New Springfield Salvation Army officers look to fill gaps in service


The Salvation Army Springfield Ohio Corps has two new officers who each have a long family history serving the Christian service organization.

Bob Watson and Anita Albert-Watson recently took over the leadership posts in Springfield after working for the past several years in Tampa Bay, Fla. Both are corps officers in the Salvation Army tasked with leading the local organization and its five staff members.

READ MORE: Springfield picked for tech plant with 400 jobs due to labor market

The agency provides a variety of services, including a youth basketball camp, a youth ministry and a martial arts class to offer activities for local students. They also work closely with other agencies in Clark County to see if any gaps in service exist and look for ways to improve service if possible.

“We’ve been very encouraged by what’s already happening here in Springfield,” Albert-Watson said. “We both believe this particular unit is doing such amazing work. There’s an emphasis on youth.”

Both have family histories that are deeply tied to the organization. Both of Albert-Watson’s parents are from India, and her father’s family converted to Christianity through Salvation Army missionaries there. Her parents met at a Salvation Army nursing school in India and eventually traveled to New York.

“I always joke because my parents met at the Salvation Army nursing school, I’m literally a product of the Salvation Army,” she said.

MORE: Cedarville business lands $100K deal on ‘Shark Tank’

Bob Watson said his family connection goes back to the Great Depression. His paternal grandfather visited the agency in Goldsboro, N.C., seeking food. Eventually his father and his father’s siblings all became officers in the organization. His father served the national commander of the Salvation Army in the U.S., a high-ranking position in the agency. He said William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army, sent his maternal great-grandmother from England to the U.S. in 1901.

Watson and Albert-Watson also met while serving as officers in the organization.

While it’s still early in their local service, the pair said they’ve heard from Springfield community leaders that more programs are needed to provide recovery assistance to residents with drug addictions. Other local agencies are stepping in to provide residential drug recovery programs, Watson said, but the Salvation Army doesn’t provide that specific service locally.

“We don’t have that in close proximity here in terms of Salvation Army work but I want to emphasize we value the things that are happening in the community along those lines,” he said.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Community News

Florida school shooting: Teacher of the year's emotional Facebook post goes viral
Florida school shooting: Teacher of the year's emotional Facebook post goes viral

An educator at Eustis Middle School in Florida, who was named teacher of the year last month, posted her reaction on social media to the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 dead. Kelly Guthrie Raley’s response has been shared more than 600,000 times since she posted it on her Facebook page, with many...
More rain continues threat for flooding; warm-up on the way
More rain continues threat for flooding; warm-up on the way

Rounds of rain this week Very mild temperatures Minor flooding a continued threat Today: Scattered showers will continue to move in through the early morning, said Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini. A rumble of thunder can’t be ruled out. It will be a very mild day with temperatures climbing into the low to mid-60s. Widespread...
BAFTA Film Awards 2018: See the complete winners list
BAFTA Film Awards 2018: See the complete winners list

Check out which films, stars and directors won big Sunday at the 2018 British Academy Film Awards in London.  Best film: "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" Outstanding British film: "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" Outstanding debut by a British writer, director or producer: "I Am Not a Witch,"...
WATCH: Fergie's national anthem performance at the NBA All-Star Game baffles viewers
WATCH: Fergie's national anthem performance at the NBA All-Star Game baffles viewers

Grammy award-winning recording artist Fergie was tasked with the pre-game national anthem for the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday night. On paper, that sounds like a great choice, but many viewers thought it could have gone better. Critics pointed out that Fergie’s voice was oddly erratic during the anthem. One sequence even led Warriors forward...
Self-proclaimed white nationalist banned from Seattle gym
Self-proclaimed white nationalist banned from Seattle gym

A self-proclaimed white nationalist was banned from a Fremont gym after the owners learned he is a leader in the alt-right community. The owners of Northwest Fitness Project say Greg Johnson is longer welcome there. “The trainer terminated his contract and we banned him from the gym,” said Kyle Davis, a co-owner of the gym. It's a move...
More Stories