Man of the Year
Billy Dempsey; Greenwood, Miss.; ALM Division
Billy Dempsey is one of our most faithful soldiers. He serves at the corps as our welcome sergeant, but he is not limited to one job. Always looking to help others in any way that he can, Billy has served on disaster teams, including one that served after the flood in Baton Rouge. Every kettle season, Billy makes it his goal to raise as much money as he can. Billy raised nearly $5,000 ringing bells last Christmas, and his hours of service are completely voluntary. What stands out about Billy the most is his willingness and readiness to share the gospel of Jesus with strangers. Billy is always talking about Jesus, and he is always being kind to people wherever he goes. The love of Jesus truly shines through this faithful soldier of The Salvation Army.
Josh Allen; Fayetteville, Ark.; AOK Division
Josh is completely in love with Jesus. He will go above and beyond to serve others – sacrificing himself, being a light to a dark world. He never meets a stranger and will never turn down an opportunity to share the gospel or serve others. He exemplifies Salvationism in his life daily. He truly will give the shirt off his back to anyone in need and wouldn’t see that as a sacrifice but simply as his duty as a disciple of Christ. He is our driver on Wednesdays and Sundays, he is our handyman at the corps, and he even house/pet sits when the officers are out of town. He has the heart of David and seeks God with all his being.
Orientrius Cook; Atlanta, Georgia, Kroc Center; Georgia Division
Orientrius is one of the most reliable people you will ever meet. If there is something going on at the corps, there is no question that Orientrius will be there, actively engaged. He participates in everything from dancing and singing with the young people to teaching and disciplining them as needed. He has and shares an array of talents. He graciously trains and teaches anyone who wishes to learn about technology and systems. His most demanding task is running the sound booth and stage productions for both worship and community use. He does all this while working a full-time job that is very mentally demanding. His job has never stopped him from stepping in to pick up a kettle route three or four times a week or being available to drop by after work for youth programs or Bible study. He is a gracious, servant-minded man whose commitment to the corps easily speaks to his personal faith and commitment to God.
Garry Dawson; Hagerstown, Md.; MWV Division
Within the corps, Garry teaches the adult Sunday school class, is the Men’s Club president, and helps lead holiness meetings when the CSM is working. He handles all the Community Care Ministries, setting up the meetings with the nursing homes and preaching at all the meetings. Garry remained faithful and carried out his responsibilities within the corps every week, even up to the point when his wife passed away from lung cancer. He volunteers his time by going to the office three times a week to write thank you letters for the mail appeal campaign. Even now, his greatest joy comes from continuing to serve and knowing that is what his wife would want him to do.
Eddie Chase; Kinston, N.C.; NSC Division
Eddie teaches a Sunday school class, is the corps sergeant major, Men’s Club president, Community Care member, donor, bell ringer and driver for bell ringers. Among other things, he visits the sick in the hospital and leads Bible study when the corps officers are away. Even when he was dealing with prostate cancer a year ago, he continued to help count money every evening. He does all this while being employed outside The Salvation Army. He was nominated for the Governor’s Volunteer Award, running against all the volunteers in the state and was just recently given the award for the state of North Carolina. He is a natural leader – even the division sees him as a leader as he is constantly asked to participate in events and to go to territorial events.