Commissioner Howell Speaks at Gadsden Corps’ Annual Dinner

The Salvation Army of Gadsden, Alabama’s Annual Dinner was held on May 14, 2019. It was an opportunity for the Gadsden Corps to meet with their community of supporters and volunteers and discuss their work in the community. The speaker and guest of honor, Territorial Commander of The Salvation Army Southern Territory, Commissioner Willis Howell, spoke about that work and the significant difference The Salvation Army can make in the lives of those in need. It was part of the Commissioner’s initiative to remind the community of The Salvation Army’s “Why” — why The Salvation Army exists and what it should accomplish.

Commissioner Howell spoke about the organization he leads as a safety net that can help save people who are fallen and hurting. It is a “mission and a vision of The Salvation Army that I am 100% behind,” said Gadsden Corps officer, Captain Dennis Hayes, who introduced the Commissioner. As a former student of Commissioner Howell, Captain Hayes spoke of his dedication to the Army. And it was a dedication to that vision that the Commissioner continued to address.

Commissioner Howell’s speech was about helping people in the world who are at spiritual risk in their life, as well as those in physical need. “If The Salvation Army stopped only with catching people when they fell; if all we did was stretch out our safety net to catch those who find themselves in free fall, people in communities all around the south, people would applaud,” he said. As he continued, he made the point that the “why” of The Salvation Army, in Gadsden and all over the world, is to help people find something more. Commissioner Howell said,“We don’t help people simply to help them, and that’s that. We help people to, yes, get them back on their feet, but it also gives us the opportunity as The Salvation Army to talk to them about Jesus.”

Disaster Services Director, Liason recognized for accomplishment

Our Emergency Disaster Services Director, Terry Lightheart and Disaster Liason, Bill Feist recognized as Certified Emergency Managers. Two of just a handful in The Southern Territory of The Salvation Army.

Terry and Bill have been approved by the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) Certification Commission to receive the Certified Emergency Manager® (CEM®) credential.

The CEM® designation is the highest honor of professional achievement available from IAEM, which has in its membership more than 9,000 emergency managers representing professionals whose goals are saving lives and protecting property and the environment during emergencies and disasters.  Ms. Lightheart qualified as a CEM® by submitting an extensive credentials package giving personal and professional background achievements and successfully completing a Management Essay and a written examination.

Congratulations Terry and Bill!

The Salvation Army ALM personnel, equipment heading to Florida for expected relief following Hurricane Matthew


Salvation Army locations across the Southern United States are preparing for a major relief effort as Hurricane Matthew continues its path towards the Florida coastline. The Salvation Army of Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi (ALM Division) is no different. Thursday the ALM Division is sending six mobile feeding units or canteens and a communications truck to Florida to be in place to support disaster relief operations following the expected landfall of Matthew.

“We have learned from past disasters that communication systems are vital for effective and timely disaster relief efforts,” said Terry Lightheart, Emergency, Disaster Services Director. “The mobile  communications unit will provide The Salvation Army with the ability to communicate not only with Salvation Army personnel, but with our partners, externally to ensure we identify the areas most in need.”

The Salvation Army Southern Territory has placed equipment and personnel on standby in fifteen states to support the affected areas. Along with the equipment, the ALM Division is deploying fifteen disaster service personnel and volunteers. More resources are expected to be requested in the coming days.

“This storm has the potential to do major damage.  If that’s the case, The Salvation Army will be there to provide meals, drinks, and emotional and spiritual care for those in need,” said Lightheart.

The best way to help after a disaster is to make a financial donation to The Salvation Army. Cash is flexible, can be used immediately in response to a crisis, and allows disaster relief organizations to purchase exactly what is needed, when it’s needed.

To make a financial gift to The Salvation Army, give:

  • Donate Online:
  • Donate By Mail:The Salvation Army PO BOX 1959 Atlanta, GA 30301 Please designate ‘Hurricane Matthew’ on all checks.
  • Donate By Phone:1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769)
  • Donate By Text:Text STORM to 51555 to receive a donation link for easy mobile giving