The Recorder – Greenfield Salvation Army captains moving on to fourth appointment

GREENFIELD — When Salvation Army Capt. Scott Peabody was transferred to Greenfield five years ago, he looked around at the small city and couldn’t help but be reminded of his hometown of Plaistow, NH

“I notice that everyone here cares for their neighbor and shows great love for each other,” he said, referencing the similarities between the two municipalities. “It’s a place where your children can just go out and have some fun in a safe environment.”

Now, as Peabody, 51, and his wife, Karen, 49, who is also a captain at the Salvation Army’s Greenfield branch, move on to their next appointment in Bethlehem, Pa., he’s left feeling grateful for the relationships they’ve built in Franklin County and the support they’ve received.

“There’s a lot of great memories for me as an officer within the community,” Peabody said, noting in particular that two of their three children — Brendon, 24; Joel, 19; and Kylee, 12 — attended Greenfield schools, with Joel graduating from Greenfield High School.

The Peabodys, who served at the Chelsea and Pittsfield Salvation Army branches previously, were transferred to Greenfield five years ago, replacing Maj. Daniel Brunelle.

On Monday, they’ll be replaced by Lt. Paul Leslie and Lt. Emily Leslie, who are being transferred from the Lowell branch. The Peabodys will start their new appointment in Pennsylvania on Monday, too.

“It’s wherever we are needed,” Peabody said of being transferred between Salvation Army branches. “The normal transition times usually take place in July, but this was extended to August (as a result of the pandemic).”

During their time in Greenfield, the Peabodys—both of whom are ministers—have led religious services, overlooked the food pantry and offered community meals at the 72 Chapman St. location.

“We’ve made some great strides as far as trying to assist with the homeless situation in Greenfield,” he said.

Peabody can remember meeting people when they first moved to Greenfield who were homeless, but who have secure housing today. He also feels he and his wife have helped raise awareness of the homelessness situation.

The Leslies will continue the services that have already been established, like the food pantry and community meals, Peabody said, but they can also launch new programs if they feel there is a need in the community.

“Every location has different services it provides depending on what the community needs are,” he said.

Their new appointment will involve overseeing some of the same services, Peabody said, but will also include a senior program and transitional housing for individuals who are recovering from a crisis. Having now been officers with the Salvation Army for 15 years, the Peabodys will carry the title of “major” at the Bethlehem, Pa. branch, which is their fourth appointment.

While the Peabodys are excited for their next chapter, they also know they’ll miss the place that has become home to them in the past five years.

“It’s always a mix of emotions — the excitement of the adventure, as far as the unknown, but there’s also the sadness of leaving,” Peabody said. “This is part of what we do, as officers. Transitioning is part of that.”

Reach Shelby Ashline at 413-772-0261, ext. 270 or [email protected]

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