CAPTAINS JOSEPH AND GINI THOMAS
Captains Joseph and Gini Thomas recently retired after many years of service to The Salvation Army in Alaska. Joe, a native Alaskan, was born in Kake, while Gini was born in Bellingham, Wash. They met in the summer of 1984, when Gini and her two daughters, Ginel and Jessa, came to Kake as visitors. At that time Joe worked as a community education coordinator for the Kake School District, interacting with all the teachers in the area. When he saw Gini, he thought she was one of the new teachers, so he introduced himself to her. Their friendship developed and they were married in 1985. Together they have one son, Billy Joe. Gini had always felt that God had called her to missionary work and she was looking for ways to serve the Lord. She and Joe became involved with the Army’s youth camp. One night at camp, an officer talked with them about serving God in the Army, and thus their service began. They trained under Captain Dave Sholin in Ketchikan at the Gateway Corps in 1987, and in March 1988 they became auxiliary captains. Their first appointment was to the Hoonah Corps as corps officers, where they served for nine years. In June 1997, the Thomases were commissioned as full captains with the Messengers of God’s Love Session. They were then sent as corps officers to the Saxman Corps, where they served until retirement. A retirement service was held at the Gateway Corps, with Major Larry Fankhauser, Southeast Alaska coordinator, presenting the retirement certificates. They plan to continue to serve the Lord in their retirement. Their temporary retirement address is P.O. Box 21, Ketchikan, AK 99901.