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The Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center of The Salvation Army was established in Ashland in April 2009. The past seven years, though, are only the most recent chapter of a story that dates to 1885, when Capt. and Mrs. Garner established The Salvation Army work in the community. While the methods and resources have changed throughout those more than 100 years, the mission has not: The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and meet human needs in his name without discrimination.
The Salvation Army is at work in 126 countries around the world and actively is involved globally in humanitarian and social justice efforts such as the elimination of human trafficking, the provision of clean water and the establishment of fair trade business. Locally, the Kroc Center engages full force in issues facing our community. Services include hunger relief through a daily lunch program and food pantry, utility assistance and life-skills development. Art classes, music instruction and recreation opportunities speak to the need for fellowship and positive social interaction. Character-building programs for children and teens are offered and open to all.
The Kroc Center and its program were developed with the needs of the community at the forefront, said Maj. Brett DeMichael, who, with his wife, Maj. Jessica DeMichael, is pastor and administrator of the center. "It's our hope and prayer that people will continue to learn about who we are and what we offer. As they do, they will understand that we are reaching out both to the community as a whole and to people as individuals," Brett DeMichael said.
The Kroc Center also is the church home to many in the community. The worship service is at 10 a.m. every Sunday, followed by Sunday school for all ages, nursery through adult, DeMichael said. All are welcome. With warm weather arriving, activity is on the rise at the Kroc Center. Pick up a spring/summer Program Guide to see what is happening at the center.