TUPELO, MISS. (WCBI) – The area’s only homeless shelter will soon have new leaders. Majors Ray and Whitney Morton have received a new assignment and will be leaving their post at the Tupelo Salvation Army in a few days.
When Majors Ray and Whitney Morton came to the Tupelo Salvation Army in 2019, the corps and community center was undergoing major changes.
“They were finishing up and building of the shelter, that’s the Ingram Red Shield Lodge, it’s been amazing to see the community support and growth that’s happened, to walk in right at the end of that project was pretty humbling to see all that had gone on before us,” said Maj. Ray Morton.
The Mortons are heading to Lexington North Carolina. During their two years in Tupelo, they also oversaw a major renovation to the Community Center’s kitchen and gym area. And of course, there was covid throughout all of 2020. Major Whitney Morton says the community stepped up to help meet the unexpected needs during that time.
“By providing through CREATE and the United Way, funds that helped folks be able to pay their rent and utility bills and make sure all the kids, grandparents in the community had a warm place to call home, a safe place to call home with the lights on and food on the table, it was truly the most miraculous and incredible thing we’ve ever seen,” said Maj. Whitney Morton.
Every assignment is different for Salvation Army officers, for example, in Lexington, North Carolina, there’s no shelter, another agency runs that, but there is a Boys and Girls Club.
“They’re primarily a soup kitchen, but also a Boys and Girls Club, which is sometimes a need we meet when we are in a community that doesn’t already have that need met,” Whitney said.
As the Mortons get ready to leave Mississippi, they are thankful for the time spent here, the community support, and those whose lives have been transformed through the ministry.
“We just want to say thank you to everybody, who has come and helped us out through Covid, our own welcome and now through our farewell, it’s been amazing to meet all the people, our family has grown in the friends we’ve made and we look forward to doing that and at the same time you’re about to get new family members here, so we’re very excited and privileged to have been a part of all this,” Ray said.
Majors Ray and Whitney Morton head to North Carolina Sunday, after conducting the church service.
Captains Rob and Heather Dolby will take over next week at the Tupelo Salvation Army. They come from Atlanta where they have served in administrative roles.