New couple leads Salvation Army
Published 9:07 pm Tuesday, July 21, 2015
A new pair of officers is at the helm of the Suffolk Corps of the Salvation Army, and they’re looking forward to helping grow the many programs of the Army in Suffolk.
Lt. Johnny M. Anthony and Capt. Shauntrice Anthony have both been involved in the Salvation Army since they were children in the youth program. She became an officer of the Salvation Army in 2009, as did he in 2012.
They met while working with Salvation Army youth at the organization’s Camp Happyland, in Culpeper County. They wed on May 9 this year.
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Both had been at other appointments — she in Martinsville, he in Montgomery County, Md. — before they got married and came to Suffolk as a couple.
“Since we’ve arrived, everyone has been very welcoming,” Shauntrice Anthony said. “That made the transition easy for us.”
Johnny Anthony said he hopes to build up the youth program.
“We want to teach them about God and raise them up,” he said. “They are our future. If you start off early, you are able to teach them the necessities they need to become responsible young men and women.”
He said he wants the youth program to provide meaningful programs where young people can be productive.
“If we provide them something productive to do, we can eliminate some of the crime,” he said.
He also said he wants to increase the capacity of the feeding program, which currently serves meals two days a week and hands out food every day.
“We have a lot of people that come for the feeding program,” he said. “It would be nice to grow that in the future to help provide for as many as possible.”
Shauntrice Anthony said she also hopes to make the best use possible out of the Robert W. Harrell Jr. Physical Health and Education Center, which officially opened in 2013.
“We want to establish programming so we put our gym to the best use,” she said. “We want this to be a safe haven for them.”
Johnny Anthony said called the gym “a wonderful facility” and “a masterpiece.”
“We’re going to continue the legacy of Robert Harrell,” he said, referring to the late Harrell, who did most of the fundraising for the building.
The Anthonys said they are looking forward to their ministry in Suffolk.
“We’re just happy to be here,” she said. “We’re excited.”
The Anthonys are replacing Capts. James and Susan Shiels, who were in Suffolk for two years. They took a new Salvation Army appointment in Charlottesville.