BANGOR, Maine -— The Salvation Army Bangor Citadel Corps welcomed its new leaders Sunday during a worship service and formal installation ceremony in the corps’ chapel on South Park Street.
Capts. Timothy and Evelyn Clark and their three children arrived in Bangor last week from a six-year assignment in Estonia, a small northern European nation.
The youngest, 6-year-old Peter, spent all but the first four months of his life in Estonia, Evelyn Clark said after the ceremony.
Elizabeth, 14, is home-schooled and getting ready to start her ninth-grade year. This fall, Christopher, 20, will begin his junior year at Houghton College in New York, where he is studying writing and psychology.
And while they came to Bangor from across the ocean, the family’s roots are firmly planted in New England and the Salvation Army community.
Their excitement over their new posting was nearly palpable during Sunday’s welcome celebration.
“I’m so happy I’m in Bangor,” Timothy Clark said. “It really feels like home to us. We really, sincerely mean that,” he said. “When we were in Estonia, we were waiting to hear where we were going to go [next] and then we got a phone call, and when we were told Bangor, Maine, we thought, ‘How could we have asked for a better place?’
“Right away we started hearing from other people about the Bangor corps. And people said the Bangor corps was a really great place to be,” he said. “There is so much going on here and so many good people here and we were excited to have a chance to move here.
“So many people whose names we heard now we’re meeting face to face. We get to be part of it. We get to work together,” he said.
Also during the worship service, Christopher Clark expressed his delight over his family’s new assignment. He said he had prayed to be sent to Bangor, or if that wasn’t meant to be, a small city like it.
Among the Bangor features he extolled were Bagel Central — “way cool” — and writer Stephen King.
Though Christopher Clark said he has not yet read any of King’s novels, he did check out the author’s Wikipedia page and learned that he and King have one thing in common: Neither is a fan of the “Twilight” vampire romance series, a statement that drew chuckles from the audience.
Another reason he’s pleased to be here, he said, is that his girlfriend, a 2008 Bangor Christian Schools graduate, lives only an hour’s drive north.
Northern New England divisional leaders Majs. David and Naomi Kelly traveled from Portland to preside over Sunday’s installation ceremony.
In his remarks, David Kelly discussed the Bangor corps’ importance to The Salvation Army’s mission in northern New England, “thus the appointment of new officers for Bangor is one that is taken very seriously by practically everyone involved.”
“Much time and prayer went into the assignments of new officers for Bangor because of its importance to the army, its importance to the community and its influence throughout all of northern New England and particularly this part of Maine,” he said.
According to a biography included in the program for Sunday’s service, the Clarks have several family connections to the Bangor Citadel Corps, Greater Bangor and the Northern New England Division, which serves Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.
Timothy Clark, 45, was born in Concord, N.H. His interests include playing bass guitar and writing reviews of contemporary Christian music.
Born in Portland, 43-year-old Evelyn Clark has been a La Leche League breast-feeding counselor and a natural childbirth educator. She plays a baritone in the corps’s brass band.