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December 12, 2017

Salvationist of Cleveland Temple Corps Martyred

Jared Plesec was wearing his uniform and holding his Bible when he died.

Jared after enrolling two new Senior Soldiers.

Jared Plesec, 21, a Soldier of the Cleveland Temple Corps, was murdered by an alleged assailant to whom Jared was trying to witness about Christ. It is reported that Jared was holding his Bible when he was fatally shot in the head.

“Jared was a true diamond in the rough,” says Major Karen Alverio, Jared’s Temple Corps Officer. “He was not ashamed of the Gospel and was compelled to share the Word with whomsoever.”

He never missed an opportunity to invite someone to church, Major Karen adds. “He was passionate about evangelism, often ministering to people during open gym, the game room, and the fitness center.”

Jared accepted Christ as Savior six years ago while worshipping and working at the Temple Corps. Major Lurlene Johnson, Divisional Secretary for Greater Cleveland Area Services, says Jared was wearing his Salvation Army uniform when he was killed.

“He is the young man who worked for us that the kids shared their secrets with, and he loved them. He loved them unconditionally. It's a huge loss for them," Major Lurlene says.

Jared praying for new Senior Soldiers and new members.

Jared was a mentor for dozens of young people like Quinton Mills, whom he would have called on a Sunday like today to make sure they would be at church. There wasn’t any aspect of ministry that was too minute for him—from teaching Junior Soldiers Class to washing dishes after a fellowship meal.         

Allegedly, the man accused of the murder went on to commit a series of carjackings that led to his arrest later that weekend. Police say the offender attempted to steal a woman’s car at an east side gas station and fired shots at her as she drove off.

He also allegedly stole cars from three other people before he entered a parking garage when he was finally apprehended. Bail was set at $5 million, for aggravated murder, grand theft auto and fleeing and eluding police.

Cleveland’s Eighth War Councilman, Michael Polesnak, calls Jared a martyr.

“He will not be forgotten by our community,” the councilman comments. “I ask all Cleveland residents to pray for Jared and his family. And as a community, we demand justice for this horrible crime.”

There were what seemed like endless tears and hugs at the Cleveland Temple Corps during worship on Sunday morning following the incident.

“Jared’s legacy will live on through every life that was impacted over the years,” Major Karen observes. “Our hearts are heavy with our earthly longings for Jared’s presence in our lives—but we cling to the hope of a future that we find in God’s Word!”

Major Frank Duracher, Assistant Editor, USA National Publications

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