Salvation Army's Leader Departs With Mixed Emotions

By: Giang Nguyen Email
By: Giang Nguyen Email

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - As is tradition with the Salvation Army, officers are re-assigned every few years. But that didn't make this day any easier for Captains Chuck and Betty Yockey.

"We love Topeka, the city, the church. It's home," Capt. Betty Yockey said.

"We have very mixed emotions about leaving. As you can tell this is a wonderful community. They love us, our church people love us and our family is here, but we know that God has called us to Des Moines," Capt. Chuck Yockey said, echoing his wife's sentiments.

Chuck Yockey has led the Topeka Salvation Army Citadel for the past four years.

Among his fondest memories? "Kettles," he said.

"Christmas kettles are one of my favorite things to do," he said. "We've managed to grow the kettle program here by about $80,000 dollars from when we began. That's an exciting thing."

His proudest accomplishments include bringing the Army's Child Care Center on steady footing - and helping people of all ages grow.

"We've had people come here, when we - arrived, not knowing who Jesus is. And now they're in uniform [bringing] salvation to this congregation," he said. "That's what it's all about. That's what my job is, first and foremost, to bring salvation to those who are struggling," he said.

Yockey says he couldn't have done it without the community's generosity.

"Thank you," he said lastly. "Topeka, you've been wonderful to me and my family and the Salvation Army and I thank you, on behalf of the general, on behalf of my wife and myself and my family. God bless you."

The congregation sent the couple off with prayers, but they know the Yockeys will be back.

"It's not goodbye, it's see you later," they said.


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