The Salvation Army Mississippi Gulf Coast Area Command is under the leadership of Majors Gary and Beth Sturdivant, who serve the entire lower six counties of Southern Mississippi as Area Commanders.
Prior to coming to the Coast, the Majors were the Divisional Youth Leaders for the state of Georgia and operated the camp for the division. In Biloxi, they replace Majors Terry and Sharon Ray, who were appointed to the Corpus Christi, TX command.
The news of their appointment didn’t surprise the Majors. As Salvation Army Officers, the Sturdivants expect to be reassigned throughout their careers. The commitment of being an Officer includes moving your family frequently, and accepting reassignments based on career development and filling the needs of The Salvation Army locations. The assignment on the Mississippi Gulf Coast is an acknowledgement of their ability to manage a growing community center, rebuilding communities and congregation.
Motivated by the love of God and passion for helping others, the Sturdivants made the decision to become Salvation Army officers in 1993. They were both born and raised in North Carolina and have three children, Austin (22), Aaron (19) and Aleah (18). They have served The Salvation Army as Corps Officers in Arkansas, Georgia, Texas and North Carolina.
They cannot explain how excited they are to begin their new ministry in Coastal Mississippi. A place they remember spelling as young people as M I crooked letter, crooked letter I, crooked letter, crooked letter I, humpback, humpback I.