Majors Ron and Shirley McKay retired from their last appointment, as corps officers in Alamogordo, New Mexico, April 1, 2007, having served 19 years as Salvation Army officers and a total of 40 years in ministry. Lt. Colonel Don Mowery, Southwest divisional commander, presented their retirement certificates at a luncheon hosted by the soldiers and advisory board.
In 1988 Ron approached Colonel Don Sather, then Southwest divisional commander, about the possibility of a Salvation Army unit in Cochise County, Ariz. “If you will put the uniform on, I will let you start it,” was the response. Since then the McKays have served as corps planters throughout their career.
They started with an outpost in Sierra Vista, Ariz., followed by opening corps in Lake Havasu City, Ariz. and Alamogordo. Their work in Alamogordo now consists of a congregation providing food boxes for over 500 families per month. The newly created mobile kitchen responds to emergency disasters throughout the Southwest. The lives of the soldiers speak to the community of God’s power to change those who believe and serve him.
Ron and Shirley have four daughters and five grandchildren. Nancy, Tammy and Vanessa live in Tucson, Ariz., and Rhonda in Cooksville, Tenn.
The McKays now make their home in Ruidoso, New Mexico. They plan to continue in ministry in retirement; their next project will take them to Mexico in June where they will help install a water system for an Indian tribe.