HANNIBAL | Majors Andy and Cheryl Miller had no problem deciding where to live after retiring as area commanders of the Hannibal and Quincy Salvation Army for the past seven years.
They have moved to Wilmere, Ky., where they met at Asbury College and one of their four children is a faculty member. Their other children are all Salvation Army officers and are frequently are assigned to new locations.
The Millers have completed 43 years as Salvation Army officers, serving in 12 locations. He is a fifth generation officer, and she is a second generation officer.
Andy Miller considered some of the highlights of his local service before retiring in June. At the top of his list was “the new Hannibal store location in Steamboat Bend Shopping Center and now the opportunity to move our social services to a new location in Hannibal.” This is property at 1011 Church St., which was purchased Feb. 24 with the Hannibal Salvation Army's Capitol Fund. The fund is composed of special donations from the public, such as bequeaths, wills and large donations.
Miller is confident the Hannibal Salvation Army “will continue to grow and see great things happen and is looking forward to the ability to serve people better and more confidentially, and be in the new building hopefully within the next year.”
Quincy improvements since the Millers arrived in 2013, he said, include “new buildings – the shelter and social services building, the Family Store, EDS garage and storage.”
Cheryl Miller focused on the ministry in her parting comments.
“Our prayer would be people would continue to hear more about Jesus and understand how they can have that relationship with Him. That's our prayer, always to share the love of Jesus with others,” she said.
Charley Bindemann, chairman of the Hannibal Salvation Army Advisory Council, credited Andy Miller with providing leadership that has led to local improvements. When Bindemann joined the local advisory council three years ago he was impressed with the vitality and energy that Andy Miller exhibited. “He was 'on fire' with service for our Lord Jesus. His enthusiasm was infectious,” Bindemann said.
“Through his leadership we have invigorated the Christmas bell ringing campaign, set up a family store to provide merchandise bargains and our social outreach ministry, bought a house to be used as our social outreach program, and started new fund-raising activities. My life, as well as countless others, has been enriched by the association with Major Andy.”
Tony Mcumber, a former chairman of the Hannibal Salvation Advisory Council, said. “Majors Andy and Cheryl (Miller) have worked diligently to help the council re-establish the core connections with the people in this region.” Mcumber added that when he and his wife, Becky, met Major Miller, they told him they wanted “to see the Hannibal Corps prosper once again and resume its role as a spiritual resource and a bastion of hope for those in need, with the ultimate goal being to re-establish the church in Hannibal. Major Andy heartily agreed that this would be the best thing that could happen and began working immediately toward that end. Through his direct efforts remarkable things were accomplished.
“Major Andy spared no effort in guiding and helping the council. … This included finding a permanent home for the renewed Hannibal unit.
“The Majors worked with the council to prepare a year-long gala celebration of the 125th anniversary of the Salvation Army in Hannibal in 2015,” Mcumber continued. Next came the Family Store “being re-established on a larger scale in a new building in a high-traffic area, where it now operates six days a week and has been tremendously successful. With the new store generating income and good public relations at an unexpected rate, it became easier to imagine that we could firm up our foundation even more.”
When the building on Church Street was found, Mcumber said, “Plans were finalized quickly, and the building was purchased. An architect was engaged (gratis) and blueprints drawn to complete the renovation process. At this time contractors are being sought to carry out those plans. To begin, the building will be used for social services and the food pantry, with an area included for worship and Bible study. With Major Andy’s skills, dedication, perseverance and absolute faith that God will show the way, the dream of rebuilding the Hannibal Corps is much closer to becoming reality.
“The Majors Miller have been instrumental in personal outreach to community organizations and individuals, re-energizing local service clubs to include The Salvation Army in their annual giving, encouraging donations from many sources, as well as inspiring local musicians to band together to provide music for parades and celebrations. … We thank the Millers for their special efforts on behalf of the Hannibal organization, and we know that there are many other stories that could be told among all the lives they have touched through God over the years.”