MASSENA — After seven years in Massena, the commanders of The Salvation Army are heading to a new assignment in Syracuse.
Captains Russell and Cynthia Crowsen will be replaced by Majors Robert and Karen Bender. The Benders will arrive in Massena by Sunday.
“It’s not going to be a big lapse. They’ll be here sometime before the 7th. They have to be here for Sunday,” Capt. Russell Crowsen said.
The Benders will be moving to Massena from Ohio.
“They’ve been officers for 30 years. They spent their 30 years in Ohio and Western Pennsylvania. This is their first time as an officer this far east,” Capt. Crowsen said.
The Crowsens arrived in Massena on July 1, 2012, and rotations to new assignments are typically every three to four years.
“Sometimes there are situations that cause it to go longer. In my case, we’re foster parents. We were adopting. We had to take longer because of the process. Our second child will be adopted just before we leave. We’re cutting it close,” he said.
In a brief biography sent to the Crowsens, the Benders wrote: “We are both children of Salvation Army Officers (pastors) and have grown up in The Salvation Army our entire lives. Karen is originally from Massachusetts, while Bob grew up in Ohio. We met at a Salvation Army Camp in Ohio while Karen was attending Asbury University in Kentucky, and married a year later in 1984. We entered The Salvation Army School for Officers Training in 1987,
“We have been Officers (pastors/administrators) in The Salvation Army for 30 years having served in Meadville, Pa.; McKeesport, Pa.; Mount Vernon, Ohio; and Painesville, Ohio. We have five married children and six grandchildren, three of whom also serve in The Salvation Army. We continue to follow God’s calling on our lives as we move to Massena and look forward to serving in St. Lawrence County and meeting the needs of the community.”