.: “In the beginning [time] God created [power] the heaven [space] and the earth [matter] . . . And the Spirit of God moved [motion] upon the face of the waters.” The first thing God tells man is that He controls of all aspects of the universe.

11. The great biological truth concerning the importance of blood in our body�s mechanism has been fully comprehended only in recent years. Up until 120 years ago, sick people were “bled,” and many died because of the practice. If you lose your blood, you lose your life. Yet Leviticus 17:11, written 3,000 years ago, declared that blood is the source of life: “For the life of the flesh is in the blood.”

12. All things were made by Him (see John 1:3), including dinosaurs. Why then did the dinosaur disappear? The answer may be in Job 40:1524. In this passage, God speaks about a great creature called “behemoth.” Some commentators think this was a hippopotamus. However, the hippos tail isn�t like a large tree, but a small twig. Following are the characteristics of this huge animal: It was the largest of all the creatures God made; was plant-eating (herbivorous); had its strength in its hips and a tail like a large tree. It had very strong bones, lived among the trees, drank massive amounts of water, and was not disturbed by a raging river. He appears impervious to attack because his nose could pierce through snares, but Scripture says, “He that made him can make his sword to approach unto him.” In other words, God caused this, the largest of all the creatures He had made, to become extinct.

13. Encyclopedia Britannica documents that in 1845, a young doctor in Vienna named Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis was horrified at the terrible death rate of women who gave birth in hospitals. As many as 30 percent died after giving birth. Semmelweis noted that doctors would examine the bodies of patients who died, then, without washing their hands, go straight to the next ward and examine expectant mothers. This was their normal practice, because the presence of microscopic diseases was unknown. Semmelweis insisted that doctors wash their hands before examinations, and the death rate immediately dropped to 2 percent. Look at the specific instructions God gave His people for when they encounter disease: “And when he that has an issue is cleansed of his issue; then he shall number to himself even days for his cleansing, and wash his clothes, and bathe his flesh in running water, and shall be clean” (Leviticus 15:13). Until recent years, doctors washed their hands in a bowl of water, leaving invisible germs on their hands. However, the Bible says specifically to wash hands under “running water.”

14. Luke 17:3436 says the Second Coming of Jesus Christ will occur while some are asleep at night and others are working at daytime activities in the field. This is a clear indication of a revolving earth, with day and night at the same time.

15. “During the devastating Black Death of the fourteenth century, patients who were sick or dead were kept in the same rooms as the rest of the family. People often wondered why the disease was affecting so many people at one time. They attributed these epidemics to bad air or evil spirits. However, careful attention to the medical commands of God as revealed in Leviticus would have saved untold millions of lives. Arturo Castiglione wrote about the overwhelming importance of this biblical medical law: The laws against leprosyin Leviticus 13 may be regarded as the first model of sanitary legislation (A History of Medicine).” Grant R. Jeffery, The Signature of God With all these truths revealed in Scripture,how could a thinking person deny that the Bible is supernatural in origin?

There is no other book in any of the worlds religions (Vedas, Bhagavad-Gita, Koran, Book of Mormon, etc.) that contains scientific truth. ark chasm, but a faith based on established evidence.” (11:3 continued[Back to top opage]
“But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.” (Jude vv.17-18)

” Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” (1Thessalonians 5:21)

“Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.” (2Thessalonians 2:15)

Vacation Bible School Program

1 a: a mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great strength or abilityb: an illustrious warrior c: a man admired for his achievements and noble qualities d: one that shows great courage
We have tailored our programs around the World?
The Bible school literature that we have produced in recent decades is woefully anemic. It is hard to find material that is strong in doctrine. The current slick and colorful literature is filled with case-study scenarios and role-playing exercises that rely more on human wisdom than a respect for the authority of God’s Word. Lets get back to the basics.   A Hero brings change.  Change makes difference.
We need Godly Heroes Today starting at the Home.
”  2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.  So we need heroes today, examples starting at home.  Twofold, humble and pray.  Today our examples have taken on a new meaning of pride and self. 
Heroes…..How about a FATHER?  Did Jesus wear a cape and fly around?
The general message is put fourth to young minds that `witchcraft is fun’. And the relationship to capes and costumes like Harry Potter should by NO MEANS make their way into our Vacation Bible Schools and Churches. So a HERO wears a cape?
 You can get what you want, control others, and look cool in the meantime. But the truth is, when one tears away the slick way that occultism is being repackaged today, it is not glamorous at all, but is spiritually dangerous for those who operate in this realm. Children are being subtly indoctrinated into occultism, even by the very programs that we teach them in our VBS.   They also are  being encouraged to come into contact with powerful, manipulative, evil, forces which the Bible warns us to keep away from. When speaking to the Israelites, God warned them to stay away from dark spiritual practices that He knew were harmful to their well being, when they entered the promised land:

“There shall not be found in you one who passes his son or his daughter through the fire, one that uses divination, an observer of clouds, or one divining, or a whisperer of spells, or a magic charmer, or one consulting mediums, or a spirit-knower, or one inquiring of the dead. For all doing these things are an abomination to Jehovah. And because of these filthy acts Jehovah your God is dispossessing these nations before you.” (Deu 18:10-12)


A robe is not a cape perhaps but we believe that the very Romans that mocked our Lord wore capes and we like to use a cape as a example in our programs of just how Christ was treated. Jesus taught us to be HUMBLE.  A Real Hero has a heart for others and is humble, not one who dresses up to impress, or has power from such a outfit.  The Power comes from GOD!

ROBES and CAPES are not the same thing?

