Valdosta Daily Times

Features

June 24, 2014

Salvation Army welcomes new majors to Valdosta

VALDOSTA — “Heart to God, Hand to Man” is a phrase that every Salvation Army officer strives to live. Robin and Pamela Starr hope to bring this phrase to life in the City of Valdosta as they take command of the local post.

The husband and wife along with their three children, Jackie, Jennie and Josh, made their way to Valdosta this month.

Both Robin and Pamela are majors with the Salvation Army, a title earned after serving at least 15 years. Robin has been an officer for 21 years after becoming acquainted with the Salvation Army through the organization’s famous bell ringing. Pamela’s service began 20 years ago after she received a calling from the Lord. As a couple, they have been to seven different assignments, with their latest being Valdosta.

Robin and Pamela both underwent the same training and have the same credentials. Since the Salvation Army is a church, officer training is like a two-year seminary study with additional in-depth studies in social work and other services. Robin is a graduate of Trevecca Nazarene University and Pamela of Asbury University.

Acting as a unit, the Starrs are able to play off each other’s strengths in their service and will bring their skills to help the community. They both strive to reach out and help on behalf of Christ.

“We may be newbies, but we are here to help. This is our new home,” says Pamela.

The Starrs will meet with an advisory board comprised of community leaders and begin learning of Valdosta’s specific needs and what can be done to improve services.

“The advisory board are experts of the community while we are the experts of the army,” Robin said. “We work together to make the community better.”

Their service will span four counties and will cover the shelter, family store, social services and disaster canteen. There is also a gym that many in the community use. The Starrs hope to increase its use.

“Once we get a feel for where the community needs us then we will continue running in that direction,” said Robin.

While it is early to have any major projects in the works, the Starrs said they look forward to starting a beginning brass band and ask that anyone with a brass instrument to donate to please do so.

Wanting to be available to anyone who needs them, the Starrs urge residents to stop by and visit them. However, they ask that visitors call first to assure the couple is available at the Salvation Army’s 320 Smithland Place offices. The Starrs plan to be out in the community as much as possible.

“We are firm believers that our office is meant to be used, but not where we should hide out,” Robin said.

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