The Salvation Army in Niles Breaks Ground for New Building

Mar 20, 2024

*From left to right: Nick Shelton, Niles Mayor, Lt. Colonel Steve Merritt, Great Lakes Divisional Commander; Marge Durmhiatt, Niles Township Supervisor; Major Jodi Montgomery, Niles Corps Officer; Major Nic Montgomery, Niles Corps Officer; Margie Hadsell, Advisory Board Chair; Arvin Delacruz, Abonmarche Architect; Lt. Colonel David Harvey, Secretary for Business Administration, Central Territory Headquarters; Gareth Troyer, DJ Construction.

When Majors Nic and Jodi Montgomery began their leadership tenure as corps officers at The Salvation Army of Niles, everyone they met in the community – in restaurants, stores, at the library, and even on the street – had one consistent question: “When are you going to build that building?”

As the officers spoke of their hopes for the future, the end of the conversation was always “I’ll believe it when I see it.”

On Tuesday, March 19, Majors Nic and Jodi welcomed community leaders and dignitaries to a groundbreaking ceremony. It was a blustery first day of spring, but the excitement was palpable.

“After more than 15 years of patience and hard work, TODAY is the day we begin to build that building and you can believe it because you can see it!” said Major Nic Mongomery

Niles High School band kicked off the celebration with a 10-piece band performance.

Those who spoke include Salvation Army of Niles Advisory Board Chair Margie Hadsell, Mayor Rick Shelton and Marge Durmhiatt, Niles Township Supervisor.

Great Lakes Divisional Commander, Lt. Colonel Steven J. Merritt and Lt. Colonel David Harvey, Secretary for Business Administration, Central Territorial Headquarters also addressed the crowd, thanked the community for their support and blessed the work to come.

“A new facility allows us to build a pathway of hope and dignity for our neighbors in S.E. Berrien and Cass Counties,” said Major Nic Montgomery.

"It’s been such a long journey for our donors. We could not have done it without you all.”

The new community center will include a commercial kitchen to use for their hot lunch program, a dining room for meals with fellowship and flexible spaces that foster education and can host multiple community venues.

Plans also include a client-choice food pantry which will allow people to choose food that best suits their family, a community vegetable garden, warehouse storage for large donations, administration and social services offices and a chapel for prayer and worship.

* Colonel Steven J. Merritt speaks at the groundbreaking

While funding for the facility itself has been raised, monies for furnishings, fixtures, and a community prayer garden are still needed.

“We are so incredibly grateful to our past donors for starting the race, our present donors for continuing to compete, and our future donors for taking us to the finish line,” said Major Jodi Montgomery.

To join the race and get them to the finish line go to to donate.

The Salvation Army of Niles hopes to have it completed by the end of 2024. Stay tuned for the ribbon cutting announcement!

If you are interested in volunteering at a Salvation Army location near you, there are plenty of opportunities at



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