Monday, May 21, 2012

Roles Of The Salvation Army

Salvation Army serves thousands, but it’s a church first
The Anniston Star
By Laura Camper

Wayne and Mary Ellen Cotton sat at a long folding table in a Salvation Army food warehouse one day last week surrounded by mounds of food. The donated goods were waiting to be sorted and placed on the shelves.

On another folding table, bags the Cottons filled with an assortment of food were ready for clients of Salvation Army who will be making their way to the food pantry for help.

May 14-20 was National Salvation Army Week, a special period in which to remember an organization that set down roots in 1865 in London and spread across the world. But while many people think of the organization as a social service agency, it is a church first, said Capt. Bert Lind — a church that took on a militaristic name and infrastructure to preach to people.

“We do everything in the name of Jesus Christ,” said Lind, commanding officer of the local organization. “We do not preach to them in the expectation they will join our church.”

The Salvation Army has 7,300 corps throughout the United States. Each one has a number of soldiers, adult members and junior soldiers, children, in its membership. Worldwide, the Salvation Army has more than 1 million soldiers in its ranks.

The Salvation Army Corps in Anniston has a service each Sunday at its building on Fourth Street in the same area as its other buildings. Around 35 to 40 people, on average, attend the 11 a.m. service each week, Lind said.

“We have normal church activities; we have Sunday school and morning worship service,” he said.