Salvation Army leaders to move on

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Salvation Army Capt. Dawn Whitaker, left, and Capt. Jonathan Whitaker on Wednesday in the chapel at the Salvation Army of Rocky Mount. The Whitakers will be leaving their post on Sunday and moving to their next post in Clarksville, Tennessee.


Staff Writer

Thursday, June 14, 2018

New leaders will soon take over the post of the Salvation Army of Nash and Edgecombe counties in Rocky Mount.

Couple Jonathan and Dawn Whitaker, corps officers and captains of the local Salvation Army, have received a new appointment to be the new corps officers for the Salvation Army in Clarksville, Tenn. The Whitakers said they will start their new assignment on June 25.

The Whitakers’ last day of service at the Salvation Army of Rocky Mount will be Sunday. The Whitakers came to Rocky Mount in June 2015 after serving in Winston-Salem. Jon Whitaker has 40 years of experience being involved in the Salvation Army, while Dawn has been a part of the charitable organization for 20 years.

The Whitakers said this will be the first time where they will be working outside of the North Carolina and South Carolina divisions of the Salvation Army.

“We know that God has solid plans for the Salvation Army in Rocky Mount and we are so very grateful that we were appointed here three years ago,” Jon Whitakers said. “While we look forward to what God has in store for us in Clarksville, we will deeply miss our friends and partners in Rocky Mount. We have been blessed to work with people truly dedicated to serving others.”

Majs. David and Amber Phelps, who are originally from Mississippi, will be the new officers for the Salvation Army in Rocky Mount. The plan is for them to start in office on June 25. The Phelps will bring more than 16 years of experience to the local Salvation Army coming from their appointment in Aiken, S.C. The Phelps also will bring their two daughters with them to the area.

“They’re wonderful people that the people in this area are going to enjoy working with,” Jon Whitaker said.

During their three-year stint, the Whitakers said they had three successful Red Kettle campaigns, Angel Tree and toy distributions. The Whitakers were also part of the organization’s efforts in helping families recover from Hurricane Matthew. 

In addition, the Whitakers said they are proud of being one of the first Salvation Army locations in North Carolina to be part of the Salvation Army’s “Pathway of Hope” program, which is an ongoing social service emergency assistance initiative to stop generational poverty. Dawn Whitaker said two of their clients in the program graduated from college.

“It’s great to see something like that happen not just for the adults, but also for their kids to see them finish and accomplish this type of feat,” Jon Whitaker said.

The Whitakers said new and exciting things are on the horizon for the local Salvation Army, including a new Salvation Army Thrift Store going into the Riverside Plaza Mall in Tarboro that’s expected to open by July 1. Jon Whitaker said the new store that will occupy 9,000 square feet of space and will take the place of the former location in Tarboro that closed in April because of building issues.

“It’s an amazing store and we’re doing some remodeling right now,” Jon Whitaker said. “The owner of the complex is fantastic and really bent over backwards to help us. It’s in a better and should be busier spot.”

The Whitakers said they’re looking forward to their new chapter in Tennessee. Jon Whitakers said the Salvation Army in Clarksville includes a 70-bed family shelter. They said they understand now why former corps officers who were assigned to Rocky Mount talked so highly about their stay.

“This community has been a true blessing to us,” Dawn Whitaker said. “Seeing the love and care that the people here have for each other has been amazing and touching since day one. This will be a place that will remain in our hearts and prayers forever.”