Salvation Army administrators plan to leave

PARKERSBURG – After two years at the Salvation Army of Parkersburg, the current administrators in charge of the chapter will be leaving in June for their next posting.

Lt. Erik Henry and Lt. Mechelle Henry came to Parkersburg in June 2012 after three years in Clarksburg, W.Va., replacing Major Vernon Dolby who served four years in the local position.

Lt. Mechelle Henry said the couple’s final day in Parkersburg will be June 14, two years after coming to the Mid-Ohio Valley.

The Salvation Army follows a quasi-military structure, with graduates of the seminary program beginning as lieutenants, she said. The appointment to Parkersburg was the couple’s second.

“Next month, my husband and I will have five years in the Salvation Army and we’ll become captains,” she said. “As part of that, the Salvation Army moves a lot of Salvation Army officers around to fit in certain areas where their skills and their gifts can help another area.”

The couple will be transferring to Oklahoma City, Okla., to serve as divisional youth secretaries for the Arkansas and Oklahoma Division of the Salvation Army.

“We will kind of oversee a lot of the youth programs going on in those two states,” she said.

Henry said she and her husband have enjoyed their time in Parkersburg. A native of Texas, she has enjoyed her experiences in a community she describes as “giving” and “loving.”

“So many people have been so friendly to us,” she said, also giving praise to the staff and volunteers who have helped with the Parkersburg chapter’s programs and services.

“It’s been a wonderful family environment here,” Henry said.

“I’ve just seen so many people in this community really kind of give back to support those that are in need, knowing that what they’re giving is really helping and making a difference in someone else’s life that they may never see or may never know they touched,” she said.

Henry said she is both sad about leaving and looking forward to the new experiences.

“As ministers, we go where ever the Lord is telling us. I know that the calling is there to go do something in Oklahoma City and I know He’ll lead the way,” she said.

Henry said the new administrators have already been chosen for the Salvation Army of Parkersburg, Lt. John Autry and Lt. Sharon Autry of Oklahoma City. The Autrys will arrive in Parkersburg the week of June 16 and will begin serving June 23, she said.