ALTUS, OK – Today will be the first day of ministry in the Altus community for Majors Ben and Rhonda Walters.
Ben is a second-generation Salvation Army officer, and Rhonda is a first-generation officer who was born & raised in Shawnee. They married on July 31, 1993 at The Salvation Army chapel in Shawnee. He received a degree in Accounting from DeMarge College (OKC) in 1996. In September 1996, Ben and Rhonda accepted job offers at The Salvation Army in Fort Smith, AR. Ben became the Administrative Assistant, with Bookkeeping and Human Resource responsibilities; and Rhonda became the Christian Education Director. During their time in Fort Smith, Ben and Rhonda realized the call to full-time ministry within The Salvation Army.
In 1998, they were accepted into The Salvation Army Evangeline Booth College For Officer Training in Atlanta, GA, a two year seminary for Salvation Army officers. They were ordained (including a Standard Teacher Diploma from the Evangelical Training Association) and commissioned as a part of the “Forward 2000” Session in June and appointed to be Assistant Corps Officers in Columbia, S.C.
Altus will be the Walter’s seventh appointment, having also served as Corps Officer Administrators/Ministers in Statesville, N.C.; Baltimore (Middle River), Md.; Conway, Ark.; Muskogee; and Sand Springs. They have been responsible for The Salvation Army’s diverse ministry, including evangelical church programming and outreach, social services programs, Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club programs, Emergency and Transitional Shelter programs, Adult Rehabilitation programs (assistant role), Thrift Store operations and Disaster Response team leaders.
In March of 2011, Ben graduated from Arrow Leadership in Vancouver, British Columbia. Arrow was founded in 1991 by Dr. Leighton Ford. Personally mentored by Billy Graham, Dr. Ford was an associate evangelist and vice president with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Today, with over 1400 alumni, Arrow is training leaders in twenty countries of the world, and has graduates leading major ministry organizations worldwide.
Ben and Rhonda have four children: Bailey Nicole (20) and Ben, III (19) are attending Connors State in Warner; Raegan Leigh (17) will be a Senior in High School this upcoming school year and Rorie Laine (14) will be in 9th grade.
The Walters, having completed 15 years of service, have been promoted to the rank of Major effective June 4, 2015. You’re invited to come and welcome them on June 28 at 11 a.m., at 1100 N Park Lane in Altus.
The Salvation Army has been serving Greer and Jackson County for over 60 years. The Salvation Army provides food for the hungry, clothing for the less fortunate, relief for those affected by disasters, assistance to the disabled, toys for children at Christmas, and opportunities for low-income children to attend camp and other youth programs.