Farewell to our Chaplains 2024

Jun 24, 2024

Within the Indiana Division, there are several officers who are moving from the corps they have been serving, and have some words of love and appreciation to share with their communities.


Central Indiana Area Command

Major Rachel Stouder

“No one should seek their own good, but the good of others (1 Corinthians 10:24). This verse captures Major Rachel Stouder’s impactful journey in Indianapolis, Indiana. Throughout her tenure, Major Stouder exhibited love and fostered a sense of community. Now, she is embarking on a new chapter as the General Secretary for the Wisconsin Division, poised to make an even greater impact.

Six years ago, Major Stouder arrived in Indianapolis as the Divisional Program Secretary, serving the entire state of Indiana. After four years in that role, she transitioned to the newly established position of Indianapolis Area Commander. This role involved leading a dedicated team focused on addressing the specific needs of the Indianapolis community.

“I was nervous about starting up the Central Indiana Area Command. I had no idea where to start,” explained Major Stouder. “But I was also really excited to support Indianapolis Corps and to bring everyone together as a collective.”

Indianapolis was not new to Major Stouder. Before becoming a Salvation Army officer, she interned in the city, learning about its people and spreading the word of God. Her familiarity with the city served her well when she began her role as Area Commander.

Initially a team of one, Major Stouder quickly began uniting the Indianapolis Corps, The Ruth Lilly Women and Children’s Center, and the Adult Rehabilitation Center. She was responsible for assembling her team and supporting local Corps and Community Centers.

“I kept praying through it and God gave me an increase capacity to learn so much,” said Major Stouder. “I found myself able to get through work with greater ease and through that I was able to develop resilience.”

During her tenure as Indianapolis Area Commander, Major Stouder established and expanded numerous ministries.  She spearheaded initiatives that provided Christmas assistance to thousands of children, warmth to families through Coats for Kids, and increased awareness of The Salvation Army’s mission.

Major Stouder’s leadership had a far-reaching impact. Many sought her guidance and wisdom. Her passion was always to help people grow into the individuals God intended them to be. “I never thought I would be able to influence a whole team that would make an impact on an entire city,” said Major Stouder.

“She seeks people out, includes them, nurtures them, and invites them into an authentic relationship with the Savior,” said Beth Curtiss, Executive Assistant to Major Stouder. “She has faced and overcome every challenge with grace and with utter confidence that “God would make it happen, for He who calls us is faithful.” (1 Thessalonians 5:24)

As Major Stouder prepares for her new role in Wisconsin, she is eager to continue growing and learning. Her profound love for Jesus and tender care for His people will undoubtedly shine in her new position.



Captains Joshua and Robyn Hubbard

Since arriving in Elkhart in June of 2022, our favorite part has been the strong sense of community that exists here. The city is very developed but continues to feel like a small town. This has allowed us to connect with people and for them to know they can place their trust in The Salvation Army.  

We want to say thank you to the people of Elkhart for the trust and confidence they have placed in us and The Salvation army to meet needs and serve those area. Thank you also for the support you have provided to help us meet those needs. 

We understand there can be reservations about getting to know Salvation Army officers, as they can move often, but we encourage you to embrace the incoming officers. You welcomed us with open arms, and we know you can and will do the same for all the officers after us. During our time here, we made great efforts to listen to your needs and wants for programs and services provided to Elkhart. We also worked hard to meet those needs and desires. We want you to know that this will continue, the officers who are coming will continue to care for and love this community. We ask that you care for and love them in return, just as you did for us.  




Lieutenant Katrina Andrews 

I love the people here. They are so gifted, talented, colorful, and creative. It is beautiful to be a part of such an amazing group of individuals.  

I want those in Gary and Merrillville to remember the potential that they hold. They are diamonds in the rough. People may look at this area and see rundown and abandoned buildings, but what they don't see is the individuals and companies working to change that. There are so many people and organizations working to better the community. I want the individuals in Gary and Merrillville to believe in themselves and keep striving to make their cities even more beautiful and even better than they already are.  

I hope that the members of this community can embrace this new officer and show him love just like they did for me. Take the time to show him what the Gary-Merrillville area is all about and how the areas can work together. He is a person with a good heart, ready to evangelize and be a light.

