Long Service Awards at Congress
During the Great Victory Congress, a number of officers were recognized for their many years of devoted service to The Salvation Army.
This year, Major Rex McCulley is one of several reaching the 40-year service milestone. Other officers entering the Long Service Order for 40 years of service include Colonel Noella Phillips; Lt. Colonels Mervyn and Shirley Morelock; and Majors Frank and Joy Brown.
Officers entering the Long Service Order for 35 years include Commissioner Grace E. Chang; Colonel Gwen B. Luttrell; Lt. Colonel Olin O. Hogan; Majors Luis and Maria Martinez; Major Rebeca Santos; and Major Beth Saunders.
The Long Service Order for 25 years was entered by Major Mary Doss; Major Deborah Flagg; Major Susan Jones; Major Nancy Reyes Martinez; Major Judith Owen; and Majors DeLois and John Webb.
In his office at the Santa Cruz Silvercrest, decorated with Salvation Army posters and documents, Major Rex McCulley talks of his long career.
“I was a little country preacher in Dalton, Georgia, at 16 years of age,” he recalls. “I was invited by The Salvation Army to preach for them. In the Army I saw an avenue of service I had never realized.” He left his denomination and became a soldier. As a cadet of the West’s Faithful Session, he would go out in the crowd to talk to folks during open air meetings, and was pleased that some of these people joined the Army. His fondest memories are of knowing that he has brought people to Christ. “That is the one thing that matters most,” he says.
Major Polly McCulley, who celebrated her 40th year of service four years ago, has been her husband’s great supporter, particularly with her musical talents. Many times her natural ability with the piano, zither, autoharp, or accordion has carried meetings where there was no other music. McCulley has developed his own sidelines, such as “Gospel Magic” and “Chalk Talks.”
He has always emphasized Holiness in his preaching and teaching. His seminars have let people know more about Holiness all around the territory; he will lead one at Twin Falls in July.
Any officer will have been in many appointments, he says, and there are many memories that stay with him.
One of his best was at a meeting in Juneau, when the corps sergeant major gave his testimony. He told about being at an open air meeting when an officer talked to him about Jesus and turned his life around. “And that officer,” he said, “was Major Rex McCulley!” This was an incident McCulley hadn’t even remembered. And what a thrill to get a phone call from somebody he knew even 30 or 40 years ago, and to hear them say, “You turned my life around!”