The Salvation Army Indiana Division is welcoming six new Lieutenants, fresh from the College for Officer Training in Chicago. These Salvation Army officers will undertake the challenge of bringing together spiritual, emergency and social services in their new communities while following the mission set forth by Reverend William Booth almost 150 years ago.
We’d like to introduce two officers joining the division this summer, Lt. Shannon R. Forney, who is headed to Bloomington, and Lt. Amanda L. Keene, who will be leading the Logansport Corps. We asked both officers to tell us a little about themselves:
Q: Where are you from? Have you ever lived in Indiana before?
Lt. Forney: I’m an officers’ kid, so I have lived all over the Central Territory. However, I came into Training College from the Gateway Corps in St. Louis, MO. I have lived in Evansville, Indianapolis, Terre Haute, Kokomo, and I did my Christmas assignment in Logansport.
Lt. Keene: I grew up in Northwest Indiana (Dyer, IN to be exact). My family still leaves in the Region, so Indiana is a home for me! I lived in Indiana until I left for college in 2005. I then moved to the south side of Chicago, where I lived until 2011. God took me on an adventure to Boston, MA from there, where I lived for a year, then came back to prepare to enter CFOT!
Q: Why did you decide to become an officer in The Salvation Army?
Lt. Forney: At Youth Councils last spring, I remember saying to someone that if you can’t think of anything but becoming an officer, then that’s how you know you are called into this ministry. That is what rang true for me. I was called to be an officer when I was 17 years old but spend the next 14 years of my life running away from that calling because I was too scared. I was afraid that I wasn’t good enough or smart enough, and that becoming an officer meant that I had to be content with living in the unknown. I had dreams and plans for my life that I thought God was asking me to let go of in order to become an officer. But the thought of officership just kept coming back to me. Then one day I was talking to a friend who made me realize that every dream I had for my future were things that I could still have within the ministry of The Salvation Army. Once I heard that, I finally accepted my calling to become a Salvation Army officer and I felt at peace. Doors began to open for me to take on more responsibilities in my corps and even to enter Training College a year before I had originally planned. God had blessed me in my obedience and continues to do so today. So as much as I would like to say that I chose The Salvation Army, I feel it is more accurate to say that God chose me to serve him through the ministry of The Salvation Army.
Lt. Keene: Around 2007, God first spoke and told me that He wanted me to be an officer. I had literally just started to go to The Salvation Army a couple months prior, and I really had no idea what that meant. Over the next couple years, God continued to speak to me about His calling on my life, and it came to a point where I had to make a choice. Be obedient to the Lord, or turn away. I chose obedience even though officership wasn’t in “my” plan for my life. I wrestled with God right up until entering training, but then God gave me an unexplainable peace and joy for His calling! My greatest joy in life is living for my God, loving His people, and being used by Him to save souls!
Q: What are you most looking forward to at your new post?
Lt. Forney: I’m a person who thrives off of relationships, so I am really looking forward to getting to know all kinds of people and forming lasting relationships with them. I want to know their stories, to be a part of their lives, and live out the love of Christ with those I come into contact with. I have never been to Bloomington, but have heard a lot of really great information about the corps and city and I am excited to be in the mix of everything that is taking shape in that community.
Lt. Keene: There are so many things that I am looking forward to in this appointment. Really, I’m just excited to be used by God in whatever ways He sees fit. I’m excited to love my people, grow together in our relationships with the Lord, and to get out into the community and share the love of Jesus!
Q: Do you have any special talents, hobbies or interests that you’d like to share?
Lt. Forney: Though I don’t play any instruments, I love to sing and am very passionate about music. I also enjoy photography, poetry, and a bit of dancing. I have had the privilege to take part in a few short term mission trips with The Salvation Army and ever since then overseas missions have been a huge passion of mine. I love learning about different cultures and having the chance to be part of a new way of life, if only for a short time.
Lt. Keene: I love to sing , write, and preach! I actually really love comic books. People usually look at me like I’m crazy when I walk into a comic store. I LOVE the drive-in theater, and I hear there’s one in Logansport! Yay!
Q: Is there anything else that you’d like to share to help members of the community get to know you better?
Lt. Forney: I am the 10th officer in my family and a 4th generation Salvationist from my father’s side. I am also the first female in the Forney family to become an officer. I have 2 older brothers: Shawn lives in Texas and Scott resides in Florida. My parents are retired officers who live in Arnold, MO. I love animals, going to the movies, and having a good laugh. I hold a special place in my heart for camp ministries. I became a Christian at a Salvation Army camp and I know from experience just how life changing a week at camp can be for a child. I am also grateful for the opportunity to have fellow session mates serving in the same division as me.
Lt. Keene: I love the outdoors, taking walks, and I have a huge interest in gardening, even though I’ve never had one before. Bonfires, hayrides, apple orchards, pumpkin patches, beautiful sunsets…these all bring joy to my heart! Call me crazy, but I for some reason want to take a tap dance class so I’m going to try and make that happen!