Lt. Matthew Jensen is competing for The Salvation Army world record bell ringing title
He quotes Kierkegaard and Homer Simpson and enjoys a good cup of coffee, mixed martial arts, reading non-fiction, and of course, sharing the Gospel with God’s people.
He and his wife Vanessa are the parents of two little girls and they’re in their first year of Salvation Army officership, stationed in Santa Maria, California.
But, on his to-do list this Christmas is something entirely new: participating in the World Record National Bell Ringing Contest!
Beginning Thursday, December 15, Lt. Jensen will attempt to set the world record for longest continuous bell ringing at a Salvation Army kettle at Foods Co., 1465 South Broadway in Santa Maria. Click here for a map to the store.
Twenty-two other contestants around the US will begin their attempt to break the record that day too. It’s all in an effort to raise awareness for The Salvation Army’s 120th Red Kettle Campaign and in support of The Salvation Army’s mission to meet human needs in Christ’s name.
Bell ringers will set an official Salvation Army record for 2011 when they surpass the 36 hour record set by Captain Kyle Smith of Spokane, Washington in 2010 and many – especially Lt. Jensen – hope to ring for as many as 60 hours.
Each participant must follow several contest rules that will challenge them mentally and physically, including:
1. Participants must stand the entire time.
2. Participants may not eat.
3. Participants may drink hydration products only, such as water, Gatorade or juice.
4. Participants must ring a bell at all times.
5. Participants may only use a bathroom once every 4 hours, during a ten minute break.
Lt. Jensen has been training hard to prepare for the rigors of continuous bell ringing. He says, “I’ve been going without food and standing for long stretches to prepare my body. As the father of a two-month old, missing sleep still comes pretty easy. But I’m happy to do it to raise money for the work God’s doing here in Santa Maria through The Salvation Army.”
The contest begins at 9:00 AM on Thursday and continues till midnight on Saturday. Lt. Jensen will be updating us on his quest for the title so come back and find out how he’s doing. Here’s his first YouTube update as he prepares for the contest:
In addition to Lt. Jensen, here are the other contestants ringing for the record in the Western US. If you live nearby, please drop by and cheer them on. Okay, and put some money in the kettle too!
• Captain David M. Davis; Wal-Mart, 3715 Ocean Beach Longview, WA 98632
• Ken Fankhauser; Ted Stevens International Airport, 5000 W Intl Airport Rd Anchorage, AK
• Latonya Ford; Wal-Mart, 7800 Smith Road, Denver, CO 80207
• Lieutenant Sean Kelsey; Wal-Mart, 34500 Monterey Avenue, Palm Desert, CA 92211
• Captain Marcos Marquez; Wal-Mart, 252 Cheney Drive, West Twin Falls, ID 83301
• Captain Kenneth Perine; Wal-Mart, 4840 Shawline St. San Diego, CA 92111
• Jason Perkins; Wal-Mart, 2701 North Texas, Fairfield, CA 94533
• Captain Kyle Smith; Wal-Mart, 9212 North Colton Street, Spokane, WA 99218
• Captain Marcelino Soriano; Macy’s, 170 O’Farrell Street San Francisco, CA 94102
• Dustin Walsh; Wal-Mart, 2350 W. Kettleman Lane Lodi, CA 95242