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
Before that, he worked as a disc jockey and television news and
sports broadcaster for Armed Services radio and television
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
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. …