Officers come and officers go…..
By Maj. Nancy Fuller
There is a saying in The Salvation Army, “officers comes, and officers go….praise God from whom all blessings flow!”
That is said because twice a year, January and June, is Farewell time for Salvation Army Officers. This is how it works. You pick up the phone on the day that the “calls” are being made and on the other end is the big boss, which ours is in Dallas.
And he begins to thank you for your work in your current appointment but tells you that you will be leaving in June for a new appointment and then gives you the name of the city and state that you are being transferred to. Now, throughout the 26 years of officership for me, I have received that very phone call ten times.
I started in Georgia, transferred to Florida, transferred back to Georgia and now I am in Texas. The thing about the phone call is that you can go anywhere within the 15 states that make up the Southern Territory from Texas to Maryland.
While growing up, my parents were also Salvation Army Officers and we not only moved from state to state, but usually in the city they were stationed, my dad always purchased a new parsonage so we would move from one side of town to the other.
This brought in five elementary schools I attended, two Junior Highs and one High School, which I was grateful that my parents were stationed in Atlanta and I could get all four years of High School under my belt.
After you receive the “call”, you then have approximately six weeks to pack, tie up loose ends, and say your good-byes and move on to the next assignment. In The Salvation Army, the parsonage is provided along with the furnishings and everything else, so when we do move, we just take our personal belongings and our clothes.
Now, after being married for 25 years and in the Army for 26, our personal belongings fill up a 24 foot moving truck. It was even more when we were moving with children. It’s always sad yet exciting when a move takes place. You have put sometimes years of hard work into your present appointment and hate to say good-bye to those who have worked with you during your tenure.
But then you have a whole new area to go to and to establish and to become a part of other people’s lives and communities. Not all the appointments have been “good” ones for us. We have spent five years in one appointment to three months in another to a year and a half in another.
So, it’s not what you are doing mostly in that community that you are at but what you are qualified to do in another community that might need your time and talents. So, the “calls” have been made for June and no, we did not receive one. I have to admit that I am happy that we are staying yet another year but at the same time, this is our first appointment west of the Mississippi and all of our family is east of the Mississippi, so it makes it a little difficult for this grandma to see her grandchildren very often.
But, we have enjoyed the two years that the Army and the Lord has given us here in South Jefferson County and we will continue to enjoy, work hard, build, learn, experience, and enjoy the years ahead that we may have. Who know what the next “call” will bring or when it will come. You never know in the Army. You just salute and go when it does come.
Major Nancy Fuller and Maj. John Fuller are the Corps officers in charge of the Port Arthur Branch of the Salvation Army.