Kellys are new DCs in SWONEKY

by Robert Mitchell

It’s a homecoming of sorts for Majors Scott and Susan Kelly, who started their 34-year career as Salvation Army officers in the Southwest Ohio and Northeast Kentucky (SWONEKY) Division. Now, they’re returning as divisional commanders.

The Kellys began their ministry as corps officers in Piqua, Ohio, and have since served in various capacities in Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York City, northern Ohio, and upstate New York. They took over as DCs on Jan. 1, 2024.

In a release from the SWONEKY Division, the Kellys said they are committed to continuing the legacy of service and community engagement that defines The Salvation Army. They bring a unique blend of leadership, compassion, and experience to their appointment, according to the release.

“We are excited and honored to lead the SWONEKY Division of The Salvation Army,” Major Scott said in the release. “Our journey has been filled with diverse experiences, and we look forward to applying our knowledge and passion to support and uplift the communities in Southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky.”

During the couple’s installation on Feb. 1 at divisional headquarters in Cincinnati, Major Sue recalled the early days of their ministry as first-time parents in SWONEKY. She also expressed a desire to get to know everyone in the division.

“We are honored,” she said. “We are humbled that God has chosen us to be in this place at this time.”

Major Scott reflected on growing up in The Salvation Army, and how he was always on his best behavior while wearing his uniform because he knew his actions were a reflection of the organization.

As followers of Jesus, we are representatives of a holy God,” he told the audience. “My conduct as a follower of Jesus is a reflection on Him.”

Major Scott, in remarks chock-full of various scripture, focused on Micah 6:8 and the call “to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

“Friends, because of God’s mercy and Christ’s sacrifice, we don’t get what we deserve. Hallelujah. And because of that, we need to love, and we need to display mercy to others,” he said. “We do this by displaying kindness, showing love and compassion to others, and offering help and support those in need.”

Major Sue shared scripture too from Galatians 6:9: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

“The days are difficult,” she said. “The days are long. I get that, but let’s not give up. There are so many good things yet to come in the SWONEKY Division.”

The Kellys are parents to three adult children. Major Scott is an avid runner and has completed 26 marathons along with numerous other races. Major Sue enjoys hiking, nature, and “cherishing moments with friends and family,” according to the division.