Captain Jenny Ortman

By: Dezaray Barr

Captain Jenny (Caddy) Ortman and her family

Captain Jenny (Caddy) Ortman graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2001 with a degree in Christian Education and a minor in writing. She obtained her Masters degree in Christian Ministry from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Ortman first heard of IWU from Lt. Colonel Clarence Kinnet, who spoke at a camp she attended. “Later, I came for a visit weekend and loved the atmosphere, so I applied,” Ortman said. “IWU was the only college I considered at that time.”

As a freshman, Ortman lived in Shatford Hall. “I came in with some AP and other college credits, so I was a sophomore (by credits) in the second semester and had my curfew lifted – that was interesting being one of the only ones who could be out late,” she shared. “I got sent on lots of errands to Walmart by my floor mates, which had just become a 24 hour store that year. I worked at Pizza Hut that year too and made lots of friends, as I always came home with pizza to share! I enjoyed Shatford living and was even named Princess at one of the Winter formal events.” Her sophomore year, Ortman was an RA in Evans Hall, and eventually she moved to University Court.

Captain Jennifer Ortman

In June 2004, Ortman was commissioned as a Salvation Army Officer with the rank of captain. “As an officer, I have held appointments as a corps officer (local pastor and services administrator) in three different locations in Michigan,” she said. “I have served four years as a divisional (regional) leader for youth ministries in Indiana. And now, I am appointed as an instructor and the Assistant Director of Personnel at The Salvation Army College for Officer Training in Chicago.”

Ortman said that every part of her experience at IWU was helpful to her and has been helpful in her career. “I remember the energy and compassion of Dr. Keith Drury and other professors and try to emulate that to the students I teach now, who are cadets seeking to be commissioned as Salvation Army officers,” she explained. “I teach many of the very same topics now that I learned at IWU, including Christian Education and Doctrine, but in a more introductory manner. I hope to help my students develop the lifelong love of learning that I developed at IWU, so that they will go on and pursue higher education goals of their own.”

Captain Ortman encourages IWU students to, “Soak it up – take in all you can while you are there. Learn for your own use – not just for a grade. Read for comprehension, not just to get it done.  It won’t matter that you’ve turned the pages if you didn’t get anything out of it.”

After IWU, Ortman attended Northern Baptist Seminary on a full scholarship and obtained her Masters of Arts in Christian Ministry in 2003. She was also married in 2003 to her husband Aaron Ortman. Aaron and Jenny are both commissioned Captains in The Salvation Army and are serving at the USA Central Territorial training college. Aaron is a Bible instructor, as well as the coordinator of the distance learning program. They have two daughters, Abigail and Emma.



Written by Dezaray Barr, PR Specialist for the Alumni Office. Dezaray is a junior Strategic Communication, Journalism and Honors Humanities triple major at Indiana Wesleyan University in the John Wesley Honors College. At IWU, Dezaray runs both the JWHC Blog and her own blog. Visit Dez’s website at

Lessons from the Red Kettle

By: Rick Carder

Every year it’s a joy to volunteer my time in the community. This year, I took time out of my schedule to volunteer with Marion’s Salvation Army‘s Red Kettle. For just a couple of hours, I stood outside of the Marion Walmart greeting the patrons as they entered and exited.

Volunteering is a lot of fun and especially when it’s within your particular niche. My niche just happens to be conversation. I love to greet people and listen to their stories. Perhaps that’s why I am enjoying my time in the Indiana Wesleyan University Alumni Association as the Director of Alumni & Church Relations.

Ringing the bell for the Salvation Army is a blast in my opinion. If you enjoy observing people and interacting with them, I would highly recommend this experience. It is most interesting to me to see the reaction of people who either avoid looking at you or make every effort to let you know that they have already donated. I happen to enjoy the former more, because it is a challenge to get people to break out of their comfort zone and offer you at least a gesture of a greeting. It’s usually the nod of the head or a simple wave.

I have observed three different types of people during my time ringing the bell. First, you have the avoiders. These are the people that will go out of their way to look away and pretend they don’t hear your bell ringing and verbal greetings. One lady, who did everything she could to avoid talking to me, pretending to not hear me at first and then when it was all to obvious I was there, looked into her purse as if to grab a cell phone call. I remembered her and when she came out later I loved the opportunity to get her attention. “Hello again, and good evening,” I said. While looking straight at me, she walked past as if I was invisible. Now I’m certain she heard me because her eyes seem to convey an assurance of my existence, but she was not going to communicate with so much as a wave or nod of the head. She simply kept walking. Giving her the benefit of the doubt, I’m certain that she had other things on her mind. Perhaps they were burdens or a fear that somehow talking to me would commit her to dropping a few coins in the Red Kettle.

Then there are the people who just simply respond to my greeting with a simple echo of my greeting. “Good afternoon!” I’d say, and they would mutter, “Good afternoon to you as well”. I refer to them as the echo. This is the basis of society called reciprocity, the reciprocating of your smile or kind words but never going beyond that simple response.

