By Esther Talbot Fenning St. Charles Post Special Correspondent
St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)
Salvation Army officers John and Margaret Crampton have taken a new position to help make a home for the homeless. Capt. John Crampton recently assumed the duties of St. Charles County coordinator for the Salvation Army, and his wife, Capt. Margaret Crampton, is the corps officer at O'Fallon. The Cramptons took over the positions from Capts. Rock and Geraldine Weindorf.
Corps is the Salvation Army term for church. The Cramptons are ordained ministers who officiate at Salvation Army services, weddings, funerals and baptisms, just like denominational clergy.
In addition, the couple oversee the Salvation Army's 24-hour Social Service ministry, which includes an emergency lodge in St. Charles for homeless individuals and one in O'Fallon for families. The Cramptons direct a staff that provides financial and family counseling and acts as a resource for other social agencies.
"An example would be a family from the East Coast who were promised a job. They pack everything up, move out here and discover the job was not a job after all, so here they are with no resources," John Crampton explained.
The Cramptons were transferred to St. Charles after four years' service in the Maplewood corps. Before that, the couple was stationed in Royal Oak, Pontiac, Farmington Hills and Midland, Mich.
John Crampton, 49, was a late bloomer when it came to a career in the Salvation Army. He joined the Salvation Army in 1981 at age 34 after he obtained a degree in psychology and theology at Central Michigan University.
Before that, he worked as a disc jockey and television news and sports broadcaster for Armed Services radio and television stations.i
The Cramptons have been married for 29 years. They have two married daughters and three granddaughters, all of whom live in Michigan. Like all Salvation Army couples, the Cramptons are ordained ministers who come as a package and work as a team. A single officer must marry another officer or someone who will join the Salvation Army and go through officers' training, John Crampton said.
Crampton cited the Salvation Army as one of the first churches to recognize the talents of women. "Its founder, William Booth, said that some of his best men were women," Crampton said. "Salvation Army wives are completely equal. They can marry, bury and do everything as far as the church is concerned."
The Cramptons were attracted to the Salvation Army because of its social ministry, a phenomenon John Crampton said was showing up in more mainline churches. …