New Salvation Army facility opens in Beckley

May 10—More than 15 years of planning, fundraising and dreaming finally came to fruition Friday with the opening of the new Salvation Army community center in Beckley.

Designed to meet the current and future needs of the seven southern West Virginia counties it serves, the building is long overdue, Beckley Salvation Army Captain Liz Blusiewicz said.

"This has been two years in the making of just the construction but probably 15 years of all the planning, the studies, the getting donors to help us cast that vision, and so today is like wow, we finally made it to where the doors are open, and the public is here to come in and see this beautiful place," Blusiewicz said.

The new center has been named The Chris and Kameron Cline Center for Worship & Service in honor of local entrepreneur and philanthropist Chris Cline and his daughter Kameron, who died in a helicopter crash in 2019.

During a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday, Kameron's mother, Kelly Cline Fama, and sister Candice Cline Kenan, said they were humbled to see their lost loved ones honored in such a worthwhile way for such a worthy cause.

"I love the Salvation Army, not only because it's a wonderful organization here in Beckley where our kids grew up, but because it's a Christian organization as well," said Kelly Cline Fama "Thank you so much for this opportunity to honor the memory of Chris and Kameron and to honor God by spreading those seeds of kindness and love through the Cline Family Foundation and the Salvation Army."

The new Salvation Army location at 2871 Robert C. Byrd Drive in Beckley replaces the organization's former home on South Fayette Street, which was built in 1938.

"Our old building ... it could fit inside this (new) building five times, so we are going from one of the smallest, oldest buildings to one of the biggest and most beautiful," Blusiewicz said.

Blusiewicz said project costs were around $10 million and would not have been possible without contributions from the state, Raleigh County, Beckley and private foundations such as the Cline Family Foundation, The Carter Family Foundation and many others.

In the new building, Blusiewicz said they will be able to expand their food pantry program and offer programs for youth through a newly established Boys and Girls Club of America charter.

Beckley's Boys and Girls Club is open to kindergarten through 12th grade children from the seven counties the Salvation Army serves: Raleigh, Fayette, Nicholas, Webster, Pocahontas, Greenbrier and Wyoming.

Blusiewicz said they have 50 spots available for their after-school program, which will begin on Monday. The program is free to families for the first year.

"Our goal is to get at-risk youth to graduation day," she said. "... We want kids to have a place where they feel safe, loved and they can strive for academic excellence because I believe some of these Boys and Girls Club kids are going to be our next leaders right here in Beckley and, who knows, maybe in our nation."

She added that they will also run a summer program that will have 150 spots.

Those interested can sign up at the Salvation Army's new location or online at

The Salvation Army's new facility also includes a commercial kitchen, fellowship hall, chapel, gymnasium and community meeting spaces.

"We want this building to be used as much as possible for the people that live around us in our community," Blusiewicz said.