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franklin county times

Meridian's Salvation Army
family says goodbye to Murs

By Staff
PACKING UP Joe and JoAnn Mur pack boxes as they prepare to move to Vicksburg and a new role with the Salvation Army. The Murs have worked with the Meridian chapter for the past four years. PHOTO BY PAULA MERRITT / THE MERIDIAN STAR
By Ida Brown / religion editor
June 14, 2003
When Capt. Joe Mur of the Meridian Salvation Army delivers his last sermon during June 22 worship services at The Corps community center, it won't simply be the end of a four-year assignment.
For Mur and his wife JoAnn, who also serves as captain, it will be the culmination of a significant chapter of their ministry, as well as their lives.
The couple have been reassigned to serve in Vicksburg still close enough to visit their adopted home.
And though feeling a bit melancholy as they pack boxes in preparation for the move, the Murs leave Meridian with a sense of accomplishment.
First impressions
Upon their arrival in Meridian in 1999, the family became very aware of the community's strong family ties.
That family foundation was instrumental in achieving a number of goals, including expanding the Army's facilities and developing a more professional image.
That includes the donations of several local properties, among them the former Smith Bakery Thrift Store on Front Street Extension. The Salvation Army clothing store, renamed Sally's Attic, was moved to that location.
The organization also acquired the former Citizen's Bank building on B Street, which now serves as its administration office. This move allowed for the construction of a 1,500-square-foot soup kitchen and dining room at the Army's emergency shelter.
Expanding services
The expansion has allowed the shelter to expand its senior citizen's lunch program.
Other additions have include a 2,000-square-foot recreation center at the chapel facility.
One project Mur is particularly excited about is a retail training program at the Salvation Army thrift stores for residents of The Care Lodge.
Although still in the developmental stages, Mur said he hopes the project will be completed.
In addition to moving to a new location, the Murs also will face other new life experiences this month.
Their son, Joey, recently graduated from Montevallo University in Alabama and will marry later this month in Montgomery. Their daughter, Joslyn, has one year remaining at Meridian Community College.