A Cape can be used to describe any sleeveless outer garment, such as a poncho, but usually it is a long garment that covers only the back half of the wearer, fastening about the neck.

A robe is a loose-fitting outer garment. A robe is distinguished from a cape or cloak by the fact that it usually has sleeves.

The blood-stained robes of the Lord symbolize His punishment of the nations (Isa 63:3; Rev 19:13). When Christ returns He will wear a robe with the words “KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORD” written upon it (Rev 19:16).

People in the Bible often tore their robes as an expression of grief, repentance, and shock (2 Sam 15:32; Job 1:20; 2:12; Ezra 9:3, 5). King David’s virgin daughters wore robes of many colors which became rare symbols of the purified Church approaching Christ as a virgin bride (2 Sam 13:18-19; Psa 45:14). After being raped by her half-brother Amnon, David’s daughter Tamar put ashes on her head and tore her many-colored robe in a poignant expression of her grief at the loss of her honor. Royal robes were laid aside and replaced with sackcloth and trembling when nations realized that the wrath of God was near (Jonah 3:6; Ezek 26:16).

  Three different robes have their place in the Passion story. The most famous is the scarlet or purple robe used in the Mocking of Christ and the Ecce Homo [Latin for “Behold the Man”] (Mt 27:28-31; John 19:2-5; Mk 15:16-20). Purple robes, because of their costly dye, were worn by Greek and Midianite rulers (Judg 8:26). Roman soldiers wore scarlet robes. The scarlet robe placed on Christ was probably one of the soldier’s cast-off rags. After flogging Jesus, the Roman soldiers placed this robe on Him and offered Him mock worship along with a crown of thorns and a reed scepter. When they were finished with their game, Pilate brought the bleeding Jesus out to the Jewish mob still wearing His “kingly” attire and announced “Behold the Man,” possibly hoping, even at this late stage, to invoke some pity in the crowd for the man he believed innocent (John 19:5). Since the mob still demanded His death, Christ’s own clothes were put on Him and the Savior began His journey to Calvary (Mt 27:31).

Historic Haunted America

This book by Michael Norman, Beth Scott – 1996 – Body, Mind & Spirit – 672 pages
In the doorway stood a man in a black cape. He vanished when several other  One character in the play wore a cape, but he was elsewhere at the time…Harry Potter and his black cape? cape that makes her look like a cross between a nurse and a Greek goddess.  He used various occult texts in developing his rituals, … Discriptions of capes from a company

Ritual Cape Earth has Mother Gaia holding  a cornucopia of fruit and vegetables, surrounded by her consorts the Green Man spirit of vegetation and the Horned God spirit of the animal nature.

Ritual Cape representing Fire has a golden dragon, symbolizing life force energy and longevity, holds a crystal ball in front of a blazing sun disc, invoking the energies of fire: energy, passion, light, movement. Cosmic Alchemy Cape has 12 signs of the zodiac, suns and moons, stars and comets, a large symbol of eternity over a double spiral. Creative Magic Happens!   Its not the color but what a cape has represented throughout the ages and even today. The Lord instructs us ” Lead us not into temptation” why should we as Christians even influence such things to our children. 

Why we don’t use capes in our program.  First of all JESUS our top Hero never wore a cape and the very idea of capes go hand in hand with halloween and costumes, vampires and dark characters, wicca, demons, the founder and member’s of the Satanic church also wears capes. It’s not that a cape is a bad thing, we want to teach children that the HERO lives inside of each of them and they don’t need to dress or wear anything to be a real hero.  This is also a worldly way to look at a super hero. So why should we even try to introduce unbiblical dress to our children.  It what is on the INSIDE not what they wear on the outside! 

[ Begin with high hat cymbals start   Words to H.E.R.O.

 H E R O “lets go [clap clap]    H E R O ” lets go [clap clap]  H E R O ” lets go [clap clap]

  No matter what I face

His Love will I embrace

A HERO lives in me

Jesus set me free

Now 4 Vacation Bible School Programs Free for you to use. The Hero Academy was first introduced as a pilot program in 2006.  This Vacation Bible School was recieved with great sucess. Now used worldwide by churches, schools, pre-schools, and even taken to other countries by missionaris. Training the Children to become like the one true Hero Jesus Christ and living a life by that example no matter what they face in life. Learning about the HERO in each of them.  From the character, the qualities, the  tools they can work with in the real world. Exciting materials, including up tempo songs for you to use, crafts, activities and most important of all Based around the Word of God.            

legal information about copyright terms of use/privacyMission statement of our ministry programsHome page of our sitesite map

Teaching children about what makes a real hero from the Bible to Current Day. Each day a visit from one of your local Fire, Police, Military, Hospital, Religion Hero’s.  Hands on allowing children to SEE, TOUCH, and SENSE using our STS method of teaching developed by Rev. Daniel Wheeler.

:Abraham" DanielMosesNoahJoshua   

     Gideon one of the heroes we talk about in this program known as the Little BiscuitGideon was considered the weakest man from all the 12 tribes of Israel

“Gideon”, said the voice. He moved over his wheat and stood very still, “Who wants Gideon? Then the mighty voice sounded again.  “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of Valor!”. A quality of a real Hero.  Like all our programs the Hero Academy, Master’s Call Music Camp, The Lighthouse of Life VBS all can be tied in together. Below is our Christmas Program that you can use. Notice the woman in the rocking chair reading.  This goes with our theme in the HERO ACADEMY about Rocking Chair stories. Also our Youth Program features Game Show Theme that was Piloted in 2007 with a huge success.  Other Publisher’s also have used this game show idea recently in 2009 and plan to use a HERO type program in 2010.

