On March 18, 2021, Major Wade Budgell, divisional commander, Maritime Division, announced a plan for the restructuring of Salvation Army corps ministry in the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM). Implementation will commence concurrently with the 2021 officer personnel change.
Key components of the plan include the closure of all five corps located in the HRM by mid June, including Spryfield Community Church, Fairview Citadel, Sackville Citadel Corps, Halifax Citadel Community Church and Dartmouth Community Church. Two new corps will open in July and carry the temporary names of Halifax East Community Church and Halifax West Community Church until official names are identified.
Effective July 2, Captains Brent and Melissa Haas, currently serving as the corps officers of Fairview Citadel, will assume leadership of Halifax East Community Church. Majors Terence and Jennifer Hale, currently serving as the territorial youth secretary and territorial secretary for candidates, respectively, will assume leadership of Halifax West Community Church on the same date.
“Salvationists are encouraged to reflect upon and pray about these significant changes, and where they will devote their time, talents and energies in support of the mission as we partner together in this next chapter of Salvation Army ministry and service in the City of Halifax,” says Major Budgell.
Halifax East Community Church will operate out of the current Sackville and Dartmouth buildings, with a view to securing permanent meeting space in Bedford and retaining current locations for community and family services ministries. Halifax West Community Church will be primarily based at the former Fairview Citadel location. Other community and family services in the HRM will also remain in their current locations with no change to day-to-day operations.
“Although these two new corps will have official corps status as of July 2,” Major Budgell explains, “the summer will be a transition period leading to a September 2021 launch under the leadership of the new officers.” With the exceptions of Sunday worship and CFS, all programming will be suspended throughout the summer. One in-person weekly worship service will be offered at a single location during this time with an online streaming option to be explored.
Staffing components have been built into budgets to help support and position the corps for effective mission. There will be no job loss associated with the restructuring.
A meeting will be held in due course to allow divisional headquarters personnel to present the go-forward vision and plan for the restructuring. It is anticipated that both an in-person and online option will be provided for attendance and that registration will be required to comply with public health requirements.
“The Christian journey is a faith journey,” concludes Major Budgell. “I am asking Salvationists to believe and pray for success as we seek to be ‘inspired for mission—positioned for growth.’ ”