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Salvation Army welcomes new officers

June 26, 2013

As Rockford says farewell to Majors Randy and Kathy Hellstrom, say hello to Majors Steve and Christine Merritt.

The Merritts are being transferred from Omaha, Neb., to the Rockford Temple Corps effective Wednesday, June 26, as the corps officers (pastors/administrators) with additional appointment of Winnebago County coordinator for Major Steve Merritt.

Steven Merritt and Chrtistine (Diaz) Merritt were both born to Salvation Army officers. Growing up, Steve lived with his family in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Indiana and Illinois. Christine lived in Michigan, Nebraska and Illinois with her officer parents. They met as children while both families were stationed in Omaha, Neb. Their paths crossed again in Chicago. From Chicago, Steve went into the U.S. Marine Corps in 1981 and spent three years at Camp Pendleton, Calif. Both attended and graduated from Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Ill.

Later, both returned to Chicago, where they were active soldiers at The Salvation Army Oakbrook Terrace Corps. They were married in 1985, and resided in Oak Park, Ill. In 1991, they entered The College for Officer Training on Chicago. After being commissioned and ordained in 1993, they were appointed as corps officers in Lafayette, Ind.

In 1995, the Merritts were appointed to Oak Creek, Wis., as corps officers. They served there for eight years. Later, The Salvation Army transferred the Merritts to Dearborn Heights Citadel in the metro Detroit area as corps officers. They served in this appointment from July 2003 to June 2010.

The Merritts were then appointed to the Western Division in Omaha, Neb. Steve served as the divisional secretary and Christine as the women’s ministries secretary. They took up these responsibilities July 1, 2010, until their transfer to Rockford Wednesday, June 26. Ironically, the Hellstroms and Merritts are trading positions within The Salvation Army.

Welcome Sunday for Majors Steve and Christine Merritt will be June 30 at 10:30 a.m., and the public is invited. Major Steve Merritt will be preaching, and following that is a catered lunch and an informal “get to know the Merritts” time of fellowship. Call Dawn at (815) 226-4400 to RSVP for the luncheon.

From the June 26-July 2, 2013, issue

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