by Major Mary Ann Wood
How can a new corps celebrate 125 years of service—let alone during a pandemic?
The Washtenaw County, Mich., Corps did just that! With the help of Colonels Steven and Janice Howard, chief secretary and territorial secretary for leader development, and Eastern Michigan divisional leaders Lt. Colonels John and Theresa Turner, friends and soldiers of the new Washtenaw County Corps rejoiced in God’s faithfulness since the Army came to Ypsilanti in 1894 and then Ann Arbor in 1896. The two corps served their communities and surrounding areas separately until they merged in March 2019 for better stewardship.
The Washtenaw County Corps operates from the Ann Arbor location with the goal eventually to locate property on the border of Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor to meet the needs from a more central location. Until then, social services can be accessed at a service center in Ypsilanti as well as at the corps.
The Howards reminded the 45 event attendees, masked and social distanced, of God’s faithfulness and encouraged celebrating God’s continued goodness. The chief secretary focused on Psalm 36, calling the members of the Washtenaw County Corps to live in the fear of God, counting what God says as more important than what the world says. Colonel Janice wrapped up a wonderful afternoon concert speaking from Nehemiah 12:43 where the Israelites dedicated the wall in Jerusalem with rejoicing that could be heard far away. She stressed the need for believers today to keep celebrating all God does.
Looking at many pictures of the past, seeing videos from former corps officers and hearing video testimonies from those influenced by both the Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor Corps helped everyone to recognize the important foundation of faith both corps laid for the new Washtenaw County Corps. With this great heritage, the corps is moving forward with a renewed desire to keep meeting people’s needs in Christ’s name and sharing the gospel.