The People You Lead
After 44 years, 10 months, and 15 days of service for God, Lt. Colonels Guy D. and Henrietta Klemanski are retiring from their roles as leaders of the Salvation Army’s Greater New York Division (GNY). For this month’s “Unity,” three officers share their thoughts, memories, and warm wishes for the Klemanskis.
In 2006, I was a soldier working with young people at the Queens (Jamaica Citadel), N.Y., Corps. Lt. Colonel Guy Klemanski was serving at Greater New York Divisional Headquarters as general secretary, and Lt. Colonel Henrietta Klemanski served in Women’s Ministries.
One December day, New York experienced flooding, and Lt. Colonel Guy Klemanski and I found ourselves working together in Manhattan. Wearing a soldier’s uniform, I rang a bell while he talked to local press reporters about the Army’s work during the storm.
During breaks, we had conversations about me and what I saw myself doing for The Salvation Army. When the day was over, we took a photo together, which I still have with me to this day. I went home more excited than ever to be part of The Salvation Army.
When I decided to become an officer, Lt. Colonel Klemanski was one of the officers whom I looked to for guidance. He always encouraged anyone seeking officership, and said they should do it as soon as possible. “There’s no time to wait,” he said. A decade later, he is still a significant influence in my life.
A characteristic of a leader is to have an open, welcoming mind to people of various backgrounds. A Salvationist hymn begins, “They Shall Come from the East and sit down in the Kingdom of God.” The song includes the lyric, “Your color will not matter there.”
Every time I look at what the Klemanskis have done for the Greater New York Division, I am reminded of the meaning of those lyrics. The Klemanskis have worked with officers of every ethnic group, and have fought to ensure equal representation in every corps.
They have given corps officers freedom to express their ideas. This freedom has allowed me to grow into the officer I am today. When leaders allow discussion, it builds morale, and creates a unique voice in every corps.
The Klemanskis, like all good leaders, know the ministry is not about themselves. It is always about the people they lead, and the people they serve. That is the knowledge I will carry with me for the rest of my life.
— Captain Dwayne Barnes, Corps Commanding Officer/Pastor, Brooklyn Bushwick Corps
The Hearts of Pastors
When Guy and Henrietta Klemanski first arrived in New York to be divisional secretaries, they didn’t know too many Greater NY officers. The last time the Klemanskis had visited New York, most of the officers hadn’t even been born yet, and culturally, New York was a completely different place. But over the years, they have won the admiration, love, and friendship of the Greater NY officers. The Klemanskis have the hearts of pastors, and have been great mentors to young officers such as myself. Whether encouraging us to work as a division to help lift each other up, or giving individual officers guidance in their corps or in their own personal family lives, they have always served as a beautiful example of what we should strive to be as Salvationists. In turn, it has made each of us better examples for our ministries.
A good leader is always ready to serve, and that is a quality that we have all seen in the Klemanskis. In any role they take, they motivate us to continue our personal walk with God, pursue officership as cadets in the CFOT, and grow our corps by making them accessible to young people. Guy Klemanski tells us that we should never be satisfied with the work that has just been completed. We should thank God for all of our successes, but always continue to look forward. Like it says in the Book of Matthew: when we are faithful over a few things, God will make us ruler over many things. When we are faithful to God, He brings us new roles and challenges. And anyone who has had a conversation with Guy Klemanski will tell you, after a few minutes of talking with him, you leave his company encouraged, and ready to do more for God.
We are grateful for the Klemanskis, and we wish that God brings them joy and blessings in retirement. Thanks to their guidance, we know that the best is yet to come at the Greater NY division.
— Captain Antonio Rosamilia
Manhattan Citadel Corps Officer
Appreciate who you are
Colonel Guy Klemanski has always had a strong passion for the ministry and the people that make up God’s church. One of the characteristics of Colonel Klemanski that personally touched me is also one that I feel a good leader should always have. A good leader needs to have love for the people that he leads, and concern for their well-being.
Sometimes, we can make the mistake of seeing someone in our lives, and looking for the positive and negative aspects of that person. But this was not what Colonel Klemanski did. He chose to look for the positive, and stop right there. That is not an easy thing to do, but it was his way of showing love and encouragement to his ministry. While the rest of us analyzed the good and the bad, he only focused on a person’s good.
Another aspect of the Colonel that made him a leader was his respect and appreciation for Greater New York Division’s cultural diversity. The greater NY region is home to Chinese, Korean, Haitian, and Hispanic Corps. We even had Russian and Filipino Corps at one point. Colonel Klemanski loves that. He knows that diversity is what makes The Salvation Army continue to grow. The unique ministries of each of those churches made them stand out, and it defined the Greater New York division.
Colonel Guy Klemanski liked to say to officers, “Appreciate who you are, and appreciate what you are doing for God’s Kingdom.” He wants each of us to see ourselves how he sees us; as unique, special people, able to do great things in God’s name.
— Major Jongwoo Kim is the Assistant Training Principal for Administration at the College for Officer Training