Rotorua's Salvation Army has two new leaders who can't wait to get to know the community.

Commanding officers Ralph and Kylie Overbye arrived from Gisborne on January 7, and have been busy unpacking and settling in with their four young boys.

Mrs Overbye said they were both excited to get started.

"I lived here in the '90s and I've always wanted to come back, so we are just thrilled," Mrs Overbye said.


Salvation Army officers don't get to choose where they are placed, they are simply asked and they go.

Mr Overbye said it was about trusting God that you would be put where you were meant to be.

Mr and Mrs Overbye are from Gisborne and have been involved in the Salvation Army since 2005.

That's when Mr Overbye started a fulltime ministry while Mrs Overbye was volunteering and keeping busy with the arrival of their four boys - Levi, 10, Joel, 9, Ezra, 7, and Micah, 4.

We feel that God called us to fulltime ministry and we followed that call.


"We have just recently graduated and come out of training college."

"It's taken us a long time to get here because we have been raising our family," Mrs Overbye said.

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They both trained at the Booth College of Mission for two years in Upper Hutt, where they completed their diplomas in Christian studies and Salvation Army mission and ministry.

Mr Overbye said he had responsibility for the community ministries, including the food bank and budgeting, and they would both be overseeing the family store as well as the day-to-day running of the church.

Mrs Overbye said their boys were excited to be living in such an active town.

"We've been to the Redwoods forest and they've been Lord of the Rings characters, and the other day we went to Hamurana Springs and they were Tarzan," she said.

"They just love the place because they are real 'outdoorsie' boys and they are excited about new schools.

"We are real 'people's people' and we are just really looking forward to building relationships with others and getting to know the community.

"It's important to us to share the gospel as well, that's why we're here," Mrs Overbye said.

Former commanding officer Bill Millar has now retired.

Get involved:

* If you would like to donate or you need help with food, clothing, budgeting or would like someone to chat to you can contact the Salvation Army.
* 271 Old Taupo Rd
* Phone: 07 346 8077