Salem Citadel a new name, same mission
Since 1886, when Captain Mary Stillwell opened the Army’s work in Salem, The Salvation Army has been meeting physical and spiritual needs in this mid-Willamette Valley city.
Now, while the Salem Citadel Corps has a new name: the Salem Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center—or, simply the Salem Kroc Corps—its mission remains unchanged: meeting the needs of all, without discrimination, in the name of Jesus Christ.
And, of course, it has a new meeting place: 1865 Bill Frey Dr., the site of the territory’s newest Kroc Center.
The ministry of the former Woodburn Corps has also moved to the Kroc Center, led by Envoy Jose Ontiveros.
According to Corps Officers Majors Jerry and Donna Ames, corps members provided input during the planning and the building was designed for multi-use throughout.
Take the 300-seat chapel/auditorium, with its striking stained glass cross and ample stage, which houses the Sunday morning worship service—it’s also the setting for music, dance and theater performances. “The chapel is the heart of the building,” explained Major Donna Ames. It is also geographically at the center of the facility.
Directly across from the chapel, a large gathering room provides an opportunity for churchgoers to partake of conversation and coffee following the service.
Just down the hall, cheerful rooms filled with child-size furniture and lots of toys are designed for little ones to enjoy Sunday school and playtimes; older youth have plenty of room as well. During the week, they accommodate other activities.
And, Ames is quick to point out with a smile, a storage area designed to meet the needs of Home League is next door.
English and Spanish programs
Ministry opportunities abound. For example, a large community of Hispanic migrant workers lives in the area; a coordinator for the worker’s program recently contacted Ontiveros to learn ways in which the center might be helpful to the Spanish-speaking workers.
A full complement of programs, in English and Spanish, provide opportunities for spiritual growth for all ages. Youth programs are held on Tuesday evening from 4-7 p.m., and teen programs on Wednesday from 7-9 p.m. On Sunday morning, the Kroc Center opens at 1 p.m. after worship services—which are open to the public—have concluded.
In addition to the corps officers, staff members include Envoy Kathy Reichman, director of congregational life; Envoy Dan Reichman, pastoral care coordinator; Jose Ontiveros, Latino ministries coordinator; Major Keith McRevy, membership/records; Major Mona McRevy, human resources; and Christi Sondheim, youth ministries coordinator.
Some church members have already found favorite spots. “I love the amphitheater,” said Community Care Ministry Secretary Larry Odle. He explains the corps used to hold Easter sunrise service in a parking lot, and now the amphitheatre will provide a beautiful location. It even faces east, he notes—perfect for catching the sun’s dawning rays on Easter morning.