I currently write a column each Tuesday for the DeKalb
Daily Chronicle. The column will also appear on this website
each week and be added to the archives.
The Articles started December 2007.
If you've missed any please follow the links on the dates
to catch up.
Home | Columns |
Photos | Books
| Biography | Mental
Health | Links
DeKalb's Salvation Army captain & red kettles
By Barry Schrader.................................December
Back when I was active in the Livemore Rotary Club out in
California, I sometimes volunteered to ring the bell at supermarkets
to help the Salvation Armys holiday red kettle campaign.
I never really knew much about the group, other than
it has a sharp-looking band that marches in the Rose Bowl Parade
and it helps the downtrodden, those needing food and housing.
Then I met Capt. Michael Cho, the new head of the
Salvation Army in DeKalb County and the pastor of their church
on Grove Street in DeKalb. In one hour he explained much more
about their Christian organization.
Cho just came
here this summer from a suburban Chicago Salvation Army church,
where he was assistant pastor. But his path to the ministry has
taken him halfway around the world. He grew up in Pusan, South
Korea, until age 18, when his family decided to emigrate to America,
arriving in Chicago, where his aunt and other relatives had settled.
Cho finished high school at Glenbrook High and moved
on to the University of Illinois, where he earned a bachelors
degree in biology. It was his intention to become a dentist,
so he bided his time for two years, working for a bookstore and
exporter until he was accepted at the U of I dental school in
Salvation Army Captain Michael Cho stands at his pulpit
in the Grove Street church in DeKalb
Meanwhile, his wife Alisha, who had trained as a nurse, spent
her free time volunteering in nursing homes, where she ministered
to the needs of the elderly. There she met a youth pastor who
became a Salvation Army corps officer, and, thus, introduced
her husband to their Christian outreach work. Cho was in his
third year of dental school when he felt a calling to do something
greater, and it involved God. So he made the decision to change
his career path, and he and his wife went through the Salvation
Army schooling. That same youth pastor became the senior pastor
and his mentor at the suburban church where he began his ministry
five years ago.
This past summer, Cho was given
the opportunity to move up to senior pastor and corps officer
for DeKalb County and accepted the challenge. He admitted to
being hesitant about moving his family his wife and two
young daughters to a smaller community in a more rural
area after his entire life had been in million-plus population
areas. Also, there was the fact he was a Korean-American and
there werent many of his fellow emigrants in DeKalb County.
But after only a few months, Cho said they have found this to
be a very friendly and receptive place that has welcomed his
Cho has learned that the roles of a pastor
and corps officer are many. He is not only heading a church congregation,
but he has to deal with the overwhelming needs of families and
individuals in distress. The Salvation Army operates a food pantry
at the Grove Street location, which serves nearly 700 families
per month. They also run an Emergency Assistance Program, which
gave out $50,000 last year, helping people with rent, utilities,
gas, temporary shelter for victims of fires and other crises.
I also learned they have no connection to the Salvation Army
Store on Sycamore Road.
And Cho has a new worry
the Salvation Army lost its biggest red kettle location
this year because of a corporate change in policy at the tollway
oasis. You know that dish or jar of loose change you probably
have on your dresser or kitchen counter? Well, now would be a
good time to put all that change in a bag and find one of the
remaining nine red kettle locations to help the Salvation Army.
If your bag is too heavy, you could deliver it to their church
office at 830 Grove St. in DeKalb.
An online reader of this column traveling
in faraway Texas was the first one to spot a typo in my beekeeper
column last week. I intended to state there are about 30,000
bees in each colony, but one zero got dropped. Thanks to all
those eagle eyes who noticed the discrepancy.
After seeing my Amelia Earhart column, another
reader, Gay White of Waterman, informed me that in the Eakle
Family of Progress Corner book there was mention of Amelia
Earhart landing at the Waterman Airport sometime in the 1930s
with another famed aviator of that era, Clarence Chamberlain.
There is so much local history out there much of it untold.
The columnist can be reached via email at :
or by snailmail at:
PO Box 851
DeKalb, Ill 60115