Changing and saving lives

Salvation Army Majors celebrate 30 years of service

HARLINGEN — Having first met at a Salvation Army Camp, what started as a first encounter became a lifetime of service together for Ernest and Denise Lozano.

This month, the couple celebrated 30 years of service with The Salvation Army.

Salvation Army of Harlingen Majors Ernest and Denise have been stationed in numerous Texas cities throughout their years of service including Texarkana, Abilene, Pampa, Corpus Christi, Orange, Plainview, Victoria and Longview.

“It gives me great pleasure to thank you for your services on behalf of the literally scores of people whose lives have been touched by your ministry,” Salvation Army Territorial Commander Commissioner Willis Howell wrote in a letter to the couple. “Please know that we are indebted to you for your faithful, loyal and dedicated service over the last 30 years.”

An everyday job

Ernest and Denise entered the seminary in 1987 and moved up in rank over the years from officer to lieutenant to captain and then major.

As majors of The Salvation Army, Ernest and Denise’s job involves being on call at all hours of the day.

“Being in the ministry is not always fun and games or joy and happiness,” Ernest said. “It’s a lot of hard work and you have to persevere.”

They say there are times when they get called at two or three in the morning when people are having spiritual, emotional or physical crises.

“We’re always on call and we’re always prepared to serve,” Ernest said. “When you get called and somebody says they’ve got a gun in their hands and are contemplating ending it all, that right away wakes you up and you have to work hard to try to get that person talked down from that position.”

Ernest said there is nothing at all that’s fulfilled the calling in their lives than to serve as ministers and officers in the Salvation Army.

He and his wife plan to retire from The Salvation Army in about four and a half years.

“Serving is an honor, a privilege and it has been an incredible ride,” Ernest said. “I wouldn’t change one single thing about it because all of those experiences we’ve had over these many years have made us into the officers we are today.”

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

• The Salvation Army was founded in 1865.

• It annually assists 25 million Americans and serves 127 countries.

• Salvation Army of Harlingen Majors Ernest and Denise Lozano celebrated 30 years of service this month.

• They have been serving since 1989 in numerous Texas cities including Texarkana, Abilene, Pampa, Corpus Christi, Orange, Plainview, Victoria, Longview and Harlingen.