Majors Ben and Diane LaBarge
After over 28 years serving as officers in The Salvation Army, Majors Ben and Diane LaBarge have retired.
Benjamin (Ben) LaBarge was introduced to The Salvation Army around the age of 10 in Prescott, Ariz.
In 1971, his dad became caretaker of Camp O’ Wood—now closed—in the Southwest Division. From 1974-77, Ben LaBarge served there as a staff member. During this time, he accepted Christ and received a call to officership. He also met Diane Gay, whom he married in 1978.
Although born in Garden Grove, Calif., Diane Gay spent her childhood in Titusville, Fla., where she met The Salvation Army. By age 12, she had accepted Christ and felt called to be an officer.
In 1977, she moved to Tucson, Ariz., where she applied for a job at Camp O’ Wood, eventually meeting LaBarge.
The LaBarges entered the School for Officer Training in 1980 and were commissioned with the God’s Messengers Session in 1982.
During their years as officers, they served in: Fairbanks and Petersburg, Alaska; Watsonville and Vallejo, Calif.; Klamath Falls and Medford, Ore.; and Pocatello, Idaho. They served pro tem at Cascade Divisional Headquarters and ended their service as chaplains at the Adult Rehabilitation Center in Oakland, Calif.
The Oakland Garden Center Corps hosted a retirement ceremony in early 2011. Major Jack Phillips officiated.
The LaBarges are relocating to Pocatello to be near family.