Promoted to Glory: Major Rosalie Chastain

Major Rosalie Chastain was promoted to glory on November 29, 2023, at the age of 90.

Alma Rosalie Biddix was born in Buncombe, NC on September 20, 1933, to parents William and Leora Biddix. She attended The Salvation Army in Asheville, NC, and on July 21, 1940, she accepted the Lord Jesus as her Savior. She was enrolled as a Junior Soldier on February 16, 1941, and later as a Senior Soldier on September 26, 1948.

She was very involved in the corps with Girl Guards and Songsters and held many leadership positions.

God called her at an early age to become a Salvation Army officer. She recalled that in third grade when her teacher asked her what her ambitions were, she stood and said, “When I grow up, I want to be a Salvation Army officer.”

Rosalie entered the Evangeline Booth Training College in Atlanta in September 1953, as a member of the Shepherds session of cadets. There she met fellow cadet Joseph (Jack) Chastain, whom she later married. She was commissioned with the rank of Lieutenant on June 7, 1954. Her first appointment was to assist in Wilson, NC. Rosalie and Jack married in 1955.

Lieutenants Jack and Rosalie Chastain went on to serve in Sumter, SC; and later they were responsible for opening the present-day corps and community center in Kinston, NC. Throughout the decades, they served as corps officers in Columbia, Charleston, and Greenwood, SC; and in North Carolina at Winston-Salem, Fayetteville, Salisbury, and Elizabeth City.

Majors Chastain retired in June 1999, after a combined total of over 76 years of active service.

Major Rosalie Chastain was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Major Jack Chastain, after 66 years of marriage.

She is survived by sons, David Michael (Betty) Chastain and Paul Keith Chastain; and granddaughter, Amanda (Scott) Graham, known to her family as “Mandy,” whom she raised. She also leaves three grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

A Celebration of Life service will be held on December 4, 2023, at the Kinston Corps, followed by a graveside service at Pinelawn Memorial Park.