Story by Lyda Kay Ferree, The Southern Lifestyles Lady. Photography by Woody Woodard.
Lt. Cheryl Moynihan was born in Danville, Kentucky. Her parents worked for The Salvation Army as the administrators of a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center. Being raised in The Salvation Army she moved frequently, but she learned quickly by watching her parents how necessary their work was. Cheryl observed at an early age the devastation of drug and alcohol addiction. This instilled in her a desire to carry on the ministry to which her parents had devoted their lives. Cheryl began working for The Salvation Army at age 16. In 2003 she met her husband, David, while working in Ft. Smith, Arkansas. The two became best friends and married in 2008.
Cheryl and David have two children—a six-year-old son named Mastin and a four-year-old daughter named Olivia. Called by God into full-time ministry with The Salvation Army, Cheryl and David attended Evangeline Booth College in Atlanta, GA from 2015-2017. Both have their degrees in practical ministry and are working on their bachelor’s degree through Trevecca Nazarene University.
They were appointed to Jackson, TN. as Corps Officers in June 2017. Cheryl is passionate about being the voice for the voiceless and continuing the legacy of her family. Cheryl and David are excited to embark on this journey together in Jackson.
VIP: Why was The Salvation Army established and what is the mission of The Salvation Army?
Lt. Cheryl Moynihan: The Salvation Army was started to reach the many individuals who were being overlooked by the mainstream church. William Booth’s mission was to “Go for Souls, and Go for the worst.” The Salvation Army today continues to carry on that mission “to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human need in His name without discrimination.”
VIP: What are the chief goals of you and your board at present?
CM: To effectively reach our community by being the hands and feet of Jesus. We want to revitalize the work of The Salvation Army in Jackson through meeting people right where they are and being more present in the lives of those we serve.
VIP: Discuss upcoming events the next quarter like the Toy Distribution and Volunteer Appreciation Banquet.
CM: The Christmas season is already in full swing for us! On November 17 we held our annual Christmas Kick-Off. The City of Jackson Fire Department is hosting a toy drive for our Angel Tree program. Our annual Red Kettle Fundraiser is now holding a “Battle of the Bells” competition. The Fire Department and Police Department will be battling it out to see who can raise the most money for The Salvation Army, along with several civic clubs, banks and law firms. This is a fun way to do the most good. Our Angel Tree Distribution will be on December 19th and in the spring we look forward to honoring all of our volunteers at our Volunteer Appreciation Banquet. The winners of the competitions will be presented with their trophies at this time.
VIP: What programs do you offer in Jackson and West Tennessee?
CM: Currently we have a food box feeding program. We help with gas, utilities, rent and so on. We have a thriving youth ministry that offers character building programs for all ages. We have a mobile feeding unit that provides meals to the homeless along with jackets and blankets in the winter months. And many do not know that The Salvation Army is first and foremost a church. We offer Sunday and midweek services.
VIP: What do you most want our VIP readers to know about the work of The Salvation Army?
CM: We are so much more than a thrift store. The impact that offering help to those in need has on that individual goes so much deeper than meeting that one need. In many cases we are able to establish a trusting relationship with those we serve, which gives us an incredible opportunity to walk alongside them and help them with more than their immediate need and make a lasting impact.
VIP: Why is the kettle/bell ringing tradition in December so important?
CM: This has been a tradition for many years in The Salvation Army so much so that in many Christmas movies you will see the famous red kettle and hear the bells ringing in the background. The money that we raise during our kettle season first goes to help those in need for Christmas by buying toys and providing food. The rest of the money is used to support the work that we do all year long.
VIP: Do you need more volunteers for this and for other reasons? If so, whom do they contact and what is the contact information?
CM: Yes! We need volunteers to ring the bell and to sit at our Angel Tree. Throughout the year we can always use volunteers to help us with everyday operations. You may contact Debbie Taylor at (731) 422-1271.