National Director for Church Army Instituted

Episcopal News Service. June 26, 1980 [80233]

LONG BRANCH, N.J. -- Captain Charles W. Mitzenius was instituted as National Director of the Church Army Society by the Rt. Rev. John M. Allin, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, at St. James Episcopal Church here in mid-June.

Formerly the Church Army in the U.S.A., the Society is one of seven which minister throughout the world in the areas of evangelism and missionary outreach. Merged with the National Institute for Lay Training during the 1960s, that relationship has now been terminated. The Society is now seeking to re-establish itself as the independent order of primarily lay evangelists and missionaries that it once was. Because of legal entanglements, this may be a difficult task, members say, since many bequests which have been intended for Church Army use have gone, and will continue to go, to the National Institute unless they are specifically designated for the Church Army Society.

Captain Mitzenius, a native of Keyport, N.J., has been active in the Church Army for over 20 years, serving as chaplain to the New Jersey State Reformatory; chaplain and house-master at St. Elizabeth's School on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation; director of the Bishop Smith Indian Center, Sioux City, Iowa, as well as having had oversight of churches on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, and eight years as a member of the administrative staff of Edmundson Hospital, Council Bluffs, Iowa. He has been assisting at St. James, Long Branch, N.J., since 1979.

Members of the Church Army Society are commissioned for their work exclusively by the Presiding Bishop, although permission of the bishop of jurisdiction is required before they undertake independent missionary work. Currently, there are Church Army Societies active in Africa, Australia, Canada, Denmark, England, Sweden, and the United States.

Captain Robert Jones, C.A., of Massachusetts, is president of the board of the Church Army Society, and the Rev. William Avery, C.A., is the secretary/treasurer. There are approximately 70 members of the Society active in this country.

Information regarding the Society may be obtained by writing to Captain Mitzenius at 339 E. War burton Place, Long Branch, N.J. 07740.