   The Hero Academy is a 5 day program with a grauation set on a Sunday at your church or another weekly evening. The graduation is a very important part of this program so please take time and plan it accordingly. The balloon release is for the 5th day of the program but also if graduation is done on a evening it is recommended that you consider doing the prayer balloon release at that graduation and perhaps even have the graduation outside. It should be a serious time but yet one of fun and excietment  with a sense of achievement for the cadets [children].  Many children today come from broken homes and have low self esteem. We want to build them up not perform.

The rocking chair storyChair reading of the stories about heroe's where the children gather click on the woman reading the Bible to read a history of the rocking chairCan you ever remember in your life a time when children are being attacked, abused and murdered, not just by adults but children.  It is time we go back to the enemy’s camp and take back what we have allowed him to take from us.  Prayer out of school, compromise on values and morals, getting caught up in the same lie that was spoken in the garden.  Children  learn by what they are taught, and that is how they grow up and live as adults. The Rocking Chair stories are told by a teacher as the children gather around in front of the chair.  The rocking chair has been a tradition for reading throughout time. It is a pillar of learning as I like to put it.  Click on the woman below to read about why I use the Rocking Chair.

The goals of the Hero Academy VBS are:  To Train children what a real hero is, their qualities, the laws they follow [The 10 commandments], where they recieve real power from, God and Prayer, about the real enemy of a Hero,  about others not self, about how faith replaces fear and the shield of faith, the tools of a hero, about water a necessary for life both physical and spiritual, baptism, communion, RESPECT for each other and others, respect for adult heroes, about how a hero worships and praises the ultimate hero Jesus Christ.  This program was authored with those who had a very limited budget for a VBS.  You can change your program according to your funds.  The shirt below is one that the children make themselves and wear at the graduation. Notice the hand print which is there own and te words ” Love the tool of a REAL HERO” must be painted on the shirt. This requires the help of adults. Some churches with funds available have the shirts printed up “Love the tool of a REAL HERO and then on the third day have the children place their hand print on it.  White t shirts can be donated by members of your church or community, go to your local K mart or Walmart and ask for donations.

The Vacation Bible School program for 2010 MUSIC CAMP 2010  The Master’s Call pilot program was conducted at the Dallas Baptist Church. The program was a huge success…PRAISE GOD!!.    The attendance was consistant for all three day’s.  Also coming for next year is the Hiking for Life VBS program. This program will be downloadable in Feb. 2010.


Downloading this program will be available in Jan. 2010 but you must register again for it is a new downloading site.


     The name Hero Academy Vacation Bible School is a copyrighted  2006 Rev. Daniel L. Wheeler
Now used in 16 countries and 25 States throughout the United States. Master’s Call Music Camp copyrights pending.  Hiking for Life is copyrighted 2009 by Rev. Daniel L. Wheeler and the Keyboards for Christ Music Ministry.          

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Never before in the history of humankind has there been such a attack upon our Children and Youth!
There are some VBS that are using our program The HERO ACADEMY and using Comic Book Heroes. This must be done in a prayerful way if using both REAL HEROE’S and MAKEBELIVE.
Guitar Hero/ Ghost Hero[see below adds] /PARIS: Altair, a stealthy assassin with a preference for crossbows and retractable stilettos, is already a hero of his own popular video game. Hero T.V. show: The critically acclaimed first season’s run of 23 episodes garnered an average of 14.3 million viewers in the United States, receiving the highest rating for any NBC drama premiere in five years. People are searching for Heroe’s. This program deals with good fighting evil perhaps but it also uses mythology. The word mythology (from Greek([μυθολογί]  refers to a body of folklore/myths/legends that a particular culture believes to be true and that often use the supernatural to interpret natural events and to explain the nature of the universe and humanity. Mythology also refers to the branch of knowledge dealing with the collection, study and interpretation of myths, also known as mythography. This program also uses symbols.
There are several elements and symbols that appear repeatedly throughout the series: the helix, the scar, the eclipse, and the cockroach.The Serpent symbol of Satan also represents the DNA helix of life.

Why show children what make believe Heroe’s are? When they have inside been given by our God all the tools they need to become REAL HEROE’S. We are responsible to ‘train’ them what a Hero really is not? Train them about real power, real laws, the real code of a hero, real tools. When we use theme’s of the world then the picture the children recieve is of the world. Children are like sponges they absorb everything.  Do Real Heroe’s fly? Shot webs? Use fancy belts and gadgets? Jesus Christ the greatest HERO of eternity used what?  Love, he was humble and simple. He had great strength and ability, he showed great courage, and was of DIVINE descent.  If the examples of a HERO are centered around make believe characters, then we have missed the boat. Let’s train our children about how they can become a REAL HERO after REAL examples. A hero is a hero by choice. To reach out to others is a choice which is placed the seed inside ones heart.

The Hero Academy/ Vacation Bible School Program

Just like any workman a Hero takes his tools from his hero tool box and places them upon his tool belt. Some of the key tools are, The Bible, The Laws, Prayer, Love, Power, Examples, Sacrifice for others..

A heroe's tool box graphics used with permission 24 K gold 



My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
The Logo of the HERO ACADEMY  You make the giant shield out of cardboard and place them on the wall in your classroom or where you are teaching the program. Ribbons are tied from the bottom of the shield as cadet teams accomplish tasks that are set for them to do.  More details are in the lesson plans after you sign up. 

