Captains Patrick and Carey Richmond hope to bring more opportunities for young people as they tackle their new jobs as directors of the Ashland Salvation Army.
“Our strengths balance each other well,” Richmond said as he and his wife discussed their former assignments as SA officers, as well as their ambitions in Ashland. His wife’s strengths include planning, Richmond said, while he is best at the public aspects of their position.
Richmond, 31, was born in Georgia, but grew up around Mansfield and Shelby, Ohio, while his wife, 34, was born and raised in Owensboro. Richmond said he is proud to be a “sixth-generation Salvationist,” following the path of his parents, who continue to work as SA officers in Charleston, S.C.
Along with his two brothers, Richmond attended seminary school with his parents for two years before the family moved to Louisville, where he attended high school as well as studied music education and vocal performance at the University of Louisville. He said he met his wife at a SA Camp — Camp Paradise Valley — where he had been hired to work as a counselor.
“We met and fell in love there, so I can say I met my wife in Paradise,” he said with a chuckle, later adding “Saturday, we celebrated 11 years.” The Richmonds have two children, Philip, 9, and Julia, 7. As a singer, he has also traveled extensively and was honored to perform as part of the second inauguration for President George W. Bush. He plays “any kind of brass,” although the massive tuba in the Ashland sanctuary has already proven to be more challenging than expected. He plays piano “by ear” and keeps a six-string Fender acoustic guitar near the desk in his office, along with a few samples from his hat collection.
Mrs. Richmond, also “grew up in the Salvation Army,” she said, explaining she enjoyed playing trumpet at an early age and was drawn to the SA’s brass band programs.
“I got involved and found a love to serve,” she said.
Mrs. Richmond is a 1997 graduate of Apollo High School and attended Owensboro Community and Technical College before deciding she wanted to be an officer a year before her future husband made his own decision to pursue a path as a Salvationist. Ashland is their fifth assignment, and they moved here after facing tough chapters in the histories of Nashville, Tenn., West Palm Beach, Fla., Fort Walton Beach, Fla., and Tallahassee, Fla. Each of the coastal locations sustained tremendous damage from hurricanes, and they moved to Nashville when flooding ravaged Music City.
“We’re praying — no disasters here,” he said with a soft smile that reflected the tough times people in and around their previous posts endured.
When their duties allow free time, the Richmonds say they enjoy distinctly different pursuits. He likes to fire up his Kawasaki motorcycle and see the countryside, while she enjoys photography, especially when their children or landscapes are the subject, as well as writing. Richmond said he hopes to soon join his father for a ride to St. Louis along with other members of the Road Riders For Jesus group.
“I ride my motorcycle as much as possible. She gets on occasionally,” he said with a grin.
After a chance to look around and consider their resources, as well as the needs of the Ashland area, the Richmonds say they hope to launch programs that will better serve young people and share their mutual love of music. The church and center on Carter Avenue have excellent resources for musical instruments and computers, they said, as well as an unused, air-conditioned, half-court basketball facility which could better serve young people.
“We both taught music at our previous appointments,” he said.
“That’s probably one of our biggest passions,” she added.
Richmond said anyone who appreciates an interesting hat will have a chance to see a few of the more exotic toppers in his collection during the holiday kettle and bell-ringing season.
“I want to bring attention to God and the Salvation Army, even if I have to wear a goofy hat,” he said.
TIM PRESTON can be reached at email@example.com or (606) 326-2651.