Hello Ocala! Meet Your Neighbors: Retired Salvation Army Majors Forrest and Carrie McIntyre

Retired Salvation Army Majors Carrie and Forrest McIntyre remain very active with the branch in Ocala. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette] 2022.

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Posted May 5, 2023 | By Eadie Sickler

Retired Salvation Army Majors Forrest and Carrie McIntyre were both involved in the Salvation Army from an early age. Forrest was born in Newburyport, Massachusetts, one of eight children. Carrie was born in Biddeford, Maine, one of three children. 

Forrest said he attended the Salvation Army Church since he was about 2 years old. When he was 14, he was a member of the church’s youth council and at a weekend event, he “gave his heart to the Lord.” 

Forrest left high school to join the Navy and earned his GED during the time he spent in the service. During a leave, he traveled to Newburyport and his sisters told him there was a new officer at the Salvation Army who had two daughters he should meet. He met the sisters and began dating the older one. She decided she wanted to go to college, however, and moved to a different town. That is when Forrest began dating her younger sister, Carrie. They married one day before her high school graduation so all the family members could attend the wedding while they were all gathered together. June 7 will mark their 54th anniversary.

All this sounds easy, but it was a long road for Carrie to get from her birthplace in Maine to Massachusetts. And, during that time, Forrest was in the Navy in Florida.

Carrie’s father was involved in the Salvation Army Church and became a “soldier,” or member, she explained, a month before she was born. He worked for the railroad, and the family moved several times during her childhood. They lived in Connecticut for only two weeks when the river behind their house overflowed and damaged the dwelling. 

The family moved to Rochester, New York, where her maternal grandmother lived. Her mother became ill and had to be institutionalized and an aunt, who was a Salvation Army Corps officer, or pastor, in Roxbury, took a leave and came to live with the family to help with the children. The Roxbury corps offered the aunt the position of lieutenant. Because she was a single woman, Carrie’s father moved the family to Roxbury to help her in the ministry, working at the church headquarters.

During the time of her aunt’s care, when Carrie was 10 years old, she remembers she “was saved” at a church service. 

“God spoke to me and when I went to the altar, my feet didn’t touch the floor!” she said enthusiastically.

Carrie’s aunt met and married a man from Mexico and moved to that country. Carrie’s father moved the family to Taunton, Massachusetts. He became an auxiliary captain, which was a lay person employed by the Salvation Army. Once again, the family moved, to Springfield, Massachusetts. Another promotion to auxiliary captain in charge moved them to Newburyport, Forrest’s hometown. The rest, as they say, is history.

After 20 years of service, Forrest retired from the Navy as a senior chief petty officer. He had felt called to become a Salvation Army officer. The corps trains husbands and wives to be officers together as a team, and so he and Carrie began their lives in the Salvation Army. They spent their first year in Orange Park, Florida as lieutenants. They have served in Ocala, Dallas, Oklahoma City; Virginia Beach, San Antonio, where they both were promoted to major, Jacksonville, and Baltimore, where they retired in 2011.

The couple has three sons: Jonathan lives in Ocala with his wife, Wendy, and their four children. He is a produce manager at Publix. Son Timothy is a medical doctor and is married to Leslie. He is a professor of pre-med sciences at Santa Fe College in Gainesville. Benjamin lives in Ocala and works for Townely Manufacturing.

When the couple moved from Ocala with the Salvation Army, they announced that they “would be back” when they retired because they loved the area, and their children are all in the area. 

The couple wanted to remain involved in and live near the Salvation Army Church when they retired. Forrest is still employed part time with the Salvation Army as volunteer coordinator, recruiting volunteers, doing public relations duties and other tasks as needed, and coordinates the Christmas program events. 

“My hobby is my work,” he said. “I love to work here.” 

Carrie volunteers in the area of statistics and other jobs as needed. She plays baritone horn in the Salvation Army Band. Both love spending time with their sons and grandchildren.

“Ocala was a sleepy, peaceful town” when they first lived here, they shared. Carrie said she loves trees and nature and people, and the couple has enjoyed Silver Springs State Park. 

“I loved Ocala,’’ Forrest shared, “and I still do.”

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