WAXAHACHIE — The Salvation Army of Ellis County recently welcomed aboard two new lieutenants to govern its county headquarters in Waxahachie, making a husband and wife team the newest members of the group dedicated to "Doing The Most Good."Newlyweds Robert and Kristin Coriston may be new to the neighborhood but have already made immense impacts in the community since being assigned to the area in June.
After meeting at seminary school in Atlanta, the pair learned they would be beginning their journey as lieutenants with The Salvation Army in a “little small town” called Waxahachie — a surprise neither of the two had expected.
“They don’t tell us where they’re sending us until we walk across that stage, so we’re going across the stage and they go ‘And your appointment is Waxahachie, Texas,’” Robert recalled. “I remember both of us were like ‘Texas?!’ It wasn’t on our radar at all. We were shocked.”
The Salvation Army, an international organization created by London Minister William Booth, has maintained a mission of preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ since opening its doors in 1865. The charity group is responsible for a vast number of programs including Boys and Girls Club, Angel Tree and Red Kettle Program.
Since moving to Ellis County just one month ago, the Coriston’s have already begun settling into their new roles as lieutenants. Under this title, both Kristin and Robert are responsible for overseeing community events, Sunday school, finances and emergency services alike, though they’re most excited about their “community roles” and working with other leaders to explore different ways to join in and help.
When they’re not preaching the Gospel or planning for a 5k, the Coriston’s may be found enjoying their new residence in Ellis County, stating the tight-knit community is like nothing they’ve ever seen.
“I’m excited about the small town feel,” Robert said. “She’s already been to the library and gotten a library card. Even walking downtown was awesome. Walking through city hall, everyone is coming out of their office saying ‘hi!’ It’s a nice pace, all the antiques and furniture and museums, it’s got it all. I’d never been in a city where it’s been like that.”
For the 5th generation Salvation Army member and “deviant” kid from Ohio, the unassuming couple have shown that their opposite upbringings are just the equation for a successful leadership role with the Army.
“I’m originally from Youngstown, Ohio, and spent about 30 years there,” Robert said. “I was kind of a deviant kid, so I found my way to The Salvation Army at one of their rehabilitation centers in Florida, and that’s actually how I got introduced to the Army. From there I felt called that I wanted to help. The Salvation personally saved my life. So we have this aspect of the new and the old.”
“He didn’t grow up with any knowledge of The Salvation Army, but I did,” said Kristin, whose parents were Salvation officers. “We need each other, that perspective. He gives me a lot of insight while I can share my knowledge on the program, so it’s really cool that we get to do it like that.”
As lieutenants, their position typically requires relocating every three to five years. Knowing their time in Waxahachie is limited, the Coriston’s have full intentions of making the most out of their stay while located within the city lines.
“It’s so exciting to come into a council that is so excited about promoting The Salvation Army’s mission,” she said. “The atmosphere in the community is so exciting, and I say we both have been inspired by what’s already going on here. It’s just so inviting and welcoming. God’s already doing big things, we just want to see where we can help.”
As the journey of a lifetime continues to play out for the young couple, the two have nothing but excitement in fulfilling God’s mission during their time here. That said, they still understand the sizable role involved in managing such a prestigious organization and are always looking for people to help.
“We’re really looking for volunteers,” Robert said. “We’re looking for people to get involved with the projects, 5k run, angel tree, and then of course financially and just time. There’s a lot of good we want to do and we want as many people on board as possible. We’re one community- one army.”
Anyone looking to volunteer with The Salvation Army can call (972) 937-7727 or email Kristin at firstname.lastname@example.org.