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Spiritual Team: Salvation Army Officers Pastors of a Small Chapel | Features

From the outside, there is no indication that a church with wooden pews, hymns, and a pulpit is part of the Owensboro Salvation Army Corps building at 215 S. Ewing Road.

But attending to people’s spiritual well-being, as much as their physical needs, is very much the duty of Captain Alyssa Irvin, 34, and her husband, Lt. Judah Irvin, 26.

“Our mission is to meet the human needs of the people in the name of Jesus Christ without discrimination,” said Alyssa Irvin.

In addition to managing day-to-day operations, the two are ordained pastors who lead Sunday worship and other religious activities.

And although they try to share pulpit duties equally, Alyssa Irvin said she prefers to listen to her husband speak the word of God on Sunday.

“I love to hear him preach, so I like 75-25 (%),” said Alyssa Irvin, who was ordained in 2013.

Judah Irvin said it was common for people not to know about the Salvation Army Chapel.

“It’s not a very big shrine, but most Salvation Army shrines aren’t very big,” said Judah Irvin, who was ordained in June 2021. “There are bigger ones. , but it’s between 200 and 500 people, which is average-size church to some denominations.

According to Judah Irvin, the bulk of those attending the service at the chapel on the west side of Owensboro are transient. The service drew 67 people over Easter, representing heavy attendance for the chapel.

“It’s because a lot of people who come are actively engaged in our services and need that extra spiritual help,” Judah Irvin said. “It’s not compulsory – ever. I never asked anyone to tell me about Jesus. I never ask them to let me pray with them. I never ask them to come to one of our fellowship meetings. But they are always invited. We, as believers, and even non-believers, understand that community is necessary for humanity.

Both Irvins attended the Salvation Army’s Evangeline Booth College in Atlanta, Georgia, where they received their officer training and seminary training. When Salvation Army cadets are commissioned, they are ordained at the same time.

“As Salvation Army officers, we say we’ve been called, and that call may sound different to everyone,” said Judah Irvin, who is a fifth-generation Salvationist. “For me in particular, I know that God called me to be an officer in the Salvation Army.”

Alyssa Irvin grew up being supported by Salvation Army programs such as the Angel Tree, which provides gifts to needy children during Christmas.

Because of her personal experience, Alyssa Irvin said she knew she wanted to be part of the faith-based organization as an adult.

“My family and I were customers and attendees,” she said. “I was a kid on the Angel Tree, and my mom was getting food from the army, help with rent; we bought clothes at the thrift store. So the circle is complete for me.

And with their backgrounds, Alyssa Irvin said she and her husband are able to relate to most people who seek their support, whether physically or spiritually.

“I come from a broken family with addictions in our past and that, combined with the fact that Judah was raised in a Christian family, really helps us bridge the ministry gap with broken people, non-Christian families and also Christian families who have just been lost.

The Owensboro Salvation Army hosts Sunday School at 10 a.m., followed by Holiness Meeting at 11 a.m., which is the worship service open to all.

Don Wilkins, dwilkins@messenger-inquirer.com, 270-691-7299.