Piqua Salvation Army welcomes new officers

PIQUA — The Piqua Salvation Army welcomed two new corps officers earlier this month.

Herb and Angie Carter first met through the Salvation Army College for Officer Training, and have been married for 35 years. They have served all over the eastern territory within the Salvation Army, from cities in Ohio like Findlay, Sidney and Cincinnati, to New England, and many places in-between. In July, they moved to Piqua after serving the last three years in Cincinnati, and they’re hoping to serve the Piqua community for the next eight years before they retire. They’re taking over for Jody and Robert Kramer, who were relocated to Canton.

“Cincinnati was a very short appointment for us. We’re pretty much people who stay a long time, you know, in our appointments and really try to build and work on the foundation that’s been laid. The Kramers laid a beautiful foundation for us, and our job is to build on it and enhance the programs that they had, and maybe add new programs as we see fit,” Angie said.

Herb first got involved with the Salvation Army after benefiting from programs in his home of Syracuse, New York while growing up. He attended summer camps through the Salvation Army and liked it so much that he wanted to work at the camps, and he started going to Sunday School with a protestant church through the Salvation Army to build a relationship with the Sunday School teacher, who also did the hiring for the camp.

“God had bigger plans from there. At that point, that Sunday School teacher became a mentor to me, and that was how I became involved with Salvation Army as my church, and later felt a calling to ministry through the Salvation Army,” Herb said.

On the other side of the coin, Angie comes from a family of Salvation Army officers. Both of her parents were retired officers who worked with the Salvation Army for over four decades, and her two bothers and her sister are all Salvation Army officers. She said that her parents never told her or her siblings to become Salvation Army officers — the emphasis was always on doing what God called them to do.

“I grew up in the Salvation Army. I was probably two or three days old for my first Sunday in church,” Angie said. “My calling came to me personally, but I grew up knowing the army as far as it is my church and as far as it being a place to serve. That’s just the way my parents raised us and taught us — this is what you do, you give back, you love, you serve.”

The current goal for the Carters is to get to know the Piqua community as best they can and maintain the current programs in place, such as character-building programs, summer camps, sports, clubs, extracurriculars, dance, art and music-related programs for youth in the area, and adult programs providing rent assistance, utility assistance, holiday assistance and food pantries for those in need.

“Right now, we’re just in the learning stages. Right now we don’t have any plans to change anything until we get to know things better,” Angie said. “Once we get ourselves settled, we’d like to get out and meet people. We’re not afraid to step out and take a risk — we’re willing to partner with people and we’re willing to do whatever needs to be done in order to serve those people and help those people in the community.”

“We want to see to the betterment of the Salvation Army here in Piqua, and grow the programs, if we can,” Herb said. “We also want to see what ways the Salvation Army can partner with the community, see what services are needed and what we can provide. Growing the Salvation Army and serving the Piqua community is my primary goal.”