YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Two months ago, the husband and wife team of Elijah and Valerie Khan announced they were leaving Youngstown’s Salvation Army and moving to New Jersey. Now another married team — Major Paul Moore and his wife, Sherry — has taken over.
The Moores are now in charge of the operation on Glenwood Avenue.
“We came here from Pittsburgh, where we were pastors of a church. And so this is a bit more administrative but it’s still the same ministry, still reaching people,” Sherry said.
Before that, it was Cleveland, Massillon, and Ashland in Ohio, along with Portland, Maine, and New York City.
“Where I oversaw the five boroughs of New York with all the programming that took place, so that was a bit of a stretch,” Sherry said.
The Moores have been in town for only a month.
“We have been very impressed. They do a lot of ministry here, a lot of service to the community,” Paul said. “They service a free meal every day at lunchtime, Monday through Friday and then again on Sunday, so we have people in the building constantly.”
They have a lot in store for the Youngstown Salvation Army.
Though it was already being planned before the couple arrived, renovating the kitchen could be one of the first major projects the Moores will oversee. They want to replace the equipment — including the stove — which is all pretty old.
There are 15 students already signed up for the after-school program, called the Learning Zone, but the Salvation Army can accommodate up to 30.
Also in an effort to help students, it’s offering a backpack giveaway on August 18.
“The cost becomes costly after a while so if there’s anyone that can help with that, we would greatly appreciate any donations people can give,” Sherry said.
They know about a piece of land nearby owned by the Salvation Army, where they’d like to possibly build offices and create more room for programs in the main building.
Other than that, it’s too early to say what, if any, changes will be made.
“We’re keeping our eyes open, observing. We always have a vision to do more and to see what the need is, so we don’t really know what the need is that we haven’t been able to reach but we’ll keep our eyes open for that,” Paul said.
The last two appointments to run the Salvation Army were also husband and wife teams. The Moores said that’s the rule — if you’re married, your spouse must be part of the Salvation Army, too.