Majors Nigel and Judith (Judy) Schultz have taken command of Chatham and Strood corps following their installation on 4 September 2016 and a short profile, in their own words, follows.
Nigel: As a child I attended The Salvation Army with the rest of my family worshipping at Leytonstone Corps and became a Junior Soldier at the age of 7 years. It was there that I became a keen West Ham supporter, I also attended the same school as Jonathan Ross. In my teens I became Junior Club Leader, YP Band Leader and then Assistant Sergeant Major. Prior to entering the Training College, I worked for Midland Bank in the East End of London - before it became HSBC and moved to Canary Wharf.
Judy: As the eldest of three children I have lived, with Officer Parents, in England, Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka so home is wherever I am. Prior to entering the Training College I worked as a Secretary within The Salvation Army’s Missing Person Department (Family Tracing).
We met at a New Year s Event at Ilford Salvation Army and married two years later. In 1983 we entered the Training College from Leytonstone Corps. We have one son, Karl, who enjoys comedy and works in London.
We commenced our Officership in Lisburn, Northern Ireland, where our son was born. We then moved to Bangladesh as Social Services Director and Corps Officers in 1990. During that time, we planted 8 Corps, opened the Officer Training College and commenced the first session of cadets. On our return to the UK we were placed at Chalk Farm and then Paignton Corps. We returned overseas to Ghana in 1998 as Financial Secretary and Projects Officers respectively.
Following our time in Ghana we returned to our home Division and to Leigh on Sea and the last 12 years at Barking Corps and the Barking Riverside Development Project.
What can we bring to Chatham Corps and Strood Corps?
Nigel: Working in 4 countries has enabled me to learn a few languages badly!! But more importantly it has enabled me to explore human spirituality in a multicultural and multi faith world and to know that the Christian message is the answer for all of us. I have experienced, seen and felt, the working of God’s Holy Spirit in the lives of men and woman and the power of transformation, healing and service that this can bring about. I am committed to the pastoral conversations which I will enjoy with the congregation and also the challenge to share Jesus with those who do not know him.
Judy: People captivate me!! Listening to life experiences and having the privilege to share and walk alongside folk on their spiritual journey - this motivates me to try and create environments, spaces and opportunities that enable people to encounter Jesus as their Saviour and to experience a life-changing relationship with Him. To be there to encourage and walk beside those who have been on the journey a while but most of all to be a worthy servant of God and to fulfil His mission and ministry to the best of my ability at Chatham and Strood.
Major Karen Smith (formerly Ramsay) was added to the officer team in July 2015 (appointment effective 16 July) and will remain as Associate Officer alongside Nigel and Judy. Here, in her own words, is a short profile.
I was the firstborn into a family of bakers and confectioners in Sittingbourne, Kent, UK,(which does not automatically mean I am good at baking) followed 18 months later by a brother, (who is a baker). I was born into a loving family and attended the Sunday School at the Congregational Church as a child where my parents and grandparents were members.
Unfortunately my parents separated when I was 12 years old and my father began attending The Salvation Army as we had left the church and he encouraged me to come along. A few months later I found myself seeking God and kneeling at the mercy seat. From that very first time I sensed the call of God on my life to be a Salvation Army Officer even though I did not fully understand what that was!
Family and Ministry:
After marrying David, and with my first beautiful daughter, we entered the Training College and began an awesome adventure with God. Our first appointment, in 1984, was to Whitley Bay Corps where our second daughter was born. We learned a great deal about the goodness of God there and greatly enjoyed the beach meetings held during the summer months.
Three years later we travelled from the North East of England to our next appointment as Extension Training Officers (ETOs) in the Zambia and Malawi Territory where our third daughter was born. David oversaw the building of the training centre and developed the training programme for soldiers, envoys and officers. We were then asked to go and do the same again in Malawi. After having been in third world settings for 4 years we were appointed as Corps Officers to the Port Elizabeth Corps in South Africa. Due to my ill health (being diagnosed as having multiple sclerosis) we returned home after 11 months.
Seven months after returning home, my fourth daughter was born in Chatham. After a period of God’s miraculous healing power, I was able to return to work by helping a young woman begin a ‘Mummy and Me’ group. This grew and grew into a large group which led to a number of parent and toddler groups being established at the corps.
After two years at Divisional Headquarters (David 12 years) we were appointed as Swale Development Officers, and this enabled us to share the Gospel and support families during difficult times in the community of Milton. God showed us again that Jesus did not come into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved, so it is not our responsibility to condemn anyone but rather to support and love people just as Christ did.
David was sadly Promoted to Glory in 2013. Since that time I have experienced the comfort and peace that God brings to a life in turmoil. I have a faithful God who has helped me, lifted me and is putting me back together again and a wonderful family who have loved and supported me. Since coming to Chatham I have met, and grown to love, someone whom I have known for many years, CSM(Retired), Murray Smith. In December 2016 we were married and I know that Murray will be by my side as I continue my ministry for Him.
What can I bring to Chatham Corps?
I come to Chatham from the Children’s Ministry Unit at THQ, a wonderful ministry working with great people.
I bring with me a great love of God the Father and His Word, being my guide and support throughout my life’s journey (thus far), knowing his faithfulness in holding me no matter what circumstances I have been in and a passion to communicate that to all I meet. My heart’s desire is that all may know how valuable they are to God and to be able to stand in whatever difficulties they may face.
Readers requiring further information or wishing to talk to any of our officers should CONTACT US or better still join us in one of our activities and meet them personally.