Leader sees God’s hand in transfer

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 10, 2001

Salvation Army Capt. Bobby Westmoreland sees God’s hand in his transfer from Natchez to international headquarters in London.

&uot;I’m looking forward to working with an office that’s filled with all these people from around the world,&uot; said the leader of the Salvation Army of the Miss-Lou Area. &uot;That experience is going to be phenomenal&uot;

Westmoreland, who has led the local chapter for five years, was recently assigned as the assistant undersecretary to the Americas and the Caribbean, an administrative role that may involve some travel.

He looks at the opportunity almost as a response to his initial calling to be a missionary.

&uot;I love multiculturalism and internationalism, and we have a general right now who’s really pushing that,&uot; Westmoreland said.

As part of that calling, Westmoreland said he accepts that Salvation Army officers tend to have lower standards of living outside the United States.

&uot;I really feel a calling to go in those areas … where it really is sacrificial in giving,&uot; he said.

Westmoreland became the leader of the Salvation Army of the Miss-Lou as his first assignment after finishing training college with the Salvation Army.

Even though he is leaving Natchez, Westmoreland says it will always be a special place to him.

&uot;They always say your first appointment will be special, and after serving five years here, I can understand,&uot; he said.

The community and the Salvation Army staff and board have welcomed him into their family and local residents have put great effort in reaching those in need, he said.

He also has enjoyed seeing growth in the chapter’s youth programs and other organizations such as its Home League for women.

He hopes to visit Natchez again in three years while on furlough to see even more progress.

&uot;There are people here that are not just friends. They’ve become family to me,&uot; Westmoreland said. &uot;Natchez will always be home.&uot;

The community will hold a farewell open house for Westmoreland from 7 to 8:30 p.m., Friday, June 15, at Stratton Chapel at First Presbyterian Church.

Anyone who can help bring cake or ingredients for punch please call Joyce Borum at 442-1230 or Alma Timmons at 445-8998.

Westmoreland’s last service in Natchez will be June 17. Capt. Geraldine Martin, who will arrive from Atlanta this month, will replace him.