COMMISSIONING 2016: COMMISSIONERS MERLE AND DAWN HEATWOLE
International Secretary for the Americas and Caribbean Zone
Zonal Secretary for Women’s Ministries
Commissioners Merle and Dawn Heatwole are the International Secretary and Zonal Secretary for Women’s Ministries for the Americas and Caribbean Zone. They assumed these appointments on November 1, 2015.
Immediately preceding this appointment Merle served as National Chief Secretary and Dawn as National Secretary for Women’s Ministries in the USA.
Merle and Dawn are both children of Salvation Army officers, Lt. Colonels Merle L. and Vivian Heatwole and Colonels Thomas C. and Mary Lewis. The Heatwoles met when their parents were both stationed at the Wisconsin and Upper Michigan Divisional Headquarters. They were married in 1981, entered the College for Officer Training the next year and were commissioned in 1984.
Merle earned a bachelor’s of science degree in mathematics from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wis., and was certified to teach secondary mathematics. In 2008 he was selected to be a delegate in the 196th session of the International College for Officers in London, England. Dawn earned an associate of arts degree in practical ministries from Olivet Nazarene University in Kankakee, Ill. In 2014 she was selected to be a delegate in the 221st session of the International College for Officers.
The Heatwoles served in three appointments as corps officers in St. Cloud, Minn. (1984-88), Peoria, Ill. (1988-91) and Topeka, Kan. (1991-93). In 1993 they were appointed as Divisional Youth Leaders to the Kansas and Western Missouri Divisional Headquarters in Kansas City, Mo. In 1996 they were appointed to the Western Michigan and Northern Indiana Divisional Headquarters in Grand Rapids, Mich., where Merle served as Divisional Secretary and Dawn as Divisional Women’s Ministries Secretary.
The Heatwoles were appointed to Territorial Headquarters in the USA Central for the first time in 2000. Merle served as Territorial Youth and Candidates’ Secretary and Dawn as Assistant Territorial Youth and Candidates’ Secretary. In 2001 they were appointed as Territorial Corps Mission and Adult Ministries Secretary and Assistant Territorial Program Secretary respectively.
In 2003 they were appointed to the Heartland Divisional Headquarters in Peoria, Ill., as Divisional Commander and Divisional Director of Women’s Ministries, followed by appointments in 2007 as Western Divisional Commander and Divisional Director of Women’s Ministries and Program Secretary.
In 2009, they were again appointed to Territorial Headquarters in the USA Central with Merle serving as the Secretary for Business Administration and Dawn as Candidates’ Secretary. In 2011, they were appointed as Chief Secretary and Territorial Secretary for Women’s Ministries in the USA Central Territory. In 2014, they were appointed as National Chief Secretary and National Secretary for Women’s Ministries in the USA.
The Heatwoles have three adult children Michael, Michele and Melissa. Michael and his wife, Linnea, live in Carpentersville, Ill. Michele and her husband, Dan Penning, live in Clearwater, Fla., with the Heatwoles’ first grandchild, Carter. Melissa and her husband, Kenyon Sivels, are the corps officers in Watertown, S.D.