Farewell. This past year has been such a good ride. I appreciate all the friendships, relationships, and partnerships that have been created during this time. I will miss this community, the organizations, the workers, and the volunteers that came together to make this place prosper. I love you. Continue to build this area into the wonderful place it is meant to be.  



Captains Joseph and Kendra Hixenbaugh

One of the things we loved most about our time in Goshen was working with the senior program. This program was closed when we arrived due to Covid, and it was an honor to offer that again. This program provides seniors in our community a place to hang out, get a meal, and fellowship with one another.  

We also loved working with the 4-H County Fair and the different activities we got to do there over the years.  

We would love for the Goshen community to know that it will always hold a special place in our hearts. We love this town and will never forget the people we met and the memories we made.  

As we leave this community and new officers step into our place, we would love for you all to know that we are entrusting you to these officers. As Salvation Army officers they will continue to love and care for you just as we did. We hope you can embrace them with open arms. Thank you for all the ways you have served us as we sought to serve you.  


Indiana Divisional Headquarters

Major Charlotte Hall

I am so grateful to have been able to be a part of the Indiana Division for the last 3 years. During my time here, I have been able to travel throughout Indiana, meeting and supporting all the officers. It was such a blessing to get to know so many people and see the good work that they are doing. Even during my work travels, I called the Eagle Creek Corps my home corps and loved being a part of that group. The highlight of each year that I served as the General Secretary was the adult camping ministries I got to do.  

I am looking forward to all the people I will meet at my new appointment in Detroit. This will be the first time since the 1980s that all my siblings and mother have lived in the same state. Knowing that makes the process of leaving a place I love a little easier. I am excited to develop new skills and lead an advisory board for the first time. God has blessed me in Indiana, and I know He will bless me in Detroit. I pray that I can also be a blessing to others. 

Thank you to everyone who supported me during my time as the General Secretary for the Indiana Division.   






Captains Joseph and Pamela Gates

Moving here in the middle of Covid left us unsure of what to expect in the community and its engagement with our worship and services. When Covid began to lift, it was great to see how welcoming Kokomo became. With the help of Howard County, we were able to start our incredible SA Gaming ministry. This ministry offers families a safe space to play all kinds of games from board games to video games. We were also able to start offering our worship services on Facebook Live so that we knew people were getting the Word of God even when they were stuck in their homes. 

We want to say thank you to Kokomo for accepting our family. We could not do the work we need to without the help of this community. From WeCare to Barker’s B&K, Sound of Music to Kokomo Police, and Panera Bread to Sam’s Club. There are many other places that have helped us grow and we are thankful to each one of them.  

We would like to welcome Captains Joseph and Kendra Hixenbaugh who will be taking our place and leading The Salvation Army in Howard County. They are great friends who will help the area in any way possible. They bring different skill sets that will be beneficial for everyone and I know that this community will welcome them with open arms as they get settled and find their way around Kokomo. 

Just because we are leaving does not mean that the work of The Salvation Army stops here in Kokomo. Thanks to the support of businesses, volunteers, and staff, we have been able to grow in our programming and will continue to do so with this community's help. We hope and pray you, Howard County, will continue to help and support the incoming officers.  



Captains Aaron and Rachel Johnson

Lafayette was our first appointment. We were newly married and everything about that made Lafayette hold a very special place in our hearts. The community has been so kind and sweet to us as we grew as a married couple, became parents, and learned and grew as officers over the past six years. 

We want to thank Lafayette for the grace and encouragement they have shown us. We worked hard to serve our community well, but we made mistakes, as everyone does, but there was always freedom to make them and understanding. Without the corps members, staff, volunteers, and board members who were so engaged, we would not have been able to serve the Lafayette community as well as we did. The people surrounding us were true co-laborers helping us progress. We were honored to have an experienced envoy working with us to teach us many things we had not yet learned. 

We know that as we step away from Lafayette and Major Marlys steps in, the Lafayette corps will welcome her with loving arms and grace, just as they did for us. We trust The Salvation Army and God to ordain these appointments, and in that we trust that Major Marlys will not only carry on the work in Lafayette but will enhance it. She will have different sets of gifts, passions, and an ability to notice things we did not. We believe these will allow her to grow the corps in ways that we did not, to further the kingdom of God. Major Marlys is our comrade; we carry only respect and encouragement for her, and we pray that the community will do the same. 

