New Salvation Army Officers Report For Duty

There’s a change in command for The Salvation Army here, and the two new officers have reported for duty.

Capt. Kati Chase, 31, comes here from Jackson, Miss., having worked at the Salvation Army Divisional Headquarters in the finance department. She’s served with The Salvation Army 13 years, with six of those as a captain.

Lt. Sarah Birks, 29, is a seventh generation Salvation Army officer. She has served as an officer for five years, with her last appointment in St. Albans, W.Va.

A reception is set for 12:30 to 2 p.m. today at The Salvation Army worship center, 1700 Arendell St.

They replace Captains Anthony and Elizabeth Juliana, who received a new assignment in Durham.

Capt. Chase and Lt. Birks said the Juliana’s helped train them while they were in The Salvation Army officers training college.

Capt. Chase and Lt. Birks are part of a new generation of leaders in The Salvation Army. While the new officers bring a youthful perspective, they are quick to say they still believe in The Salvation Army’s values of helping the hurting and needy.
“I think because we’re young, people tend to think we’re different,” said Capt.

Chase during an interview Friday. “But I’m probably just as traditional as my grandmother. I think the big difference today is with technology. This is a big part of how we communicate with people and get information out, with Facebook and social media.”

Lt. Birks agreed.

“Technology is definitely the biggest change,” said Lt. Birks. “A lot of what we were founded on in our mission statement is still very important to follow. We have always been about helping the alcoholics and the broken. That’s still important to serve and help people turn their lives around.”
Capt. Chase said she’s excited about her new appointment and looks forward to serving in the community.

“I’m ready to love on people and meet the community’s needs,” she said. “I’m going to do my best to be faithful with what you (the community) entrusts to us.”
Lt. Birks, too, said she’s ready to serve.

“My passion is serving people. I love working with people, youth, older people and I enjoy working with our canteen (mobile food canteen) ministry. I’m thankful and blessed to be in Morehead City. I think I loved it when I pulled in,” Lt. Birks said.
Capt. Chase said the first order of business would be getting to know the community and building on the programs that are already proving successful in the county.
“I love Christmas and the bell ringers, so we are definitely continuing that. One thing I would like to do is grow our nursing homes ministries. The Bible talks about taking care of the widows and orphans. I definitely will be getting around and getting to meet the people,” said Capt. Chase.

Both Capt. Chase and Lt. Birks say they want to focus on youth ministries, as well.
Capt. Chase said she started her college career at West Virginia University in Morgantown, W.Va., with plans of becoming a math teacher. But during that time she started attending Salvation Army church services.
“My first year of college I went to a youth retreat and I felt God was calling me to be a Salvation Army officer,” she said.

She continued her college education and obtained her degree in secondary education, with a major in math. But as soon as she graduated she entered the two-year Salvation Army officer-training program. Upon completion of the program she was ordained as a pastor and officer.

She hasn’t looked back since, serving in Tampa, Fla., as an assistant youth director, then in Grafton, W.Va., as a corps officer. She then transferred to the Salvation Army Divisional Headquarters in St. Albans, W.Va., before being transferred to Morehead City.

Lt. Birks was raised in The Salvation Army, with her parents currently serving as majors in Charlotte, and her grandparents retired majors. That Salvation Army lineage goes back seven generations.

“I was born in Hickory, but have lived in 11 different states because of my parents. I did love serving in The Salvation Army as a child, but thought I might want to do something different as I got older,” she said.
That all changed when she did an inner city missions trip with The Salvation Army in Fort Worth, Texas.

“That’s when God called me and reminded me of how much I loved serving people. I knew this is what God wanted me to do,” she said.

There is a shortage of young people entering the leadership ranks of The Salvation Army, and both women say the Army needs to do a better job of reaching out to the youth, something they want to do more of while in Morehead City.
Capt. Chase said, “One of my goals is to send more young people to camp (Salvation Army youth camps). It’s the best time to work with people, while they’re young and you can help them build a good foundation.”

Lt. Birks agreed.

“I think what we need to do is focus on this age and generation and inspire them with the word of God,” she said. “Everyone is gifted in different areas and we need to help them seek out what God has gifted them in and let them use and develop those abilities.”

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