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The Daily Ardmoreite
  • Returning to Oklahoma for the call

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  • Salvation Army officers are trained and commissioned officers who proclaim the Gospel and arrive in various communities ready to serve the people as ministers, youth leaders, social workers, counselors, administrators and friends.
    Those familiar with the Christian and international charitable organization know that officers are periodically transferred to different locations, arriving in new spots and taking the reins of the church and various social service programs from another officer.
    Captains Nick and Fallyn Garrison are familiar with getting the call and heading to the next community for their next chapter of service. The Garrisons began their service in Louisville, Ky., and from there served in Paducah, Ky., and most recently in Johnson City, Tenn.
    But the couple says the call about coming to Ardmore was met with joy for a chance to return home.
    “We didn’t ask for it, but once we got the assignment, we were thrilled,” said Nick, who was born in Oklahoma and spent his youth in Arkansas and Oklahoma. His parents were Salvation Army officers.  
    “It’s like coming home,” added Fallyn, who was born and raised in Stillwater.
    The Sooner state was also where the couple first met. As teenagers, the two attended the Salvation Army camp in Welling, near Tahlequah. They attended Salvation Army training in Atlanta.
    The Garrisons are replacing Majors Linda and Jeff Daniels who have been reassigned to the Army’s north Mississippi branch. The two, along with their five-year-old daughter, Hannah, moved to Ardmore in mid-June.
    The couple has spent the last month becoming familiar with the various programs and services offered at the Salvation Army of Ardmore as well as becoming familiar with the community. They are responsible for all church programs and social services, which includes the weekday soup kitchen, utility assistance programs and emergency shelter.
    The Salvation Army of Ardmore also provides women’s and youth ministries, Christian education opportunities and has a Sunday morning worship.
    “Very similar,” Nick said, when asked how the Salvation Army of Ardmore compares to services and programs offered in Johnson City. “Just on a smaller scale. We are very familiar with the Salvation Army programs ran here. There seems to be a good spirit around here. We are very excited about the programs and have a heart for working in the children’s ministries.”
    Ardmore is also home to a Salvation Army Family Store, which collects donations of goods that are then sold. The proceeds from those purchases are used to fund the various programs offered in Ardmore.
    “Those donations go right back into the community and allows us to directly benefit the community,” Nick said.
    The couple says they are excited to serve in Ardmore and meet the needs of the southern Oklahoma community. The Garrisons say it is a rewarding experience to serve in the Salvation Army because of the opportunities to help someone in need, watch them grow and change towards a better life.
    Page 2 of 2 - “It is seeing the change. You see the light bulb turn on and you think back on how much this person has changed in the past three months,” Fallyn said.
    “It is meeting the need, whether it is by serving a hot meal, handing out a Christmas toy, you see the need met and it makes it all worth it,” Nick added.
    The Garrisons say they hope to be in Ardmore for a “long time,” but will answer to the call of the organization. They look forward to diving into the children’s ministries and youth programs that begin in the fall, once school is back in session.
    To ask questions about the programs and services available at the Salvation Army of Ardmore, call (580) 223-6190 or visit salvationarmyaok.org.

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