Salvation Army officials leaving to run Va. facility

Majs. Cathy and Matt Riley will be leaving the Salvation Army of Parkersburg on June 17 for Hampton Roads, Va. (Photo by Jeff Baughan)

PARKERSBURG — While June usually signifies the start of summer, June will mark the end of time for Majs. Matt and Cathy Riley of the Salvation Army in the Parkersburg area.

After arriving in Parkersburg in July 2016 from Middle River, Md., the Rileys are leaving June 17 for Hampton Roads, Va., in the Virginia Beach area. There, the Rileys will be working with the Hampton Roads Rehab Center.

“It’s a 114-bed facility for men with addiction problems,” Matt Riley said. “It’s for men trying to get their lives back together. It’s a full spiritual/work hot meal facility. It’s a fairly large program and there are four thrift stores, so it’s going to be a lot of work.”

Coming to Parkersburg are Capt. Patrick and Maj. Carey Richmond from Danville, Ky., according to Riley. The Richmonds served appointments in Tallahassee, Fort Walton Beach and Lake Worth in Florida, Nashville, Tenn., and Ashland, Ky.

“They’ve got two teens and two dogs,” Riley said. “They are very seasoned officers.”

Riley said the “greatest accomplishment is the spiritual growth of people who come here. All are moving forward as a body of believers. I have seen some harsh and hard people be transformed. You listen to them talk and you can see they are being remade in the image of God.”

Riley said renovations of the shelter in Parkersburg and the updates to the thrift store were significant, “as well as a lot of cosmetic work were needed,” he said.

“There have been people who helped. There have been people who needed help,” he said. “Helping people get up is the greatest thing and it doesn’t get old. You help them stand up when they didn’t think they were going to get up.

“The community here supported us tremendously,” he said. “From the people who stepped into ministry, who put change in the buckets. You see it all around. People have been moved to help other people, to give, to step up to do the job, whatever it may have been. And you see God’s hand in the middle of all of it. Watching God move…that’s an exciting thing to watch.”

Riley also honored those who came before them.

“There were many others who have been here before us, who have been involved and did the ground work for what was accomplished,” he said. “The members on the board have given, given and given leadership. It has a meant a lot to myself and my wife. We were thrilled to have been part of it.”