Manteca, Calif. opens millennium’s first corps

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by Sarah L. Bentley –

At midnight on January 1, 2000, Manteca became the first corps to open in the West this millennium. Recently, the people of Manteca proudly gathered with the Del Oro Divisional Commander, Lt. Colonel Charles Strickland, to officially give status as a corps to continue the work and ministry of The Salvation Army.

During the service, Strickland challenged the corps family to shine as lights in the community so that others may come to know Christ. He also stated, “I know that this congregation will continue to meet the physical and spiritual needs of the community here.”

Corps Officer A/Captain Reni Kreitzberg enrolled 12 new soldiers. Together with five other families, the ministry in Manteca is flourishing. “We want The Salvation Army to be relevant to all. I want everyone to know and understand the traditions but also to embrace the aspects of our Army today,” said Kreitzberg.

One of the new soldiers, Debbie Olsen, is thrilled to be among such a wonderful group, “The caring atmosphere is wonderful. This church is family-oriented and people love Jesus here.”

The Manteca Outpost was established as a follow-up to Operation Noah’s Ark, after the floods of 1997, to provide assistance to a devastated community. The Salvation Army’s support did not stop with food and a place to stay; regular Bible studies, counseling and a social service office were established.

Today, the Manteca Corps is striving to win its community for Christ.

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