In our monthly luncheon meeting of the Osceola Advisory Council that was held on January 8th, 2020.
This day was great to officially beginning of Salvation Army services being rendered, in partnership
with the First Baptist Church of Kissimmee, from the Osceola Christina Ministry Center located
at 700 Union Street, Kissimmee, Florida, 34741.
The meeting was called to order by Chairman Nick Murdock and the invocation was given by
Captain Ken Chapman. Mr. Murdock welcomed new members Debie McDonald, Rev. Dan
Rivera, and Michael Leila. Each person in attendance was given the opportunity to introduce
themselves and briefly share their background.
Captain Ken Chapman, Salvation Army Area Commander for Orange and Osceola counties,
thanked the Committee for their help in bringing the vision of a Kissimmee Service Center to
reality. In particular, he thanked Commissioner Peggy Choudhry for her vision, assistance, and
support of this project, even when it was not popular. The Salvation Army red shield is visible
on the outside of the building, as noted by Captain Chapman.
It was mentioned that the First Baptist Church has been financially supporting the services
rendered from this location for the past 20 years, with little recognition, and have now chosen
to share this sponsorship with The Salvation Army. It is hopeful that The Salvation Army will
become the lead service provider of the entire program. The Salvation Army Territorial
Headquarters will be assessing and determining the scope of operation in Osceola County. The
Advisory Council expressed appreciation and acknowledged the need for the support of local
churches and volunteers already in place this ministry. The initial work towards this goal has
been completed and we are now looking forward to the work of meeting additional needs in
The Advisory Council Chairman and the rest of the attendees Commended Director Alves
Gonzalez for his leadership in Osceola County, and particularly noted the success of his job in
Osceola and the recent Christmas Campaign. Angel Tree toys were also expressed appreciation
to Pastor Dan Rivera and his wife, from First Baptist Church Kissimmee, for their faithful and
enthusiastic service over the past 6 months at the Osceola Christian Ministry Center.
Lauren Vickery, Directors of Social Services for The Salvation Army Orange county, shared some
of the details pertaining to the Army’s “Pathway of Hope” program. This is a program which
works with families, providing networking for housing, job training, training, and education.