Majors Ralph and Ivy Hood
by Ralph and Ivy Hood, Majors –
Ivy and I will retire with a combined 88 years of service. We are grateful that God called us individually to be Salvation Army officers. We were married in 1967 and have served together in the Western Territory for the past 41 years. Two constants in our officership have been our “calling” and God’s “faithfulness,” sustaining us through the difficult times and giving us peace and joy in the good times.
The opportunities we have had as Salvation Army officers are more than we could have possibly imagined. The high points of our officership involved ministry to people. We loved being corps officers and touching many lives. Working with multi-cultural groups at Phoenix South Mountain and Santa Rosa, as well as the beautiful people in the Hawaiian and Pacific Islands, are experiences we will never forget.
We appreciated the privilege of being in administrative positions on divisional and territorial levels. To be part of the decision-making processes of the Army and to mentor and give leadership to other officers has been humbling but rewarding.
From stand-up collar uniforms and bonnets to lapel uniforms, and slacks—from manual typewriters and mimeograph machines to computers and Xerox machines—from dial phones to cell phones—the Army has changed in the last 40 plus years. Today’s world is complex, and the Army has become more complex, particularly as it relates to finance, community relations, services to the public and personnel management. The standard for officers today requires a high level of education and skills because of increased and more complex responsibilities. The benefits for officers, educational opportunities, ministry/career development, and increased opportunities for women have greatly improved. We have seen many changes through the years, and some methods need to change, but the mission of the Army remains the same—saving souls, growing saints, and serving suffering humanity.
We are thankful that the Lord called us individually and that the Army recognized our individual abilities; we are also grateful that we could serve as partners in ministry. Our individual gifts have complemented each another. We have celebrated our joys together and have encouraged one another when going through difficult situations. We must also say how grateful we are for our children, Jennifer and Ralph. They were always part of the team and added greatly to our ministry.
We want our home in Marysville, Wash., to be a place of respite for all who come through the door. The Seattle Temple corps will be our church home. In addition to giving love and attention to our family and friends, we want to mentor and pray for our fellow officers.