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What does a Kroc officer look like?

By Dan Childs

Southern Spirit staff

The Kroc center is a new feature on The Salvation Army's landscape and one that carries the potential to expand and broaden the Army's ministry and thus its impact on the lives of the people it reaches. But what type of officer will lead and direct this unique ministry? What skills will be called for, and what will the demands be on the officers leading these installations?

The core qualities that make an effective officer will certainly need to be present in the Kroc officer - strong Christian character, commitment to Salvation Army principles, evangelistic desire and good relational and managerial skills will be critical, as they are in all appointments.

"The difference in a Kroc center and a regular corps or institution is the anticipated scale of operations and depth of responsibilities," said Jack Getz, Kroc center development consultant. "It might be helpful to describe a Kroc center as an ‘aircraft carrier. Most corps appointments are like battleships - both are critical and vital to mission accomplishment but different in size, level of responsibility and function."

Getz added that the skill set required of a Kroc officer will not be significantly different than that of any field officer. The Kroc officer must be mission-oriented and people-minded, personable, highly-motivated and well-organized. The Kroc officer should be a person of vision with the ability to implement that vision. He or she must be able to provide quality leadership and direction to a wide variety of professional employees and be effective in building good relationships with the community. Fund raising and management of funds are important skills.

"Those who have specific training or experience in recreation or fitness programming, business and personnel, community development or education would be well-suited to Kroc leadership," Getz said. "Obviously, educational achievement can be a plus, but it is certainly not the only standard by which one might be considered for Kroc leadership."

Kroc appointments will probably call for a longer commitment - some have suggested a minimum of five to seven years.

Kroc centers located within area commands will be part of the command and answer to the area commander, although the area commander will not double as the Kroc officer. Where there is no area command, the Kroc officer will be responsible for Salvation Army operations in that area.

Exceptional lay professional staff will be a critical ingredient in Kroc center operations, Getz said. Staff will be called on to provide direct oversight to the recreation, education, family service and arts programs, and the Kroc officer will oversee and be responsible for the corps, overall center administration and mission accomplishment of the center.

In commands with other programs administered by an area commander, the Kroc officers may be asked or assigned to support city, divisional and territorial functions, although their primary responsibility is for the operation of the Kroc center only.

The territory is in the process of creating a Kroc center executive training program, Getz said. The training will be required of Kroc officers and lay administrators prior to the opening of the center.


Those people

Soldiers of Waynesville, N.C., Corps turn snub from neighbors into a mark of distinction

Roger Whitaker and the soldiers of the Waynesville, N.C., Corps have turned a snub into a badge of pride.

By Major Frank Duracher

Southern Spirit staff

Roger Whitaker proudly admits to being "born and raised in The Salvation Army." He has volunteered for just about anything the Army could ask him to do in his Waynesville, N.C., Corps.

When heavy rains left parts of western North Carolina flooded earlier this year, resulting in scores of homes lost, Whitaker and other volunteers worked one of the Army's canteens. They served hundreds of meals to their neighbors for nearly five weeks.

Whitaker served in disaster relief efforts following both Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. He even spent two weeks with a team that worked at The Salvation Army's Joytown Children's Home in Kenya.

That's why Whitaker was a bit taken back when he volunteered to serve a local youth program in Waynesville, but was rebuffed by one member on the search committee for being "One of those Salvation Army people."

Word got back to the Waynesville corps family, and at first the comment caused a good deal of anxiety.

"At first, many of our folks were offended," said Captain James Sills, Waynesville corps officer. "But the more we thought of it, the more we saw it as a compliment that we are known for promoting Salvation Army ministries."

The corps council decided to embrace the label, making the situation positive instead of negative. Bumper stickers, t-shirts and flyers were produced and soon the catchphrase "Those People" was visible all over town.

"I'm always having people come to me asking about who ‘those people' are," Whitaker said. "It's proving to be a great way to share the Army's story and what we are doing here in Waynesville."

Sills arranged for ad space in the local newspaper, promoting a series of Sunday sermons on the theme. "We're proud to be ‘those people' who love, care, help, give, serve, bless and worship at The Salvation Army," he said.

The same could be said of Jesus, Sills added. Jesus came for "those people" - the sick, shut-in, imprisoned, hungry, poor, addicted and, worst of all, those enslaved to their sins.

For more information, log on to

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The Shocco Springs site has lodging and meeting space in one location, promoting fellowship for all on the same grounds. The Shocco Springs rate for lodging includes a three-night stay and eight meals at a cost of $150 per adult. Children will be charged only on a per-meal quota and are not charged lodging if they're under 17 and two adults are in their room. Ages 9+ $5/meal. Ages 8- $2.50/meal. Delegates must book their own accommodations through Shocco Springs at 256-761-1100 or




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