Marietta Salvation Army under new leadership

MARIETTA – Husband and wife Aaron and Wanessa Moore joke they bleed red, yellow and blue, and they’re not talking about soccer teams in the World Cup.

The two were recently appointed captains of the Marietta Salvation Army, taking on the leadership role that oversees the organization’s many fundraisers, charity work and worship services.

Both in their early 30s, the Moores said they are excited to contribute their youthful energy while carrying on the tradition and work of Salvation Army leaders before them.

“We’ve come here and picked up the banner of our predecessors,” Aaron said. “At the moment we’re just trying to get our bearings straight and get the pulse of the community.”

Aaron grew up in Staten Island and Wanessa grew up in Brazil and New Jersey. They were appointed to corps officers at the Salvation Army in Delaware, Ohio in 2009 before receiving their most recent appointment to Marietta in May.

In addition to spending their adulthood in service to the organization, their connections both run much deeper.

“We are young blood, but I’m in the seventh generation of the Salvation Army in my family,” Aaron said. “My parents were officers, my grandparents were officers, and I have sisters, cousins aunts and uncles that have all served.”

Wanessa’s bloodline follows a similar path to Aaron’s.

“We are a family that has moved a lot, and both of us are children of the regiment,” she said.

Along with raising two children, ages 4 and 5, the Moores are assessing specific needs.

“We’ll be working with organizations and fundraising in towns, and we also oversee day-to-day operations, organize the food pantry, clothing and furniture, everything like that,” Aaron said. “Our goal is to meet the goals of the people, both physical needs and spiritual, without discrimination.”

The Moores hope to strengthen the Salvation Army again after a smaller thrift store at its Front Street office opened to take the place of the closed location on Greene Street.

Wanessa said though they have only been in town for two weeks, the area already feels like home.

“I think what we’re most excited about is that the possibilities here are endless, because we’re right downtown, and we have the opportunity to do so much,” she said. “We do have a heart and passion to work with both children and the elderly and obviously everyone in between.”

The Moores said they plan on bringing all their energy to keep what already works well, but to bring in new ideas in the process.

“We’re not here to replicate any programs that are doing fantastically,” Aaron said. “We’re here to help marginalized individuals wherever we are needed.”

Rebecca Place, the Marietta Salvation Army’s social worker for the past 10 years, said the group is excited for the change.

“They’re younger, so we think they’re going to be able to do a lot more,” she said. “They really seem to want to work with us on things we’ve already got, and we’ve already thrown new things at them that they’re willing to do.”

As captains, the Moores are also tasked to be the lead pastors at the Salvation Army church as well as the spokespeople of the organization to the community.

“So far, everywhere we go we see smiling faces, and we see people in the community who really appreciate the work the Salvation Army does,” Aaron said. “We’re blessed to have all these great predecessors, and we’re here to grab the baton and go on and do the best we can.”

The Moores’ appointment to Marietta means they have taken the place of Maj. Karen Garrett, who retired after serving the Salvation Army for 47 years, serving in Marietta for the last two.