Houlton Pioneer Times

Salvation Army leader speaks to Houlton Rotarians

HOULTON, Maine — The Houlton Rotary Club met for its luncheon meeting on Monday, Aug. 6.

Rotarian Frank Nataluk was the guest speaker. Nataluk gave a brief bio of himself. He and his wife of 33 years, Melissa, were able to move here to the Houlton Salvation Army headquarters over a year ago and this worked out to be near to their daughter and her family who live in New Brunswick. Their other children live in Peekskill, New York and one of those sons who is a barber might relocate to Houlton.

Nataluk asked what Salvation Army means to people and the Thrift Store came to mind, plus the location on Court Street as well as bell ringing during the Christmas season. Founded by William and Catherine Booth as the Christian Mission in 1865 in London the church was formed to reach out to the poor and disadvantaged, especially in the squalor at the east end of London. The name Salvation Army took hold in 1879 and uniforms were worn by members with officers names of Captain and Lieutenant. Street preaching was the way to reach people. In the 1800’s the Salvation Army came to the United States and by 1888 was established in Houlton.

The Salvation Army spread to 128 countries in 153 years. Nataluk described the church as an evangelical and universally Christian organization with beliefs based on the Bible. There is no discrimination and applications are handled indiscriminately.

The new thrift store in Houlton was purchased recently on Main Street and is doing fairly well with the proceeds going to the church at 12 Court St. The funds from the store help to provide for services such as emergency social service, a food pantry, the Wednesday Soup Kitchen and Bible study classes. Activities for children include a club similar to scouting clubs and assistance to attend Camp Sebago for one week in the summer. Eight children will be attending the camp this year.

Funding sources include mailing appeals, the family store, tithing, the Christmas kettle, grants and community giving, fundraisers such as the County Ride and other endowments. The National headquarters provides around one sixth of Houlton’s budget. Nataluk mentioned that there is a need for advisory board members for folks who have the desire to help in Houlton. The Salvation Army can be reached at 521-0230 and they are on Facebook as well as having a website.

Guests on the day included Ruba Haddad, Cameron Clark, Cindy Callnan, Joe Fagnant and Laura Geiger. Two of those guests have been put forth for membership, Geiger by Rotarian Diane Hines and  Fagnant by Rotarian Fred Grant.

Members also were reminded of meetings for the auction coming up, as well as the E-Waste Day that will be on September 8, 2018 at St. Mary’s Church parking lot.

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