Salvation Army-owned home split in half

Posted June 28, 2008 3:44 p.m. EDT
Updated June 30, 2008 9:53 a.m. EDT

— After years of helping storm victims, two Salvation Army majors found themselves in need of help after Friday's storms damaged their home.

Winds brought a tree, estimated to be 100 feet tall and 15 tons, through the roof of the Smith’s home at 1005 Winona Road.

“Well now, I never liked that tree,” said Maj. Bobbie Sue Smith, of the Wake County branch of the Salvation Army.

She and her husband, Maj. Al Smith, were away celebrating Al Smith's birthday with their son in Rocky Mount when the tree fell.

“We’re just so very thankful, we were not here and everybody’s safe,” Al Smith said.

Together, the Smiths are the longest-serving Salvation Army officers in the Carolinas and oversee all operations, including social services, ministries and disaster relief.

The Smiths have spent seven years in the north Raleigh home, provided by the Salvation Army. They had planned to stay in the house until they retire in May.

The Salvation Army will provide them with a furnished rental house until retirement. Church members with the Salvation Army will help the family make the move.

“You don’t understand these things when they happen, but when you realize there’s a lot more people who go through more than this, we’re very grateful,” Bobbie Sue Smith said.

The Smiths planned to be back at work Sunday, leading services at the Salvation Army Church.

"We certainly believe the Lord had his hand on us," Bobbie Sue Smith said.