By Lauren Zeugner
WARSAW — Sina Locke joined the Salvation Army after meeting her husband, Ken. The two serve as corps administrators for the Salvation Army of Kosciusko County.
Locke explained a corps administrator is an employee of the Salvation Army rather than an officer. “As an employee, we have the same responsibilities as a ranked officer, I just have not been to the Salvation Army training college,” she said.
She and her husband were interested in serving in a leadership position together and were assigned to the Kosciusko County Corps two years ago. Unlike officers in the Salvation Army, who are relocated every few years, corps administrators are not.
Ken had served in the Salvation Army as an officer for a number of years before leaving and working in social services and ministry in the Warsaw area for 25 years. Locke worked as an administrative assistant at Grace College for 16 years before becoming a corps administrator. She came to the Salvation Army through her husband. “Ken’s a pastor at heart and his desire to go back to the pastoral and we wanted to serve together,” she explained.
One of the pluses is the Lockes could stay in the community they’ve lived in since the 1980s. “We can network better, working with other agencies. With that we feel we have an advantage,” Locke explained.
“My heart has been in helping others grow in their faith,” she said. Her gifts of organization and administration, planning events and communication have come in handy in her new role.
“I wasn’t very prepared to be a pastor’s partner. The Salvation Army values women in leadership roles. Women have held all ranks including generals,” she said. She wasn’t prepared for the emotional side of the job. “I have to trust God. We can offer programs and opportunities for people to grow, but we can’t make them grow. That comes from the Holy Spirit,” she said.
The Warsaw Corps has done well during the pandemic. It did need to shut down for a few weeks in November when the Lockes and their administrative assistant all came down with COVID-19. As soon as they were healthy enough to open back up, the Christmas season was upon them. “It was a very different Christmas. We were stunned by the outpouring of giving for the Kosciusko community,” Locke said.
During the pandemic the Salvation Army’s offices have been closed to the public as has its food pantry. A drive thru pantry has been offered. “We’re doing a lot over the phone, email and text,” Locke said. “Some of our older residents don’t have email.”
The Salvation Army does have some funds for COVID-19 relief, but with the offices being closed and having to use technology to assist people, it hasn’t been easy.
“It’s harder to help them. You have to work at it and they have to work at it,” Locke said, adding one of the problems she’s run into is trying to get documents to people who need help and don’t have email.
The Lockes are working to grow the Salvation Army’s ministry in Warsaw. “We’re trying to grow. We’re trying to develop more children’s activities … ,” she said. She and her husband have their own home in Warsaw and don’t use the parsonage located next door to the church.
They’ve been preparing the house to be used by interns from Grace College this summer who will be assisting with Sunday school, youth nights and other youth-focused activities. The interns will be seminary graduates or upperclassmen.
The Warsaw Corps has adopted Lincoln Elementary School. The Salvation Army auxiliary and church have supported the school through prayer. “We just love supporting them and praying for them,” Locke said.
The Salvation Army is excited about Easter. A light brunch is being planned with individualized food items being provided. “I feel really grateful to be here even in such a time as this,” Locke said.
She and her husband have a blended family of seven children with 11 grandchildren.