Name badges are very important because they show the cadet [child] makes the program The Academy seem more realFearThe Hero Academy part of the Lets talk about Heroes Vacation Bible School ProgramFaith

You have heard the saying  garbage in…garbage out.  Well the GOD WE serve never made Junk. But in today’s world we have allowed the junk to fill their minds. What one time was a real HERO today is replaced by sports figures on drugs, comic book characters that make their way into video’s, movies that are far from the truth and the list goes on and on. The one time family, is now broken because we simply have given way to compromise, have pulled GODS STANDARDS down to fit our own needs, when we should REACH UP TO GOD”S STANDARDS.

 It is the pollution of the world that goes into our children that brings change. So lets together get back to the basics. Yes RESPECT for each other, for GOD, our Parents, for life.  The BIBLE, we break down into a little saying below. Internal brings Eternal. This program is not candy coated about a journey to a distant land on a pirate ship, or flying around as a super hero for God, or searching for a lost tressure it is written around things that we have allowed the Devil to take away from us and our children. Why children seem to be as I say ‘unleashed’ unrestricted, is because they have no RESPECT.  RESPECT is a key to this program. And the guidelines in the ACADEMY like setting must be lifted up with the serious attitude.  This vacation BIBLE School program is by no means boaring, it is fun and filled activities which move along each day to the point there seems to be not enough time. BUT if you are looking for another VBS where children just  ‘play’ and follow themes of the world this program is not for your church. For it is up to us as leaders to establish a foothold, to take the ground back. Let us replace the FEAR factor with the FAITH factor.

  • One of the most greatest Dangers we face today

    How do children today view a Hero? Just look at the video games they play. The movies they watch even the T.V. series Hero. But the qualities are they are learning are they really that of a real hero?  Does the hero kill the bad guy always? Jesus fought evil with love. One of the most recent Games that both children and adults are playing is called GUITAR HERO.  Please take some time and read about this game.

    “…For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.” -Romans 16:18

    HEROE’S IN GAMES that the children Role Play…a clear and present Danger


    Heroes in Games you think there is no harm in them? Read this please 

    Song list, screen shots and more click below 

    Want to read more

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  • The Hero Academy Vacation Bible School Program is a copyrighted program of Rev. Daniel L. Wheeler and the Keyboards for Christ Music Ministry 2006/2008 all rights reserved. May only be used with permission.
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Regardless of what one finds or does not find in historical records, the fact is musical instruments are revealed in the Bible, used in worship, and were not abolished by the New Testament writers. God created music to glorify Himself….including instruments so who are we who were created to praise God to say what God desires?  Do you really think that God who created this tool, would say it is a sin to use instruments to PRAISE HIM?  We get so caught up in things that we, man our denominations, our dogma, and doctrines that we forget such simple lessons God taught us. 

Anti-Instrument … we are not under the old testament today since it was nailed to the cross ; Colossians 2: 14 – 17

Response … these verses are simply ripped from their context ; note what was nailed to the cross ; ” having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us, having nailed it to the cross, so let no one judge you in – food, drink, festival, new moon, or Sabbaths – Colossians 2: 14 – 17 – not a word about musical instruments.

Anti-Instrument … to justify musical instruments by the old testament is to be severed from Christ and fall from grace – Galatians 5: 4

Response … the letter of Galatians was written by Paul because some were teaching that in order to be ( saved – justified ) one must keep the law of – circumcision, days, months, seasons and years – again not a word about musical instruments – Galatians 2:14-16 … 3:11-13

…4:9-11 … 5:1-4 … 6:13-15 … this was also something Paul had to deal with in Acts 15:1-2 ff

The new testament is very clear that circumcision, religious festivals, sacrifices, and sabbaths are no longer binding. But praising God with musical instruments was never abolished by the new testament writers.

Praising God with musical instruments was …

commanded by God – 2 Chronicles 29:25

inspired by the Holy Spirit – Psalm 150

used on earth and in heaven – Revelation 5:8-9 … 14:2-3 … 15:2-3

And Jesus taught … ” thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven ” … Matthew 6:10

Heart Worship … the new testament teaches Christians to sing and make melody or music in your heart to the Lord – Colossians 3:16 – Ephesians 5:19

Note these translations of Ephesians 5:19 …

and with your hearts sing and play music to the Lord – BECK

sing and make music in your hearts – TCNT

singing and striking the strings with your heart unto the Lord – RHM

These scriptures were not written to teach Christians to sing without musical instruments; they were written to teach Christians to sing songs of praise and to sing them from their heart.

Some people 2000 years ago were teaching … ” unless you are circumcised you cannot be saved ” – Acts 15:1-5 ff

Today some people are teaching that … ” unless you sing songs of praise to God without musical instruments you are sinning and must repent in order to keep your salvation in Christ ”

Paul had this to say about those people 2000 years ago …

they were preaching another gospel

they were perverting the gospel

they should be accursed

they had fallen from grace

Read … Galatians 1:6-9 … 2:14-16 … 5:19-24

unless you are circumcised you cannot be saved 

unless you sing without musical instruments you cannot be saved

Sounds familiar doesn’t it ?

The old testament scriptures are still useful for – learning , teaching , and making one wise … Romans 15:4 … 2 Timothy 3:15-16

The new testament seems to make it clear that it is possible for Christians to be one without being uniform in customs. That the Jewish believers can still practice circumcision , observe the festivals , and keep the law. That the Gentile believers do not have to do so , since these things have nothing to do with the gift of salvation found in Jesus. Please read … ACTS 21:18-26

Now read … Acts 15:1-31 ; 16:3 ; 18:18 … Romans 14:1-6

These things are fine for you Jewish believers but don’t make the law and its customs binding on the Gentile believers; don’t make them necessary for salvation.

