Majors David and Angela Repass of The Salvation Army of Aiken got the news on Monday about their new appointment. They will be moving to Conway in June to begin their work with The Salvation Army of Horry County.

“We hate to leave the Aiken area,” Angela Repass said. “We have grown to love the community, and we have formed so many friendships and created a family atmosphere here. But while we absolutely hate to go, we also believe that God sees the bigger picture, so it's time.”

Because of how The Salvation Army functions, the Repasses weren't surprised to learn that they would be leaving Aiken.

“The Salvation Army originally was set up very much like the military,” Angela Repass said. “We get moved based on the needs in other areas, and what we are able to do where we currently are.”

The Repasses have been in Aiken since 2008.

“Our six years here was longer than average,” Angela Repass said. “The average is usually three or four years.”

Under the Repasses' leadership, The Salvation Army of Aiken improved its financial health. It went from being in debt to operating in the black.

“I think we have improved our relationships in the community, and that's the one thing I'm most proud of,” Angela Repass said. “We are working with more churches, civic groups and agencies, and we've gotten the community more aware about what The Salvation Army is doing.”

Captains David and Amber Phelps, who have been working for The Salvation Army in the Charlotte, North Carolina area, will replace the Repasses in Aiken.

“We know that they will continue to get the support that we did from the community, and will continue to move the Salvation Army forward in Aiken,” Angela Repass said.

The Repasses will leave Aiken on June 16. They will begin working in Conway on June 22.

Dede Biles is a general assignment reporter for the Aiken Standard and has been with the newspaper since January 2013.