Former Police Officer Answers Call to Ministry

by chrismcgregor
Categories: Divisional News

“I look back at my life and my experiences over the last 10 years and this is what God has been training me for all this time. He had a plan,” said Jacob Moore, Salvation Army Director of Community and Family Services in Kirkland Lake, Ontario.

Jacob (Jake) Moore worked as a police officer for 10 years, although originally began his post-secondary education studying theology before transferring to police studies. As a child growing up in low-income neighbourhood of Toronto, Jake wanted to become a police officer to help his community.

“Over the years working for the Ontario Provincial Police, I felt the call back to ministry, but I couldn’t find a way out of my job as I needed to support my family,” said Jake.

Jake continued to move forward in his career and began working in the Major Crimes section as a detective and then later as a sergeant.

“I was really feeling the call through times of transition, and I was praying on it. I wasn’t sure what I could do regarding my skill set,” he said. “I could feel there was change coming, but I wasn’t sure how to step away.”

In early 2022 Jake was deployed to Ottawa during the trucker convoy where he was swarmed by a large group of people. “I was not doing so well after I came back from that,” said Jake. “I was hurt from what happened to me and affected by the danger I was in. I was suffering from PTSD and had to work through that.”

Jake knew the former Salvation Army Director of Community and Family Services Robbie Donaldson, having worked along side him in Kirkland Lake as a police officer. He asked Robbie if there were any positions available but had no idea at the time Robbie was leaving the position.

“We had a coffee and it turned into a five-hour meeting.  I was praying about it and met with some other pastors I already knew. I never thought I would be working with The Salvation Army. This was definitely God’s plan. I was never in control.”

Jake started working at The Salvation Army in early July 2022 and has some plans for furthering the mission.

“Robbie has made many connections with community stakeholders and resources. That is really the key, and my goal is to continue that and build new relationships, build teamwork and encourage the churches in the community to work together so we can reach everyone no matter where they are coming from.”

In Kirkland Lake, The Salvation Army runs a Thrift Store and food bank and there is an industrial kitchen where staff cook food for their meal program on Tuesdays and Thursdays. About 50 meals are prepared by the team each day and clients can stay and eat or take the food to go. Some of the meals are also delivered to those who can not travel outside their home.

“Some of our clients are elderly, some are dealing with addictions and or experiencing homelessness. This is a safe place for them to eat where there are no triggers or drugs,” said Jake. “We sit with them, chat and connect clients with other resources. We also set them up with the food bank if they need it.”

The food bank offers clients a week’s worth of food and is appointment based. There is a need for non-perishable and fresh food. Jake says much of the food is generated by food drive fundraisers, but it goes fast.

“We have a small garden on the premises to help with providing fresh produce and I encourage people to donate food from their own gardens to the food bank again,” said Jake.

“The needs keep growing. Everything costs more right now in Kirkland Lake and in the north in general.  So many people can’t afford rent, so groups of people are living together in one place in order to afford it and many of them are sleeping on the floor.”

Jake says he loves his new position with The Salvation Army. “It’s a breath of fresh air being here, and it feels like the weight of the world has been lifted off my shoulders. We are very busy here, but I love the mission. I’m working with the same people, but the end game is different,” he said.

Jake added he is still looking at furthering his education as well. “I may look towards chaplaincy and becoming a pastor some day.”

Jake explains that when you donate to The Salvation Army the money stays local. Monetary donations are appreciated so staff can purchase what is most needed for their clients. Volunteers are also needed.  For more information or to donate email or call Salvation Army Community and Family Services in Kirkland Lake at 1-705-567-5877. Drop-ins are also welcome.

By: Caroline Franks