Question … was it the custom of the Jews to praise God with musical instruments?

Question … since the new testament makes it clear that the Jewish believers still practiced their customs, do you think they continued to obey Psalm 150?

The new testament writers did not demand that the Gentile belivers act like Jews; and it seems clear that they did not demand the Jewish believers to act like Gentiles.

Anti-Instrument … the new testament is silent on using musical instruments and to use them is adding to God’s word which is sinful.

Response … the new testament is not silent and those who use this argument often pick-and-choosewhere they apply it.

Example … the context of  – 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 – teaches that married women are to ask their husbands at home if they wish to learn about something.

Those who teach that using musical instruments are sinful because the new testament is silent , do not use the same silent argument here. According to their silence argument, married women could not ask the preacher, elders, or deacons. They must ask their husbands at home, and not at church.

Example … Lords Supper … the Supper was observed in the Evening at Night ; see – Matt. 26:20-28 ; I Cor. 11:23-27 ; since the NT is silent on observing the Lords Supper in the morning , is it a sin to do so ?

Example … how does the silent argument apply to – Hebrews 3:13 – daily exhortation – and – Acts 2:46 – daily meetings ?

More examples could be given that would expose this pick-and-choose interpretation, that promotes tradition over the word of God…Mark 7:6-13

It has been my experience that when one challenges a person who teaches this ( law of silence or pattern interpretation ) to simply – think or be consistent – one quickly experiences a person who will either ( blow up or clam up ). That’s because their rules of interpretaion collapses under careful examination. Exposed is their very inconsistent – legalism and patternism – for all to see.

Their legalism and patternism is so unrealistic they must seek loopholes to escape its maze; and if there is something which they themselves choose to do, which contradicts their pattern interpretation, then that something is declared to be expedient.

Holy Scriptures … using the old testament scriptures a person can learn about salvation in Christ, moral instruction, doctrine, and defense of the truth ; according to Paul … 2 Timothy 3:14-17

I do not believe that the new testament writers considered the old testament nailed to the cross. Using circumcision and other external rules to be justified (saved) was nailed to the cross, but the new testament writers practiced what they preached; the old testament is (useful) when used correctly.

Please read … 1 Timothy 1:8 … Romans 15:3-4

The New Testament writers quote the Old Testament over 200 times to teach and defend the faith. They refer to the Old Testament over 600 times.

Praising God with musical instruments was not nailed to the cross or abolished according to the new testament writers.

The N.T. writers are clear ( not silent ) on what is ( no longer ) binding ; such as …

Circumcision , Sacrifices, Food Laws, Days-Times-Seasons, etc.

Romans 14:1-6 , Galatians 4:9-11, 6:15 , Colossians 2:16-17

I do not believe that God is ( silent ) on what pleases Him , and I do not believe God is ( silent ) on what does not please Him.

Everyone who ( hears my words ) and obeys them ; When Jesus finished ( saying ) these things, the people were amazed at His ( teaching ) … Matthew 7:24-28

The Goal of Redemption and the use of Musical Instruments …

The Goal of Redemption is to restore God’s Image of love and holiness in mankind…. One thing I have learned: God made people good. But people have found all kind of ways to be bad…Ecclesiastes 7:29 – New Century Version.

We were created to be like God … And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness ; So God created man in His own image… Genesis 1:26-27.

Restoring the divine image through Christ … to be conformed to the image of His Son; that you may be partakers of the divine nature…Romans 8:29 … 2 Peter 1:4.

Christ is the exact image of God … 2 Corinthians 4:4 … Colossians 1:15

Which is an image of  Holiness and Love … 1 Peter 1:15-16 … 1 John 4:7-8

The old man ( Adam ) must be put off ; The new man ( Christ ) must be put on … Ephesians 4:17-24 … Colossians 3:5-17.

This is the goal of redemption … Faith + Love + Holiness = Eternal Life.

Religion that God accepts as pure and without fault is this; caring for orphans and widows who need help ( Love ) ; and keeping yourself free from the world’s evil influence ( Holiness ) … James 1:27

The writers of the New Testament make it ( clear ) , the Works of the Flesh , ( violate ) – Faith, Love and Holiness – and are sinful – note this in Galatians 5:19-21 and Revelation 22:14-15.

Note how the – fruit of the Spirit – promotes Love and Holiness – read Galatians 5:22-24

To praise God with musical instruments does not ( violate ) – faith, love, or holiness.

This is the goal of redemption, to make us like Christ, who is the exact image of God, to restore the divine image of Love and Holiness.

Unfortunately, some in the Church of Christ seem to think that not using musical instruments is part of the goal of redemption.

Why do you follow external rules, man-made commands; they may seem to be wise, but are only part of a man-made religion; but they do nothing to control the desires of the sinful self; they do not promote love and holiness … read Colossians 3:20-23

Keyboards for Christ Music Ministry/Lets talk about Heroes Vacation Bible School Program/Award Program

West Virginia became the 35th state of the Union on June 20, 1863. Created in the midst of the Civil War, West Virginia provided to the Union Army 31,872 regular army troops, 133 sailors and marines, and 196 United States Colored Troops, during that terrible conflict of 1861-1865. It is also estimated that somewhere between 16,000 and 20,000 men served in the Confederate Army in this war of “brother versus brother.”
This web site is dedicated to the honor and memory of the Civil War soldiers, sailors, and marines of West Virginia.

