Salvation Army Captains Becky and P.B. Stetzer are still unpacking after returning from a trip to Israel about a week ago. Saturday, they oversaw the dedication of the new chapel at the Tiffin Citadel, 505 E. Market St.
Divisional commander Major Hubert Steele came from Cincinnati for the celebration, along with the Chapel at Worthington Woods Brass Band from Columbus. About 100 people attended the ceremony, followed by refreshments and tours of the building.
Friday, Captain PB said the advisory board had a plan for the building in place when the Stetzers arrived two years ago, but the couple did give some input for moving the donation center to the opposite side of the building.
“When we came, they had a plan to turn the garage into the chapel and to put in a new office suite. Our former chapel was going to be made into classrooms,” PB said. “I don’t know what they were going to do (for donations). I just remember that garage got pretty full. There was going to be kind of a notch in the building, so we suggested they put up two walls and finish that up and use that as our donation area. So that’s what we’ve done.”
The front of the building was bumped out and a new entry door was added on the northeast corner where donations can be brought in from the parking lot. The change added some expense to the project, but Stetzer is pleased with the changes to the building.
“It’s so much more functional. For every classroom, we were able to get a local vendor, Sound Systems, who just did an incredible job of getting us … TVs that we can use for all kinds of things,” Stetzer said.
The conference room and lobby also have televisions. In the chapel, a projector has been replaced by two big screen TVs on the wall behind the pulpit and one in the back of the room for the speaker to observe. During the open house, Stetzer had a slide show running on all the screens to show the transformation of the building.
“We’re very excited. I am hoping to expand our reach and our ministries. I’m looking at increasing what we do in the next year because we now have space to do it.”
After the prelude music and procession, Paige Brown presented a liturgical dance. Major Kathleen Steele gave the invocation. Next, Captain Becky Stetzer came to the podium to recognize quests at the ceremony, including Salvation Army officers and leaders, members of the local congregation and advisory board, city and county officials, United Way volunteers and representatives of the companies who worked on the project.
“It took many, many hands to do all of this work,” Becky Stetzer said.
Construction Services, Inc. presented Captain P.B. Stetzer with a collection of building keys affixed to a larger wooden key. Janet Dell Freeman and county commissioner Jeff Wagner presented proclamations that mentioned the Salvation Army has operated continuously in Tiffin from 1933 to the present. Wagner said the Army’s 80-year presence has made a positive impact on the community through “the dedication, the countless lives changed, the countless daily strength, and the countless preaching of the gospel.”
Hubert Steele conducted the dedication. He told the crowd he was working in Salvation Army offices in New York when Tiffin submitted its proposal to buy the Market Street property and vacate the Monroe Street building. He said donations, leadership and other support from the community made the new quarters possible.
“It’s no longer a dream. it’s no longer a vision. Today it’s a reality,” Steele said.
Pictures from the start of the project to the present have been posted on www.Tiffinsa.com. For more information, call the Salvation Army at (419) 447-2252.