07/14/11 — Salvation Army welcomes chiefs

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Salvation Army welcomes chiefs

By Becky Barclay
Published in News on July 14, 2011 1:46 PM

As a new Salvation Army commander in Rock Hill, S.C., Lt. Julie Igleheart had a young woman, a former drug user, come to her one day wanting to turn her life around -- and get her 9-month-old son back. Mrs. Igleheart spent a week with the woman, taking her to various community organizations that could help her. Within a month, the woman was in a stable environment, had her GED and a job and got her son back.

"It made me feel awesome to be able to do that for her," Mrs. Igleheart said.

And that's exactly how far she and her husband, Kenny, are willing to go to help people in Wayne County in need as new commanders of the Salvation Army.

The Iglehearts took over the job from Majs. Andrew and Hazel Wiley, who left for a new position in Washington, D.C., in the middle of June.

The Iglehearts came to Goldsboro from Rock Hill, S.C., their first assignment with the Salvation Army. They said they ran from the calling to become Salvation Army commanders for more than 10 years. Originally from Owensboro, Ky., Igleheart worked in a production facility and then a paper mill, while Mrs. Igleheart worked in the medical field.

It was around 1993 that Igleheart's brother became ordained with the Salvation Army in Atlanta, Ga. The Iglehearts attended the ordination.

"My dad turned to me and said, 'I will see you here soon,'" Igleheart said. "I said, 'You're crazy.'"

But in 2005, they began having second thoughts.

"I wasn't happy with my life and was praying hard one night," Igleheart said. "God kept reminding me of that night in Atlanta and what my dad told me. When daylight came, I said, 'OK God.'"

Igleheart sat down with his wife a couple days later, only to discover that she had been having a recurring dream that they were in a church somewhere other than their hometown.

"We realized that God was working in my life and in her life at the same time to bring together this decision," Igleheart said. "But neither of us knew that. God works in funny ways."

But God didn't stop there, Igleheart said.

"You have to get rid of your stuff to be in the Army," he said. "A couple called us about our house, but we hadn't heard from the Salvation Army yet. They said they'd give us what we were asking. A month later, we were going to the Salvation Army and a week later our house was sold to that couple."

Igleheart said signs like this happened all along the way to becoming Salvation Army officers.

In fact, their first assignment, Rock Hill, was where the paper mill Igleheart worked for for 14 years shipped paper to every day.

"I found out that God used me for a long time to get me to Rock Hill," Igleheart said.

Now that the Iglehearts are in Goldsboro, they will be responsible for overseeing Wayne and Sampson counties. That includes the men's emergency shelter here, emergency services, disaster services and the thrift store.

"We will have to see what the Lord wants us to do here and what our mission for the Army is here," Igleheart said.

But they do want to make sure that people know about the spiritual side of the Salvation Army, as well as the emergency services side.

"That's our mission," Igleheart said. "We want to meet people in need and talk to them about the Lord Jesus Christ and how he can make a difference in their lives. That's what we're here to do, too."

Their first Sunday church service was a memorable one. Two homeless men attended the service and one gave his testimony about trying to avoid others who are always trying to talk to him about God.

"He said this week he listened to them," Igleheart said. "He said he began to feel different. It was a great moment. We'll see what happens next week."

In addition to church services, the Salvation Army is important to the community for a variety of reasons, Igleheart said. He noted that the emergency shelter is a definite benefit to the community, as are the emergency services.

The Iglehearts will soon be gearing up for the big push at Christmas time. They hope to serve at least 1,000 children here through the Salvation Army's Angel Tree program.

"It makes me feel really well when we can help someone in need," Igleheart said. "It's all about ministering in the Lord's name. I love that part of it.

"Even when we can help people keep their lights on so they can stay in their home, that's a great ministry. Sometimes we don't think of it being a ministry as much, but it is."

But these things can't happen without the support of the community.

"All these things are happening because someone in the community believed in the Salvation Army enough to give to us," Igleheart said.

The Salvation Army needs that continued support, he said. It could be donating canned goods to the food pantry, donating a hot meal for a shelter resident, donating items for the thrift store and even shopping at the thrift store, whose profits go back to the Salvation Army's programs.

Of course, monetary donations are always needed so the Salvation Army can continue helping those in need in this community.

"The more money people contribute to the Salvation Army, the more we can help people," Mrs. Igleheart said.

The Iglehearts would also like to see more people at the church services. Sunday school is at 9:45 a.m. and holiness meeting starts at 11 a.m. There's also a midweek service from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. each Wednesday, followed by separate men's and women's groups at 7:30 p.m.

Although the new Salvation Army commanders don't know exactly what's in store for them in Goldsboro, they are eager to help the community, whatever the needs may be.

"I believe this is a God-appointed position for us to be here," Igleheart said.

The Iglehearts have two sons, Eli, 18, who will start community college in Rock Hill this year, and Jordan, 24, an Army medic stationed in Louisiana, who is currently deployed to Afghanistan until October. They also have a grandson, 2-year-old Jacob.

For more information about the Salvation Army's services, to make a donation or volunteer or just to talk to either of the new commanders, call 735-4811.