The history of the First Regiment of Virginia Union Volunteer Infantry antedated the organization and formation of the new State. It was a part of the old Virginia military establishment, Governor Peirpoint having been appointed Provisional Governor of the State of Virginia by President Lincoln, the State government being established at Wheeling, by reason of that portion of the State east of the Alleghanies having joined its fortunes with the Confederacy through the operation of secession.

This regiment of Loyal Virginia Infantry was the first regiment organized on Southern soil for the defense of the nation under the call of President Lincoln. The regiment was organized at Wheeling, the first company being mustered into the service of the United States on May 10, 1861. On May 23, the organization of the regiment was complete, Colonel Benjamin F. Kelley being assigned to the command by the then Provisional Governor of Virginia, Francis H. Peirpoint.

The condition of the public mind in and about the city of Wheeling at the time this regiment was organized was such that grave fears were entertained by very many loyal people that it would be unsafe to send arms and equipments of war with which to equip this regiment, to the city of Wheeling. Several patriotic gentlemen whose loyalty never was questioned, residents of Wellsburg, the county seat of Brooke, the adjoining county on the north, made application to the Secretary of War, and through the kind offices of Governor Andrews, of Massachusetts, arms were secured for this regiment. They were sent to Wellsburg in the care of Messrs. W. H. Carothers and Cambell Tarr.  Louis Applegate and Adam Kuhn were associated with them in the receiving and transferring of these arms by steamboat to Wheeling, where they were turned over to the regiment. On May 27, the regiment was placed under marching orders.

The good people of Wheeling had furnished them with a supply of blankets and clothing, but they were without knapsacks, haversacks, cartridge-boxes or any other of the habiliments of regularly organized troops, save that in their hands they clasped an old United States Springfield musket.

Colonel Kelley applied for transportation to the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, which was refused upon the grounds that the railroad company proposed to remain neutral in the question of war as between the sections, the agent stating that an order had been issued that the road would not carry either troops or munition of war for either side. Colonel Kelley emphasized the following language in reply to the agent: “This is war. Railroad companies cannot be their own masters. They are to serve the government that guarantees to them possession and protection for their property. You have a train of cars in the depot to-morrow morning at four o’clock or I will place you in prison and take possession of your railroad by military authority.” No further argument was needed. The agent communicated with the company and the cars were accordingly furnished and afterwards, throughout the entire war, the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad continued to perform any service necessary for the successful transaction of the war.  The regiment left Wheeling May 27th on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.They were joined at Benwood by some Ohio troops under Colonel Irvin, and two days afterwards, at Camp Buffalo, the 15th Ohio joined the command. On the 31st, Grafton was occupied by our troops, while the Confederates under Colonel Porterfield retired. On the morning of June 3, the first battle was fought at Philippi, West Virginia, in which the First Virginia participated, Colonel Kelley being wounded in the affray. Here is a notable incident in the history of the regiment. It was not only to bear in history the record of having been the first loyal regiment formed on Southern soil, but the additional historic incident is now given to it by reason of Colonel Kelley being the first officer wounded in the great War of the Rebellion.

It would be impossible to trace out the meanderings of this regiment through the three months’ service that followed. Suffice it to say they participated in all the historic campaign of the early war in the mountains of West Virginia. The regiment completed its service and returned to Wheeling, where it was mustered out of service on the 28th day of August.

Of the three months’ organization it is sufficient to say that Henry B. Hubbard, of Wheeling, was lieutenant-colonel; Isaac H. Duval, of Wellsburg, was major; John B. Lukens, of Wheeling, was adjutant; Isaac M. Pumphrey was quartermaster; Dr. Joseph Thoburn was surgeon, and Dr. J. D. M. Carr, assistant-surgeon.

Fifth West Virginia Cavalry, Company D  On the first Monday after Pres. Lincoln’s call for 75,000 troops for three months service, Thomas Gibson Jr. began to recruit a company in the city of Pittsburgh, Pa.; but not succeeding in securing the full complement of men, the company was not accepted by the Governor. Recruiting was continued, and when the next call for troops came, they again tried to enter the service, but having only fifty men, the company was again refused. But amid the excitement, they determined to mount and equip themselves, and go as an independent organization. While arrangements were being made to that end, word was received from Wheeling, Va., that troops were wanted there, for the protection of the threatened border. The company unanimously decided to go to that city and enter the service there, proceeding by boat, and arriving in Camp Carlisle in May. Captain Gazzam, of Pittsburgh, was there with about the same number of men as Captain Gibson, and by an understanding between the two Captains, the two companies were consolidated. On June 14, 1861 the company was mustered into U.S. service and was mustered out on June 16, 1864. The recruits and veterans were then transferred to the 6th. W.V. Calvary.

With the crack of a rifle and the thundering resound of a cannon, West Virginia cast its lot with the Union and became inextricably linked with the bloodiest war in American history. Western Virginia was at the forefront of the Civil War from the beginning. With John Brown’s raid on the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, the southern states became paralyzed with fear. John Brown, a fiery evangelical famous and infamous for his passion for emancipation, attacked the arsenal with the goal of arming slaves in the southern states to start their own rebellion. The Harpers Ferry National Historic Park has managed to keep the armory’s engine house, Brown’ headquarters during the fight, exactly as it appeared over 140 years ago. Wheeling, Wv is a area rich in history. From the beginning of the settlement to the break away from Virginia in forming West Virginia. West Virginians played a important part in the Civil War, and Wheeling’s young men were their for our countries call.