You may be like the third person I encountered in my bell ringing. These people represent the true heart of charity and perhaps the golden rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you. This usually calls for a little special treatment of their response. Perhaps they not only say hello back, but they also say God bless you or thank you for being here and even offer a kind gift of a donation in the Red Kettle.

Scripture speaks often about this golden rule, going the extra mile and give cheerfully. The Christian faith is full of examples both in scripture and in life of how important it is to put others ahead of yourself. In order for a society to better itself, we need to have charity and goodwill with a splash of hope that reflects the love God has for each one of us.

This time of year there are many who are ringing bells, trying to call attention to their favorite cause. They desire to bring goodwill to one and all. It is this time of year that we think of the Christmas carols and even reflect on Charles Dickens, Christmas Scrooge. It is this time of year when charity seems to come to life visibly and in real, tangible ways.

One young lady with her six-year-old stopped at the Red Kettle and told me simply, “I can’t walk past a single one of these Red Kettles without putting something in!” as she stuffed several dollar bills into the kennel. “This organization helped me when I was in great need, and they bought gifts for my son. I am grateful and especially now that I’m on my feet I can give back so that others will have the same opportunity I once needed from this great organization.“

So take note the next time you hear that faint bell ringing; there is much to be gained through charity. There are so many benefits because of it. May that bell ringing remind you that we can do for others as we would have done to us. In this we could reflect the kind of love that God extended to us when we were yet undeserving. It is through our acts of kindness we show others that we best demonstrate the love and goodwill of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

“Preach the Gospel at all times. Use words if necessary.” – (Saint Francis of Assisi) St. Francis of Assisi



Written by Reverend Rick Carder, Director of Alumni and Church Relations for Indiana Wesleyan University’s Alumni Office.

Pastor of the Week: Blake Fewell

By: Dezaray Barr

Lieutenant Blake Fewell

Lieutenant Blake Fewell is the Corps Officer (Pastor and Administrator) of The Salvation Army in Marion, IN.

Lt. Fewell graduated from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago in 2014 with a degree in Systematic Theology. He then went for a two-year pastoral training program at The Salvation Army’s College for Officer Training in Chicago and graduated from that program in 2016. He is currently pursuing a Master’s degree from Olivet Nazarene University.

“I knew for a long time that I wanted to pastor within The Salvation Army and had set my sights on the academic path needed to get to that point,” he said. “When I was studying at Moody Bible Institute, I fell in love with academic learning, especially in the field of theology.  I never would have guessed ten years ago that I would be this interested in theology, but it’s something I quite enjoy.  I have found that my academic training has had a significant impact on my ministry.  Though I no longer have the time to spend hours each day pouring over theological books and articles, I do enjoy taking what I have learned and applying it in ‘boots on the ground’ ministry.”

Lt. Fewell said that as a Pastor at the Salvation Army, he has the privilege of having a much larger congregation than just those who come through his doors on a Sunday. He shared, “My congregation includes the individuals and families that we serve each and every day.  At The Salvation Army, we believe the church was meant for much more than a worship service and small group on Sunday. We believe the church is meant to be in the community sharing the gospel, feeding the hungry, fighting against injustice and showing the hope that comes through Christ.  When I see a family’s life changed, that’s when I know that I chose the right path to be a pastor.”

Lt. Fewell has the opportunity to serve in a role quite different from the average pastor. “The Salvation Army is most well-known for our day-to-day assistance or our Red Kettles, but we are so much more than that,” he said. “We are a church and congregation that believes in fighting a war against sin, evil and injustice. That’s why we call ourselves an Army. We may be a bit peculiar because some of us wear uniforms, and we use military lingo, but our mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and meet human needs in his name. I do many of the same things a pastor does every week, but I am also leading a social services organization that is helping thousands of people every year.  I work to raise funds for our programs, services and operations.  I am working to find new ways for us to reach the people in our community and serve individuals and families in need.  This and about a thousand other things make up my job. It’s a big task, but God equips me and others around me to make it possible.”

If Lt. Fewell could share one thing with IWU Students, it would be to find their mission. “In what way are you going to take this faith and put it to use?” he said. “Don’t let your faith simply become a worship service here and a small group there.  Whether we’re part of The Salvation Army or not, we all are part of a war against sin and injustice.  Find the battle that you’re going to fight, and stick to it.  Don’t rest until it’s won!”

Rick Carder, IWU’s Director of Alumni and Church Engagement said, “During IWU’s New Student Orientation, Pastor Blake met with new incoming students, and I was impressed by his genuine love for people, compassion for others and his personal connection that he made with our students.”

Right now, individuals and groups can support The Salvation Army by volunteering to ring the bell for The Salvation Army at one of the Red Kettle locations. To register, visit or call 765-664-6536. Additionally, there are opportunities to volunteer throughout the year, especially in the Thursday evening youth programs. For more information about volunteering, contact is available through Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram (@SalArmyMarion), visit or call 765-664-6536.


Written by Dezaray Barr, PR Specialist for the Alumni Office. Dezaray is a junior Strategic Communication and Honors Humanities double major at Indiana Wesleyan University in the John Wesley Honors College. At IWU, Dezaray runs both the JWHC Blog and her own blog. Visit Dez’s website at