MASSENA — The Massena Salvation Army will be welcoming new commanders.
Majors Robert and Karen Bender, who have served the Massena community since July 2019, will be leaving to serve the Mansfield, Ohio community. Their previous assignments have included Meadville, Pa.; McKeesport, Pa.; Mount Vernon, Ohio; and Painesville, Ohio.
They had replaced Captains Russell and Cynthia Crowsen, who headed for a new assignment in Syracuse after seven years in Massena.
The Benders will be replaced in Massena by Lieutenants Nicholas and Jennifer White. They were among 16 appointments of new lieutenants of the The Salvation Army College of Officer Training Messengers of Grace session.
The appointments were announced in June by officials with The Salvation Army USA Eastern Territory and are effective Wednesday.
The incoming officers were born and raised in central Vermont.
“We have been part of The Salvation Army for almost 14 years. We became officers (ministers in The Salvation Army) to win souls for Christ and make a positive impact in others lives,” they said in an email.
They said they’re looking forward to their Massena assignment.
“We enjoy helping people and our hopes for Massena is to come along side the community, to serve those in need, bring people into the church, and most importantly show God’s love,” they said.
They have four children — Elaina, 19, Benjamin, 16, Izayah, 13, and Lily, 5.