Couple pleased to lead Salvation Army in Everett

EVERETT — The Salvation Army operates a food bank, after-school services, free community meals, holiday programs and offers counseling and help to people who are homeless.

Everett has one of the busiest Salvation Army social service programs in the state.

The new directors of these programs, which serve more than 2,000 individuals a month, are Maj. Jonathan and Lt. Dawn Apuan. The couple also serve as the new pastors at the Everett Salvation Army Church.

The Apuans, married earlier this summer, are in their first post together, though Jonathan Apuan has served with the Salvation Army for much of his life.

Salvation Army’s Northwest Division moved Everett’s previous leadership, Capts. Jack and Dawn Smith, to the Salvation Army Corps in Yakima.

Salvation Army officers expect to be reassigned throughout their careers. The commitment of being an officer includes moving frequently and accepting reassignments based on career development and filling the needs of the various Salvation Army locations, said Lori Marini Baker, a spokeswoman for the nonprofit organization.

The Apuans said they are pleased to be assigned to Everett.

Dawn Apuan calls herself a “denominational mutt,” having grown up attending a variety of Christian churches including Assembly of God, Methodist, Nazarene and Baptist.

At Biola University, the Puyallup native majored in intercultural studies with a focus in serving the urban poor. Her first job was working in the downtown eastside of Vancouver, B.C., where her neighbors were drug addicts and prostitutes.

It was there that she learned about the work of the Salvation Army, which had its start in the 1860s on the streets of London where it helped the homeless, the hungry and the destitute.

“I felt called by the Lord to become an officer in the Salvation Army,” she said. “Jonathan and I have committed our lives to the Lord’s service, using the vehicle of the Salvation Army.”

Jonathan Apuan, 40, was born in Texas. His paternal grandparents joined the Salvation Army in the 1940s in the Philippines.

“Salvation Army has been my church from birth,” he said. “Right out of high school, I pursued a degree in engineering because I wanted to make some money. But I felt God leading me into full-time ministry and I headed to the Salvation Army College for Officer Training instead.”

Jonathan Apuan has served 18 years with the Salvation Army, primarily in Oregon and Idaho. In 2005, he also earned a degree in organizational leadership from George Fox University.

Snohomish County is different than any of his previous appointments, Apuan said.

“Everett is very much a homeless recovery corps,” he said. “We serve up to 150 people at our evening fellowship meals, including veterans, families and elderly people.”

The work is about relationships, Dawn Apuan said. It could be a smile or a chance to make eye contact and show respect.

“People make assumptions about disadvantaged people. Sure, some people have made poor choices, but not always. These folks are somebody’s little girl or boy,” she said. “I am trying to learn all the back stories of the people we serve because I want them to know we care. We do what we can day to day.”

The Apuans said one of their initial goals is to build up the number of people who attended Sunday services at Salvation Army.

“We share the preaching duties, but with everything else, it is a challenge to find the time to write the sermons and focus on that part of the ministry,” Dawn Apuan said.

The Everett Corps is among the largest in the Salvation Army Northwest Division, which includes Washington, northern Idaho and western Montana.

Gale Fiege: 425-339-3427; gfiege@heraldnet.com.

How to help

For more information about how to donate, volunteer to ring bells for collection kettles at Christmas time or receive services, go to www.everettsarmy.org or call 425-259-8129.

The Salvation Army is located at 2525 Rucker Ave. in Everett. Sunday services are at 11 a.m.

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