Pastor Alexis Twito, Wisconsin and Upper Michigan Chaplain Coordinator
Having accepted the newly created position of chaplain coordinator for the Wisconsin and Upper Michigan Division, Pastor Alexis Twito shares a little more about herself, why she loves The Salvation Army and her role coordinating the Milwaukee-area chaplaincy.
Q: Why did you accept the position?
A: Before taking the job I had been pretty involved in the chaplaincy program as the District 7 head chaplain. Not only did I believe in what the program was about, I had a lot of vision for where it could go. I also sensed it could use some focused attention in terms of organization and leadership, both areas in which I feel God has gifted me.
Q: Tell me about your background as a pastor.
A: I have been a pastor at Capitol Drive Lutheran Church in Milwaukee for three years. I always felt a call to work with people in need and particularly have a call to urban ministry, but my first real passion is teaching.
I went to a Lutheran college, studied abroad, did a year of missionary work and then taught for a while before enrolling at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, Pa., which specialized in urban ministries.
Q: What does your day-to-day as lead chaplain look like?
A: It’s a 20-hour a week position, and I’m in the office on Fridays. Right now office work consists of updating our database to get a better sense of our 80 chaplains’ backgrounds and unique gifts or skills. I also go through paperwork for new chaplains to make sure they’re cleared for the work. I interface with the police and make introductions between first responders and our lead chaplains. I have regular meetings with our head chaplains (one per district—there are 15), where I get to know them better, offer assistance and try to pinpoint any special needs.
Q: What do you enjoy most about working for The Salvation Army?
A: Being new to The Salvation Army, I most appreciate how dedicated we are to standing in the gap with and for people who are in need. The colleagues I’ve worked with are so devoted, extremely generous and have big hearts. It’s great to be a part of an organization that doesn’t just say they are “Doing the Most Good,” but that actually does it.
Q: What are you most passionate about as Chaplain Coordinator?
A: We live in a time when it’s obvious police-community relations are strained, but so are church-community relations. This chaplaincy program has the opportunity to stand in the gap. Faith-leaders from around our city, working with the police to support those who’ve experienced traumatic or violent events—all I can think is that is a recipe for good ministry.
I believe this program can create trust between the church, police and the community by building relationships. There is a lot of work we have to do to help make that happen, but we have a talented, dedicated group of chaplains, who are trained and believe the city is ready for this ministry.
Q: What do you enjoy in your free time?
A: I have a lot of family in the Milwaukee area and very much enjoy being an active auntie to my nieces and nephews. I love to read, am an avid move-goer and really like group trivia.