The Birth of West Virginia
Following Brown’s trial and subsequent hanging, the nation hoped and prayed for a diplomatic solution, but that fateful day when southern forces fired on Fort Sumter marked the end of the debate over the role of slavery in the United States. While the majority of Virginia’s state delegates voted to secede, 32 of the 47 delegates who voted to stay in the Union were from western Virginia. Western Virginians were evenly split between those favoring union and emancipation and others favoring the rights of states and slavery. It was even rumored that the vote for western Virginia to form a new and free state had to be rigged, as allegiance to the South was so strong in many areas. In Wheeling, West Virginia Independence Hall served as the home of the Restored Government of Virginia in what became the original capitol city of West Virginia. Now a museum, visitors can see Civil War artifacts as well as listen to costumed guides tell the story of the birth of the Mountain State on June 20, 1863.

With the North and South realizing that allegiances in western Virginia were mixed, they both struggled for dominance and moved in immediately to take over strategic areas. Unknown to many, Parkersburg was once home to thousands of Union troops and placed under martial law due to its Confederate sympathies and its new status as a major river port for oil shipping. The Parkersburg Oil and Gas Museum looks at the role oil played in early western Virginia and how many of the statesmen pushing for western Virginia’s independence were actually newly rich oilmen from the nearby oilfields at Burning Springs. As thousands of troops poured in from both sides, western Virginia divided, brother against brother at times, to join the Civil War.

Organ Cave is the second largest commercial cave on the east coast and a National Historic Landmark. The walls of the cave glitter with salt petre, a primary ingredient in black powder, used by Robert E. Lee’ s troops during the Civil War. Within the depths of Organ Cave is the Hopper Room, a well-preserved refinery and one of the largest selections of Civil War Hoppers in the U.S. Visitors can walk the trails used by the troops and enjoy the acoustics of the “Chapel Room,” that once housed 1,100 confederate soldiers.

Trains/Award Program

Western Virginia [Now West Virginia] Trains in the Civil War

The Great Train Raid of 1861 was a Confederate military raid conducted in western Virginia in May 1861 during the early days of the American Civil War It was aimed at disrupting a critical railroad used by the opposing Union Army as a major supply route.

Following the creation and organization of the Confederate States government in the early months of 1861, on April 4, the Virginia Secession Convention met and voted against secession. However, after the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter and President Abraham Lincoln’s call for a 75,000-man army to put down the rebellion, the Virginia Secession Convention reconvened on April 15, and voted on April 17, provisionally, to secede, on the condition of ratification by a statewide referendum.

The Governor of Virginia immediately began mobilizing the Virginia State Militia to strategic points around the state, including the assignment of Maj. Gen. Kenton Harper to the “Forces In and About Harpers Ferry, Virginia” on April 18. The following day, Southern secessionists rioted  Baltimore as a Union force marched through the city due to a lack of any union stations at the time. Nine days later, on April 27, Col. Thomas J. (later “Stonewall”) Jackson, then of the Virginia State Militia, was ordered to relieve Harper. He began the task of organizing the defense of Virginia at that location. Harpers Ferry held not only important arms production factories, but was a choke-hold on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, and key telegraph trunk lines connecting Baltimore and Washington, D.C., to the Ohio Valley and interior of the United States.

Martinsburgh West Virginia

During this point in the Civil War, the state of Marylands stance in the war was also not yet determined. The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, then owned by the state of Maryland, ran through Maryland and along the Potomac River Valley in its pass through the Appalachian Mountains, but took a crucial turn at Harpers Ferry and passed south, through Virginia and Martinsburg while crossing the Shenandoah Valley. The railroad then continued on through much of present-day West Virginia, which then was still part of Virginia, meaning that the railroad continued for a major portion of its route through potentially “Confederate” territory. This exposed the railroad to raids and capture by Confederate forces if either Virginia or Maryland seceded from the Union.

 Planning of the raid

As the inevitable war approached, the president of the B&O Railroad, John Garrett, who was sympathetic to the Union, did all he could to placate both sides in order to protect the railroad operations. Col. Jackson, gathering intelligence on freight passing on the line, determined that coal was being shipped in large quantities from the Ohio Valley to Union naval bases in Baltimore that were fueling U.S. Navy warships attempting to blockade the more southern states. Jackson then devised a covert plan to destroy B&O Railroad operations while simultaneously benefiting Virginia and possibly the Confederacy.

Jackson complained to the B&O Railroad that the trains disturbed the rest of his troops, and notified John Garrett that trains would only be allowed to pass through Harpers Ferry between the hours of 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. in order to ensure their rest was not disturbed. This timetable bottleneck caused the B&O Railroad to pile up trains in yards on either side of Harpers Ferry in order to maximize their throughput during this new curfew.

 The Great Train Raid

By May 13 political instability began to mount, as martial law was declared in Baltimore, which was a very secession-sympathetic city. Upon notice that the popular-vote to ratify secession in Virginia had overwhelmingly endorsed that course, Jackson was now free and ready to execute his train raid.

