Corps Officer Nate Hinzman lets the light of Christ shine through practical ministry at The Salvation Army East Main Worship and Service Center in Columbus, Ohio. Whether coordinating Junior Arts and Music School (JAMS), preaching on Sunday mornings, or partnering with the Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center, Nate and his wife Loreita take a holistic approach to sharing the gospel.
“[Salvation Army Founder] William Booth said that you can’t feed someone’s soul when their stomach is growling,” Nate said. “If we can meet the physical or emotional needs, whatever it is, then you provide an opening to fill a spiritual need.”
JAMS is a program for kids, ages 4-14, that teaches kids dance, music, art and drama, as well as offering homework help every Thursday night. JAMS provides mentorship and training opportunities to help kids develop as leaders in the program after they age out.
“The most satisfaction I have is seeing people discover their God-given abilities and who they are in Christ,” Nate said. “Growing up, I always knew what was expected of me and what I was supposed to do, but until I really said ‘yes’ to serving the Lord, I didn’t really find fulfillment.”
In addition to the children’s ministries, the East Main Worship and Service Center also has a food pantry and a caseworker to help with utility assistance and other social service opportunities.
The church also partners with the Adult Men’s Rehabilitation Center nearby to host a weekly Bible study for the residents. The church offers a welcoming community for these men to go to once they are finished with their residential treatment.
“We have this prejudice that people who are addicted are bad people, but that’s their battle,” Nate said. “It is so easy to demonize people who have a visible outward addiction, but when we take a step back, we realize that we are all broken people with our own unique triggers.”
Nate’s Salvation Army Corps hires men in recovery to assist with their annual Red Kettle Effort each Christmas season. The before and after pictures show the incredible transformation of God’s power to break the bonds of addiction.
“There is hope,” Nate said.
Although the Salvation Army is known for its practical approach to ministry, all five Salvation Army Centers in the Columbus area are vastly different.
“What I love about the Salvation Army is that you’re truly a family wherever you go,” Nate said. “Through the Salvation Army, I’ve had the opportunity to minister in Kenya and Mexico. The Holy Spirit has the power to break down barriers. We may look different or speak a different language than our brothers and sisters around the world, but we are united in our love for Jesus Christ.
Nate is pursuing his M.A. in Theological Studies through the continuing education partnership that exists between The Salvation Army and Asbury Theological Seminary. Every Salvation Army officer who graduates in the Eastern Territory is automatically enrolled at Asbury Seminary if they already have a bachelor’s degree.
“I’ve yearned for a deeper understanding of God’s word and why we believe what we believe,” he said. “Faith is good, but we need to be able to explain it, too, because we live in a skeptical and critical world. We need to be able to defend what we believe as Christians in a way that points people to the wonder of who Christ is.”
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