London, 2 February 2016/IHQ/ – USA National Commander Commissioner David Jeffery was in attendance at the official opening and dedication of a new headquarters for the USA Central Territory. The modern facility, in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, coordinates Salvation Army ministry across 11 Midwestern states. The dedication represents the culmination of a process that began five years ago to improve the functionality and service of the territorial headquarters.
In his opening remarks, Territorial Commander Commissioner Paul R. Seiler declared: ‘We dedicate this building today and all that happens in it to the glory of God. It’s his building. It’s his work, and we are his people.’
His emphasis was equally on rededicating the work and people, officers and employees alike: ‘We determined when we made a physical move that it was a good time to improve the way we work together to serve the Army on the frontlines around this territory,’ Commissioner Seiler continued. ‘This is a great team of people. They are mission focused, and I appreciate every one of them.’
Hoffman Estates Mayor William McLeod welcomed The Salvation Army to his city, which is situated 30 miles north west of the regional hub Chicago: ‘We are proud that you came to our city, and we are also very proud of the work that you do … I don’t think there are too many people in this great country who either haven’t had a family member or have known someone – an acquaintance, a neighbour – who hasn’t been helped by The Salvation Army.’
Earlier in the service the mayor and Chamber of Commerce and Village officials were recognised and thanked by the territorial commander, as well as architects Steven Wright and Lisa Smith, and Steve Zuwala, president/founder of the Interior Construction Group.
In a clear and compelling dedicatory address, USA National Commander Commissioner David Jeffrey focused on following Jesus. ‘If it’s done for his honour and glory, it’s holy,’ he said, explaining that with this intent the task is transformed, whether typing a letter, sweeping a floor, entering expenses or preparing food. ‘We are partners in the gospel …. We need each other, and we’re workers together as followers of Jesus Christ.’
After a responsive dedicatory reading led by Commissioner Barbara Jeffrey, USA National President of Women’s Ministries, the official ribbon-cutting that concluded the service was led by Commissioner Carol Seiler, Territorial President of Women’s Ministries and coordinator for strategic mission planning.
An open house, featuring the territorial praise band The Singing Company, and a reception gave visitors the opportunity to tour the 193,000-square-foot building that not only houses administrative offices and workstations but features 20 conference rooms, seven break areas, a fitness centre and a dining room that seats 250 people. The building also hosts the Chicago Staff Band rehearsal and recording studio, the Territorial Historical Museum, the Visual Communications Section studios, and the Adult Rehabilitation Centres Command.
The facility is environmentally friendly too, featuring energy-efficient timed lighting and 30 discrete climate-control zones giving flexibility in heating and cooling portions of the building.
From a report by Beth Kinzie, USA Central Territory
Photos to illustrate this story are available via the IHQ Flickr site at https://sar.my/uscthqd