CNN showcases life and ministry of Compton Corps’ Martha Childs

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Childs featured in “Life after Work” on Paula Zahn Now.

by Janet Chismar – 

Arriving at the Compton Community Center, Martha Childs lingered to pray and be still before the Lord. It would be the last quiet moment of the day. On this Sunday morning, national broadcast network CNN would be following Childs as she taught Sunday School, attended worship and distributed gifts at a local nursing home. The crew even followed Childs to her Compton home, where she proudly displayed family photos and assorted keepsakes. The producer and cameraman found Childs absolutely delightful and were captivated by her loving, direct and spirit-filled personality.

CNN selected Childs for the “Life After Work” segment on Paula Zahn Now, showcasing an individual who has retired from his or her original profession to pursue a passion. The segment aired repeatedly around the world in late December.

Well into her 70s, Childs worked for decades at the University of Southern California Medical Center. She’s been a soldier for The Salvation Army for more than two decades. “I knew that God had called me to be a soldier,” she told the crew. “At the time I thought he wanted me to be an officer in the Armed Forces since I was already a nurse, but he wanted me to be a soldier in The Salvation Army and that’s a different war altogether.”

Childs says it was her desire to help that encouraged her to volunteer with the Compton Corps Home League in the early 1970s. The Home League is an Army program for women of all ages. The group’s four-part mission—fellowship, worship, education, and service—is met through weekly meetings and community-wide outreach.

Captains Martin and Tory Ross of the Compton Corps minister to and with Childs in this Los Angeles neighborhood known nationally for gang violence.

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