Salvation Stories

A Recipe for Salvation

Putting a Fry in a Kroc kitchen.

James Fry is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and a faithful employee in the automotive industry for 28 years in his Dayton, Ohio hometown. Upon his retirement in 2009 part of his package was an opportunity to enroll somewhere for continuing education.

At this point in James’s life, he could finally attempt something he’d always wanted: to become a culinary chef.

“I enrolled at Sinclair Community College and graduated in 2011 with a culinary arts degree,” James says.

It so happened that his itinerary included an internship at the Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in Dayton. James made a lasting impression on the Kroc staff, and he was offered a job there.

“While I was at work, God was at work as well,” James points out. “He has a way of using people in His service to influence your path—and that’s certainly true of the officers and soldiers of the Dayton Kroc Corps.”

James prepares daily meals at the Dayton Kroc, mostly benefitting children. But his duties go far beyond the facility’s location at 1000 N. Keowee Street. This includes the upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas mass-feedings, and particularly throughout Ohio’s cold winter evenings well into the New Year.

“We also do a mobile feeding ministry with our canteen, serving up to 550 meals each time,” James says. “I am so blessed through that program. We also use the canteen as an emergency disaster services in the community and in the division” (SWONEKY—Southwest Ohio & Northeast Kentucky).

Describing himself formerly as a “closet Christian,” James admits that before becoming a Salvationist “the roof would fall in if I ever went to church.” Claiming that he once wanted to control his own life, now, “God has complete control!”

Since he met The Salvation Army through the Dayton Kroc Corps Center, everything for him changed.

“The largest draw to the Army has not only been the people, but the mission. I just want to help people!”

James says that it had to have been God who directed him to use his newfound culinary skills for ministry at the Kroc.

“I truly believe God knew I would never go to church on my own,” he says. “He knew I needed the Holy Spirit back in control (of my life) and I feel I can reach my full potential through The Salvation Army as a soldier and a volunteer.”

Major Frank Duracher, Assistant Editor in Chief, USA National Publications.


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