Larry Miller (right) and Daryl Rowe are stalwarts in the Hagerstown Corps.

For Soldier Larry Miller, Service is Central in His Daily Life

By: Lieutenant Trish Adkins

Soldiers in The Salvation Army are called upon to do many things. Among those callings is the need to minister to people in pain and distress when their lives have been turned upside-down by a natural disaster. For more than a century, soldiers of The Salvation Army have reached out to their neighbors who have survived natural disasters.

The Bible exhorts us to not grow weary in doing good, and soldiers have striven to meet that challenge. Wherever there is great need, our soldiers are there to help.

For Larry Miller, a soldier in The Salvation Army for more than 20 years, service is a part of his daily life. Miller, the long-time corps sergeant major at
the Hagerstown, Maryland, Corps, has also served as the Maryland-West Virginia divisional corps sergeant major since 2016. In addition to doing many things to meet human need in Hagerstown, he has served on several national disasters, including Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and this year’s Hurricane Harvey on the Texas coast.

Miller was a crew member on a mobile canteen during the Harvey relief effort, serving hot meals, cold drinks and snacks to hurricane survivors in the Corpus Christi, Texas, area, many of whom were dealing with the devastating loss of their homes. Miller is a firm believer in the vision of Founder William Booth.

“We meet the needs of mankind,” he said. “I don’t know of any church that does it better than The Salvation Army. We are very fortunate in a biblical sense that William Booth had God’s blessing.”

Miller said he wants to serve his fellow man because he believes that in so doing, he is drawn ever closer to God. “He seeks to change my heart,” he said.

His corps officer, Major Sterling Mallard, said that what you see is what you get with Miller. “His life is his testimony,” he said. “He lives out his Christianity in everything he does. He’s always there for our people in the corps – if someone has a problem, he’s always there to help.”

Miller has worked side-by-side in many disaster operations with his fellow soldier at the Hagerstown Corps, Daryl Rowe, over the past two decades. Rowe joined Miller in southeast Texas during the Harvey relief effort, and he served following Andrew, Katrina and Frances as well. He said that disaster service helps him stay grounded in his faith. “It keeps you humble and grateful,” he said.