Q&A with Lt. Colonel Eddie Hobgood and Captain Rob Dolby

Innovation is at the forefront across the USA Southern Territory, highlighted by the territory’s first-ever Innovation Forum held in mid-March. That gathering, which emanated from the creativity necessary for The Salvation Army to navigate a global pandemic, showcased future-facing concepts for mission and ministry from each division across the Southeast.

With that as the backdrop, the Southern Territory is distributing MASH units, aiming to supplement ministry on the go in a new, resourceful way.

“Our people have gotten outside of the four walls, and we’ve been the Army that we’ve always been intended to be in ways that we haven’t been in a lot of years,” said Lt. Colonel Eddie Hobgood, territorial secretary for program. “The community has seen us in ways that they haven’t seen us, in a lot of cases, in years and they’ve really rallied around us and supported us and allowed us to do mission in ways that we haven’t done in a long time. We are positioned, because of COVID, in a lot of our communities to go to the next level.”

The Mobile Army Support Hubs (MASH) allow The Salvation Army to meet people where they are, with an emphasis on versatility and the ability to mold ministry to any community.

“We like to say it’s taking soup, soap and salvation and innovating it onto three wheels,” said Captain Rob Dolby, territorial mission specialist. “In its simplest form, it’s a delivery tricycle, and people often ask ‘What do you put inside?’ and our answer is whatever you need to preach the gospel. As these units are being deployed across the territory, we’re already seeing units that are taking them out and accomplishing the mission through mobile evangelism, youth programming. We can take Sunday School, VBS, and take it right to the park, especially in times that we live in.”

“We’ve even seen a unit partner with local government and support services, where you’re seeing soldiers, employees and local law enforcement set up little coffee shops at certain locations where folks experiencing homeless can get immediate support, right into shelter, provided with food, spiritual care and support and, of course, people are hearing about Jesus.”

For more information, please see the video below.