On May 23, Col. Jackson executed a raid to cut the B&O Railroad lines at a bridge near Cherry Run on the Potomac River north and west of Martinsburg and the signal tower west of Point of Rocks, thereby trapping a large quantity of rolling stock in between, especially in the rail yard at Martinsburg. Jackson sent the 5th Virginia Infantry under Col. Kenton Harper to Cherry Run, west of Martinsburg, to sever the line in that location, and he sent Col. John D. Imboden’s cavalry to Point of Rocks, east of Harpers Ferry, to sever the line there. From Harpers Ferry, the Winchester and Potomac Railroad ran as a spur off the B&O Railroad mainline south to Winchester, Virginia, allowing Jackson to try and move his captured rail assets quickly to Winchester.Jackson’s forces captured a total of 56 locomotives with tenders and 386 railroad cars, mostly coal cars, of the B&O Railroad, removed them into Virginia State Militia hands, and staged them in the railyards at Martinsburg. Jackson’s plan was to move these assets down the Winchester and Potomac Railroad via Harpers Ferry to Winchester, disassemble them and mount them on special wagons, and move them overland to Strasburg, Virginia, where they were to be reassembled and moved south on the Manassas Gap Railroad. With the assistance of the Chief Engineer of the Winchester and Potomac Railroad, Thomas R. Sharp, and Joseph Keeler and his son Charles Keeler wagoneers living near Stephenson’s Depot special carriages and dollies were constructed and used to transport the first four small locomotives, south from Winchester along the Valley Turnpike to Strasburg and then to Richmond via the Manassas Gap Railroad. In an incredible and historic feat of engineering, the Virginia militia soldiers pulled the first four locomotives with 40-horse teams, rigged artillery-style, through downtown Winchester south on the Valley Pike to the rail-head at Strasburg. Among the engines captured and moved through Manassas Junction was the thirty ton Engine No. 199.

Winans 0-8-0 camel locomotive Engine No. 199 captured by Jackson’s forces

On June 2, 1861, due to a combination of miscommunications and over-zealousness, Confederate forces continued destroying B&O Railroad assets, including the B&O Railroad bridge over Opequon Creek two miles east of Martinsburg. Here they lit 50 coal cars on fire and ran them off the destroyed trestle, “where they burned for two months, the intense heat melting axles and wheels.”[2] The 52 remaining locomotives and various rail cars left in Martinsburg were thus left stranded by this uncoordinated action, and this ended the Great Train Raid.

Jackson was later ordered to destroy the 800 foot B&O railroad bridge at Harpers Ferry over the Potomac River on June 14, 1861, rip up and take many miles of B&O Railroad track, and then burn the remaining stranded rolling stock and locomotives at Martinsburg in the Martinsburg Train Raid on June 23, 1861 before finally evacuating and abandoning the Harpers Ferry area.

In the weeks following this, Jackson decided to salvage 10 of the burnt locomotives at Martinsburg and move them into the Confederate rail system. The evacuation of any more locomotives or rail cars by the Manassas Gap Railroad became too risky for potential re-capture by Union forces, and so the those 10 locomotives and additional rail cars were moved by the same carriage and dolly method 125 miles overland south from Martinsburg through Winchester and on to the Virginia Central Railroad in Staunton, Virginia.

Many of the rail cars that had been captured were hidden in barns and farms throughout the Winchester area, and Confederate forces along with citizens continued to move move these up the valley through the summer months of 1861, and for a period of the next two years. As late as 1863 many of the railroad cars were still being hauled away up the Shenandoah Valley to Staunton for service on Confederate rail lines all throughout the South.Virginia secedes

On 23 May the Commonwealth of Virginia conducted its popular vote, and secession was formally ratified. Immediately Maj. Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, then of the Virginia State Militia, relieved Colonel Jackson and took command at Harpers Ferry on 24 May. Shortly afterward, on 8 June, all Virginia State troops were transferred to the authority of the Confederate States.

 B&O Railroad eventually Reopens

In his Annual Report of the B&O Railroad for 1861, President Garrett wrote:

On May 28, 1861, general posession was taken by the Confederate forces of more than one hundred miles of the Main Stem, embroiling chiefly the region between Point of Rocks and Cumberland. Occasional movements were also made, accompanied by considerable destruction upon the roads between Cumberland and Wheeling, and Grafton and Parkersburg, during the fiscal year. The Protection of the Government was not restored throughout the line until March, 1862, when the reconstruction was pressed with great energy, and the line reopened on the 29th of that month.

The B&O Railroad reopened for service on March 3o, 1861. Later, historian Thomas Weber summarized the damage:

“Caught in the trap and destroyed were 42 locomotives and 386 cars; 23 bridges were burned, 102 miles of telegraph line torn down, and two water stations destroyed. Because of his own transportation difficulties, Jackson could carry with him only 14 locomotives, and undetermined number of cars, and 36 1/2 miles of rail which his men had torn up. Wreaking damage on the machine shops and engine houses at Martinsburg, and blowing up the bridge at Harper’s Ferry, Jackson disappeared south. His work had been well done. From June 14, 1861, until March 18, 1862, no trains ran between Baltimore and Wheeling.”


 Following the war

Following the war, all but one of the 14 locomotives taken were returned to full service in the B&O Railroad. The one locomotive not returned, Engine No. 34, had been damaged by a Union cavalry raid, and so the boiler from that engine was installed in a Confederate gunboat, which was later sunk by the U.S. Navy. This railroad heist holds the record for being the largest train robbery and railroad theft in history.

Garrett always remembered Stonewall Jackson’s destruction of the B&O properties at Martinsburg, Virginia in June 1861, and he admired how Confederate colonel Thomas R. Sharpe, with just thirty-five men comprising six machinists, ten teamsters, and twelve laborers had moved fourteen of his big locomotives – including a Hayes Camel 198, a Mason locomotive, and a “dutch wagon” – over forty miles of dirt roads from Martinsburg to Strasburg, Virginia. When the indispensable William Prescott Smith [B&O RR Chief of Transportation] died prematurely at age forty-seven in 1872, Garrett hired Sharpe to replace him as master of transportation”

Gary L. Browne