New leader says Army’s mission ‘never been more relevant’

Jul 14, 2020

Lt. Col. Dan Jennings last month took over as the new commander of The Salvation Army Northern Division. 

His appointment comes at a time when countless people and families have been ravaged by COVID-19, social unrest, and sky-high unemployment.

He welcomes the challenge of serving during these historic crises.

“The Salvation Army has never been more relevant than it is today,” Jennings declared. “This is the worst human suffering we’ve seen in the last few decades. But The Salvation Army is probably the most equipped and well-placed organization to meet these needs.”

The Salvation Army Northern Division has operation centers in most of Minnesota and North Dakota’s largest cities, with additional staff members and volunteers serving in every county of both states. 

“When something erupts, we’re already there,” Jennings added. 

Jennings first came to know The Salvation Army as a boy while growing up in Kansas City. He’d been attending Cub Scouts for several years when his den leader quit; in search of a new den, his mother discovered that Cub Scout meetings were also held at their local Salvation Army. 

“That was the fateful moment I met The Salvation Army,” Jennings said. “We started going to church and volunteering at The Salvation Army, and then my mom ended up working there for 25 years. The Salvation Army has been an integral part of our lives ever since we went to that first Cub Scout meeting.”

Jennings’ wife, Lt. Col. Dorene Jennings, serves as Director of Women’s Ministries for The Salvation Army Northern Division. The couple met while attending school at the University of Kansas. Both have bachelor’s degrees from Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Ill. In addition, Dan holds a master’s degree in Theological Studies from Nazarene Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Mo.

The couple graduated from The Salvation Army College for Officer Training in Chicago in 1994. Prior to arriving in The Salvation Army Northern Division, they served as leaders of The Salvation Army Midland Division (Missouri and Southern Illinois) and the Wisconsin/Upper Michigan Division.

Lts. Col. Jennings describe their leadership style as collaborative. 

“Not any one person has all the answers,” Dan Jennings said. “We have to work together as a team. We have to identify our skills and passions, and position ourselves to support one another.”

The couple is excited to lead The Salvation Army Northern Division and expand its mission.

"It’s the right time for us to be here," Dan Jennings said. "We believe in God's divine appointment, and we know this is right. It feels like home already."

Lt. Cols. Jennings replace Lt. Cols. Lonneal and Patty Richardson, who've been appointed to lead The Salvation Army Metropolitan Division, which includes Chicago, northern Illinois, and northwest Indiana. 

Please join The Salvation Army in serving those affected by the COVID-19 crisis by giving a donation or signing up to volunteer. Your help will provide emergency assistance and hope for people and families in desperate need.

If you are feeling lonely, fearful or hopeless due to the COVID-19 crisis, call our Emotional and Spiritual Care Hotline at 877-220-4195 anytime between 8 a.m.–8 p.m. Central Time. Trained Salvation Army officers, employees and volunteers will be available to talk, listen to you, and pray for you. 


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