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  pic shim Don Fortner, Director  
     
  Our director is Don Fortner. Don has served as a piano technician and musician for nearly 40 years. He has been a part of music ministry for about as many years. Don currently serves as the Music Director for First Presbyterian Church and has worked for others churches in Central Minnesota. He brings with him a desire for people to grow in their faith as they sing God's praises. Don is married and has three children.



 
     
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  Choir History  
         
  Crusade Choir was started in 1975 by Reverend Moe Stevens, as a choir for the Dave Wilkerson Crusade which came to St Cloud. In the early years, 30-40 men and women from many different local church denominations joined together in this ministry. This is true today with approximately that same number of dedicated members, some who have been with the choir since it’s beginning.

The focus of the choir has always been to bring Jesus Christ to life through meaningful words, music and testimony. Moe would arrange for Crusade Choir programs and write most of the text himself as narration between the songs he chose for the program. The choir would sing for the Sunrise Service on Easter morning’s at First Presbyterian Church. During the Christmas, season the choir sang prior to the well known Christmas pageant put on by the congregation of First Presbyterian. The choir also sang occasionally at Sunday morning church services.

In 1982, a young collage graduate, Mike Karl, sang his first solo with the Crusade Choir, “I Go to the Rock”. When Moe announced his plans to leave St Cloud in 1985, he was led to ask Mike to become the director. Mike accepted the challenge with the help of Cheryl Kloer as assistant director and Phil Konsor as electrician. Christmas and Easter became the focus of the choir with Cantata’s for each season. Some included drama, testimony and more recently DVD additions. Choir trips were memorable…Gregory, SD, Pembina, ND, Union Gospel Mission in St Paul, Jackson, MN, Hermantown, MN and Brainerd, MN to mention a few. The trips were all special and blessed for the choir as well as the people in attendance.

At Christmas time, the choir sings with the Victory Band, led by Don Fortner. Calvary Community Church in St Cloud, is the place where technology is first rate and can accommodate having a live orchestra. These two groups join together there for two performances which are open to the public. Easter is the time of outreach traveling to other churches to bring our message of God’s love. For those performances, the choir sings with CD back up instrumentation. Members have taken roles of leadership and have enabled the choir to continue to today. Faith is strengthened as we look to God for our path.

To sing is to pray twice and this message is clearly felt within the Crusade Choir. This ecumenical group of men and women meet for rehearsal at First Presbyterian Church, 340 5th Ave S, in St Cloud on Tuesday evenings from 5:45 - 7:00 pm, beginning in early September to prepare for Christmas. After a short break, they start working on the Easter Cantata in mid January.
 
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shim His Love Makes Us Sing! shim