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Albemarle lands Salvation Army

Albemarle’s Five Points district welcomed a historic organization with open arms.

Community leaders embraced Tuesday’s arrival of The Salvation Army with an official ribbon cutting ceremony. The nonprofit is the latest organization dedicated to lending a hand to the less fortunate.

Maj. Johnny Poole, who oversees both the new Stanly office and an established operation in Cabarrus County, explained that The Salvation Army will be committed to helping needy residents through Christian principles.

“We are excited to be a part of this community,” Poole said.

Per its mission statement, The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.

Located at 118 Heath St. near downtown Albemarle, the local operation will aid those in financial crisis. The Salvation Army will provide those in need of money for such woes as utilities, rent, food and spiritual counseling.

“We’re also going to find out why they’re in the shape they’re in,” Poole said.

Office hours will be 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday. Financial assistance will be by appointment while food will be distributed during office hours.

Between the Stanly and Cabarrus offices, The Salvation Army will rely on a combined annual budget of $1.4 million.

“I have to raise that locally,” Poole said.

Now those red kettles and ringing bells typically observed and heard during the Christmas holidays will have a more local purpose.

Jack Benoy donated the house and sizable lot so The Salvation Army could establish a presence in Stanly, part of Poole’s vision for the past four years while in Concord.

“Our county needs it. It’s such an important resource to the needy and poor,” Benoy said.

The lot is large enough for the organization to add buildings to store goods for clients.

A possible addition in the future could be a retail store with the proceeds benefitting the community. Although there are distance restrictions for a retail center, exceptions are sometimes made.

“I’d love to have one here. The community would support it,” Poole said.

Organizers will be seeking volunteers to help The Salvation Army with fundraising efforts.

History of The Salvation Army

In 1852, soon after launching a ministerial career in England, William Booth abandoned the pulpit — instead taking the gospel to the streets where he preached to the poor, homeless, hungry and destitute.

Today, The Salvation Army serves more than 100 countries.

Contact Ritchie Starnes at 704-754-5076 or ritchie.starnes@stanlynewspress.com.