We want to remember together that this time is a grieving process for everyone. We are grieving the loss of the wonderful community of Lafayette, the corps is grieving changes, Major Marlys is grieving moving. Let us carry grace for one another as we mourn. More than anything, as we go through all these changes, we can remember that God is the one true and consistent thing among all the craziness of the world. Hold tight to that truth.  




Lieutenant Michaela Lendt 

One of my favorite things that I have experienced in Grant County is the community. I speak especially from the perspective of working with the non-profits and the desire to build a better Grant County. It is important to those in the area to invest locally, donate locally, and support locally. I have experienced so much love and support from businesses, agencies, and individuals who love this community and want to make it better for tomorrow, and gratefully, they want to include The Salvation Army in that. 

I want to thank Marion for its openness to this small-town Iowa girl. Thank you for offering me a clean slate and extending me grace as I have grown as a leader and a pastor. 

While I may be transitioning from Marion, I leave you in the hands of a local, Envoy Ray Daniels. I hope you will join me in supporting Him through prayer, grace, and an open mind. I hope you will find equal measures of each of those for him. I know Ray is excited to start and meet each of you. 


Finally, I leave you will a challenge, a quote from one of The Salvation Army’s founders Catherine Booth: “If we are to better the future, we must disturb the present.” I know change can be daunting and cause us to hesitate, but with change also comes the opportunity to re-envision, re-imagine, and “disturb” the things we’ve become complacent about. Grant County, disturb the present! Continue to grow, shape, envision, and build. I will be praying for you. 


New Albany

Majors Catherine and Jonathan Fitzgerald

The welcoming, warm, and encouraging people of Southern Indiana made so many things about our time here so wonderful. We have been at the New Albany Corps for 6 years, which obviously includes going through Covid. Due to the community's generosity and support, we were able to respond compassionately and with a high level of service to the needs presented due to Covid. This, and so many other services, could not have taken place without the wonderful people of Southern Indiana. Also, we updated so many things about the corps’ property, such as redoing the gym, office, and chapel flooring and remodeling the Clarksville Thrift Store. These were huge projects that took amazing teamwork to complete.   

Captains Kory and Heidi Strand, who will be taking over leadership of the New Albany corps are amazing Salvation Army officers. They are leaders who are ready to compassionately love this community and care for those in need and take the services and programs we offer to the next level. We know that they will embrace this area wholeheartedly, and we hope that that will be returned.  

Thank you for a wonderful 6 years. We are so honored to have served here and to have enjoyed this community with our children. Our whole family was embraced, and we were able to get involved in so many activities.  Our children especially have loved growing up here in such a safe and caring community.  Thank you and we love you.   




Captain Karla Salsbury

Vincennes is unique, loyal, and proud of its history and heritage. Over the past few years we have weathered some tough storms together. 

This is an area that supports its own. When people are struggling, neighbors are quick to step up and help out. They deeply appreciate and respect the work of The Salvation Army here, and respond well when we express a need, especially for our food pantry. They are SO community minded and committed to taking care of their own. 

I have been extremely blessed to work alongside amazing corps members, Advisory Board members, and volunteers who have stepped in and stepped up during some very difficult times. My brother lost his 8 ½ yearlong battle with ALS during my first Christmas season here. They took on setting up, carrying out, and packing up our Christmas food and toy distribution without me while I was away for my brother’s funeral, and did an amazing job. That is a memory I will always cherish. I thank them for the hard work they provided during that time. 

I am grateful to Vincennes for supporting The Salvation Army’s mission and ministry and I have appreciated the opportunity to get to know many of them throughout my time here. Their prayers for me would be greatly appreciated as I take on my new responsibilities as the Chaplain for The Salvation Army’s programs in the St. Louis, MO City Command. 

I commend to them Captains Joey and Pamela Gates, along with their two sons, Jaxson and Thomas. They are coming to Vincennes after serving faithfully at the Kokomo, IN Corps for the past four years, and they bring with them unique gifts and talents that I know God will use as they serve here. They have loving hearts and an eagerness to get to know the people with whom they will be serving. I appreciate those who have already reached out to them to support them in their transition to Vincennes, and I pray that the people here will welcome them with open arms. 


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