Celebration at Tacoma Corps

Tacoma, Wash., corps enrolls new soldiers and recognizes faithful service.

by Ruth Sundin, Major –

The Tacoma Corps celebrated new soldiers and long-time service recently. First, Major Wesley Sundin enrolled two Salvation Army recruits as soldiers. Jemeel and Heather Wiley and their four beautiful young daughters, Briana, Jenea, Petey, and Taylor came to our family shelter more than a year ago. Jemeel and Heather agreed to be married at the corps last Christmas Sunday. This wedding signaled the many changes already made in their lives over the previous year.

After attending recruits’ classes taught by recruiting sergeant, Emilio Encarnacion, and a full year of faithful attendance with lots of volunteer hours, Jemeel and Heather were ready to commit their lives to service as Salvation Army soldiers. Jemeel was also active in helping our youth pastor, Raven Gillies, put together the children’s Christmas drama with participation by the singing company.

The enrollment was followed by a recognition service of four comrades of the corps who have served faithfully for more than 50 years each. Nelson Reid is retired from the shipyard, but actively helps The Salvation Army in counting kettle money, picking up children in the corps van, and making repairs around the corps.

Ernie and Mary Ouellette have served together for more than 50 years, most recently as CSM and program aide. Mary does a lot of behind the scenes work with sewing, and support. Ernie is a whirlwind of Salvation Army activity, when he is on the clock, and when he is not.

Last, but not least, Karin Engen became a soldier in Norway, but has served in Tacoma well over 30 years. She helped to begin the Army’s “Joyful Noise” Childcare Center, and now heads up the kettle counters, making sure volunteers are available every day for this heavy job. She also gives support to the corps council and the Home League.

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