New Salvation Army leader shares story of addiction and redemption

Capt. Rob Dolby once lived at a Salvation Army shelter in Canada

TUPELO, MISS. (WCBI) – A new officer at the area’s only homeless shelter can relate to those who come through the doors, on a personal level.

Captain Rob Dolby spends his lunch hour visiting with those who come to the Carnation Street Community Center Gym looking for a hot meal and a warm place.

But twenty-two years ago, Dolby”s life was much different in his hometown of Toronto Canada.

“I was literally homeless, addicted on the streets and came to the Salvation Army to live in the shelter because I had nowhere else to go,” Capt. Dolby said.

Dolby went through a rehab program. He also lived at the shelter, where he had a safe place to sleep and to eat.  He knows meeting basic needs for people can have a lasting impact.

“A lot of people criticize what they call the Gospel Sandwich, come to church, have lunch, I would never criticize that, if it wasn’t for wanting to stay around for the roast beef dinner I would have never stayed around for the sermon I heard that caused me to come forward and give my life to Jesus,” he said.

Dolby worked at the shelter making coffee, toast, and other odd jobs. The Salvation Army also became his church home, and he was called to be an officer in the Salvation Army.  He also met his future wife, Heather, during that time.   They were married in 2005, in the same alley where Dolby once shot drugs into his arm.

“Hope is a powerful drug, more powerful than heroin,” Capt. Dolby said.

Dolby says he can see God’s Hand in his journey from an addict to a captain. He says seeing other people’s lives changed and turned around with true hope, is just as exciting as his story.

“All those broken places the world creates, we see in society, it’s Jesus who fills them.  And when He does there’s nothing that compares to that, and we all know that. However we find ourselves in front of the Lord, we know who we are and we see who He is.  That brings hope,” he said.

Dolby looks forward to ministering, alongside his wife, in north Mississippi to those looking for hope and healing.

Dolby is preparing for next week’s “Empty Bowls Lunch”  Allie will have Captain Dolby as a guest on Sunrise Saturday at 9, to talk about the fundraiser.



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