The Advisory Board of the Salvation Army hosted a reception to dedicate the new storage facility and canteen, as well as welcome new Captains Charles and Katie Pinkston.

The Advisory Board of the Salvation Army hosted a reception to dedicate the new storage facility and canteen, as well as welcome new Captains Charles and Katie Pinkston.

Those attending had an opportunity to pick up information on the Salvation Army, its programs and volunteer opportunities, as well as enjoy frozen custard from Freddy's Frozen Custard and snacks from Walmart before the ceremony got underway.

Nancy Johnston, board member, opened the ceremony, before turning it over to Board Member Steve Ades.

He gave a little history on the canteen and storage facility.
In October 2006, Frank Kratzer, his wife and others went to Topeka for training on how to serve on a Salvation Army canteen, although El Dorado did not have its own at the time.

It was a month after that, a large fire struck downtown El Dorado and they borrowed a canteen from Wichita to serve the firefighters.

At their board meeting that November, Kratzer approached the board about getting their own canteen. He provided them with information about it, including the fact if they raised half of the funds, the territorial Salvation Army organization would pay the other half.

In June 2007 they had enough pledges for their half of the canteen and a storage facility, but in October one of their major contributors had to withdraw funding. Then in November they found out the territorial funding would not be available either.

That did not stop them.

In December 2008 they were able to purchase the canteen, although the storage facility had to wait. They received the canteen the following June and it was named Frank's Kitchen in recognition of Kratzer's efforts to make it a reality.

The canteen was stored at the captain's house until recently.
The Salvation Army Board raised enough money to construct the storage facility, which was completed in August.

The storage facility will provide a place to keep the canteen out of the weather and ready to serve if needed.

Next, Charles read from Matthew 25:31-40, which concludes with "I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me a drink, I was homeless and you gave me a room, I was shivering and you gave me clothes, I was sick and you stopped to visit, I was in prison and you came to me.

"Then those 'sheep' are going to say, 'Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?' Then the King will say, 'I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.'"

"Today we gather to dedicate this canteen and facility to the glory of God," Charles said. "We have had the privilege of serving those in need by giving food and clothing. With the canteen and facility, we are going to be able to go out in the community and serve those in need where they are. These are tools that have been entrusted to us to serve others."

Katie went on to offer a prayer for the canteen and facility, offering them for God's service in the future.

Following the dedication, tours were given of the Salvation Army and the canteen.

The Salvation Army includes the food pantry, which served 18,120 people last year; social services, office and fellowship hall areas; the chapel; a nursery; a prayer room; and an area for youth groups.