Moving to a new appointment is a way of life for Salvation Army officers. As dedicated pastors and leaders, Salvation Army officers serve wherever their skills are needed. The average appointment for a Salvation Army officer is 3-5 years, so when Majors Charles and Paula Powell received a call from Salvation Army leadership saying they were selected to serve as the area commanders at The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma Area Command, they were not surprised. The Powell’s most recently served as area commanders for The Salvation Army of Greater Birmingham Area Command.

“We know that God has solid plans for The Salvation Army here in Central Oklahoma and are grateful we were appointed here,” said Major Charles Powell of The Salvation Army. “While we look forward to what God has in store for us in Oklahoma City we will deeply miss our friends and partners in Birmingham. We have been blessed to work among people truly dedicated to serving others.” 

Majors Charles & Paula Powell

Captain Stephanie Christopher

In 1982 Major Charles Powell felt the call of God to enter the ministry full time as an officer in The Salvation Army.  He entered The Salvation Army College for Officers’ Training in Atlanta, Georgia and was ordained and commissioned as an officer in 1984 and appointed to Fayetteville, North Carolina.

Being a third generation Salvationist with officer parents and grandparents, Major Paula Powell has lived throughout the Southern Territory. After graduating from Asbury College in Wilmore, Kentucky with a double major in Sociology and Social Welfare, she was employed as a social worker for 10 years before entering The Salvation Army School For Officers’ Training from Charlotte, North Carolina.  She was commissioned as an officer in 1983 and held appointments in Baltimore, MD, London, England, and High Point, North Carolina.

In January of 1985, the Powell’s married and were appointed to command the Smithfield, North Carolina Corps. Together they served in corps appointments in North and South Carolina and Divisional Headquarters appointments in the Maryland and West Virginia Division and the North and South Carolina Division.  In 2007 they served at The Salvation Army Territorial Headquarters in Atlanta, Major Charles Powell as Territorial Legal Secretary and Major Paula Powell as Assistant Territorial Secretary for Women’s Ministries.  In 2011 the Powell’s left Territorial Headquarters to serve as Divisional Leaders for the Maryland and West Virginia Division and then in 2015 were Divisional Leaders for the Georgia Division.  Before being appointed to Birmingham the Powell’s again served at Territorial Headquarters, with Major Charles Powell serving as Legal Secretary and Major Paula Powell as the Territorial Director for Corrections Ministries.

The Salvation Army of Cleveland County will also be welcoming new leadership. Captain Stephanie Christopher is excited to continue on the work in Cleveland County that her predecessors, Majors Ben & Rhonda Walters, began. “I am blessed to be coming to a community that is actively working together to help others in their time of need,” said Captain Christopher. “I look forward to meeting so many of the tremendous partners working alongside The Salvation Army to increase our.  outreach and visibility in the community. We aim to do the most good in Cleveland County and I am excited to see what God will do.”

Captain Stephanie Christopher was ordained as a Salvation Army Officer in 2013 with the rank of Lieutenant after 730 days of intense training in fields ranging from business to theology. She has held four appointments in her tenure with The Salvation Army, serving in Dallas, Fort Worth, Pine Bluff, and Tulsa. Each appointment was different from the others with one commonality, “Preaching, Teaching and Living out the Gospel of Jesus Christ” which is her life’s calling.

Her work background before The Salvation Army was working with and overseeing services provided to adolescent gang members, addicted women with children, addicted incarcerated men, and educating high-risk populations about HIV/AIDS, providing counseling and spiritual support for those infected and affected. Captain Christopher was hired by The Salvation Army in 1990 & 2006.

For more information about The Salvation Army please contact our office at 405-246-1100.  As always, you can support the work of The Salvation Army by making a donation online at All donations stay local and serve the community through The Salvation Army’s numerous programs.

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