The Marquez family was already attending a church near their home in Salem, Oregon, when a relative invited them to check out the diverse worship at The Salvation Army’s Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center.
They were apparently impressed with what they saw, because the entire family is very active in the mission and ministry of the Salem Kroc—and not because of music opportunities, although all of them are good musicians.
“Worshipping and serving here at the Kroc presents for us great opportunities to share our faith with the community,” says oldest child Diana. “The relationship between the corps and the community works both ways—the church gives so much to the community and the community adds so much to the corps.”
Four of the five Marquez kids (Jackie is only five-years-old) are heavily involved in music programs at the corps, but also in other youth programs offered by the Army.
Diana (19), Raul (17), Raquel (14), and Luis (13) bring a dynamic component to the ministry of the Salem Kroc—a corps that, in reality, is comprised of two congregations: English and Spanish.
“Our parents speak no English, so the fact that there is a Hispanic congregation is huge,” says Raul, a senior at Douglas McKay High School, and who is in the band program.
On Sunday mornings, both congregations meet simultaneously, but since the center is so large, there is no conflict. The Marquez family is a solid pillar of the Hispanic congregation, but the four siblings can often be found in the English services as well.
Rachel and Raul are prime examples. After Rachel plays percussion, and Raul mans the keyboard in the Praise & Worship Team for the Hispanic congregation, they scurry down the hall to play in the brass band—Rachel on euphonium and Raul on EB Bass!
“We are also involved in the teen programs and other youth ministries here at the Kroc,” says Diana, who is attending Willamette University in Salem.
“The Marquez’s kids are involved in so many aspects of corps ministry: leading worship in the Hispanic services, participating in SAY Club (from Moonbeams to Adventure Corps), playing in the band, and singing in the songsters,” says Major Tammy Ray, Salem Kroc Corps Officer. “They volunteer as often as they can to man kettles with their instruments at Christmas time and they can always be counted on to provide extra manpower around the corps when asked.”
The Marquez musicians are also heavily involved in divisional and territorial music programs—music conservatory, youth councils, and Western Music Institute.
Beyond the music, this family blesses the Salem Kroc Corps with a desire to serve God faithfully in various expressions of their worship.
“It is clear to us that Carmella and Raul Marquez have instilled in their children the true meaning of servanthood and are examples of godly Christian parents,” Major Tammy says.
—Major Frank Duracher, Assistant Editor, National Pubications