Church of the Week: The Salvation Army, Lancaster, Ohio

When the lovely Robin and I were newly ordained and commissioned twenty-two-year-old Salvation Army lieutenants, in July 1980, we began three years of joyful ministry in Lancaster, Ohio, at the Salvation Army corps there at 228 W. Hubert St. We were blessed by a diverse congregation of gracious people who took us in and befriended us, and many of the older soldiers were very patient with us and mentored us.

One of those soldiers was Marguerite King, whose funeral I was honored to perform last Friday. The funeral and committal and fellowship with Mrs. King's family and friends went wonderfully for us and, I hope, for everyone. While in town, Robin and I swung by the church where we made our first half-million mistakes or so as pastors, and were treated to a tour of the facility (which now--and for the last 26 years--includes an adult day care center) by Kelley Bauman, the center director.

The visit brought back such memories! Though many things have changed (the wheelchair ramp in the photo at top, for example, which wasn't there when we were), the simple beauty of that chapel where we gathered for roughly 150 Sundays with many of God's most prized jewels endures.

Thanks, Kelley, for being such a gracious host, and thank you, God, for the sweet memories of those years of blessing.

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