Inspiring Stories Major Melody Morrison

Mar 19, 2021 | by Haley Lysinger

In honor of National Women’s History Month, we’re sharing stories of how women wearing The Salvation Army uniform inspire other women to make history every day.

Fourteen lives dedicated in the service to the mission of The Salvation Army and providing support in the name of Jesus Christ without discrimination. Many people would be happy to leave such a legacy, retired Major Melody Morrison has the rare privilege to know her legacy is at work every single day.

As a corps officer over many years, Major Melody taught The Salvation Army’s mission in a captivating and motivational way in order to inspire the next generation. She provided them with the necessary tools to discover their purpose and desire to spread God’s word.

“Her passion for youth in the community and commitment to sharing the mission of The Salvation Army is what made me want to become an officer like her when I grew up,” said Major Darlene Harvey, the Divisional Director of Women’s Ministries and Officer Development Secretary in the Kansas and Western Missouri Division. “She sacrificed her time for the teenagers of the corps by taking us on trips and providing a safe place to discover our purpose in life.”

Major Melody said that her primary goal was to provide a family-like atmosphere for teens to feel comfortable learning and understanding their faith. For her, the desire stemmed from growing up in a family that did not embrace going to church or understood her commitment.

She is grateful for Colonels Bob and Ruth Bonifield’s ministry.  Col. Ruth was a maternal figure, treating a young Melody as a member of the extended Bonifield family.  Melody felt a sense of belonging as well as learned about her faith through Col. Ruth's support.

As the officer at the Downriver Corps in Wyandotte, Mich., she first made an impact on not only Major Darlene’s path but Major LeeAnn Burkett’s path, the corps officer in Independence, Mo. She is now a retired officer in Escanaba, Mich. where she and her husband continue to spread their passion for God’s will and inspire the young people in their lives.

“When I look back on the time I served, I am reminded about all the care and time we spent with these people as family. In more than one corps I was able to relate to the young women and it all goes back to the training I received,” said Major Melody.

Major Melody was given a foundation of knowledge built around her religion and church being a family for her. She praises God for allowing her the time she served and for the connections she made with people who needed to see Christ’s love and how it can change their livelihoods.

It’s a legacy she established that’s hard at work in multiple communities across the Central Territory, inspiring officers and teenagers alike.

“As I work with young people throughout my career, I reflect on how Major Melody influenced the love and kindness I show young people,” Major Darlene said.

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