Capt. Martin Thies

Divisional Youth Secretary


Captain Martin was called by God to serve as an officer in 2001, and has enjoyed this wild ride. He loves teaching and helping people grow closer to Christ. He also enjoys table tennis, music, video games, pinochle, movies, ironic things, and sarcasm.

Capt. Shannon Thies

Divisional Youth and Candidates Secretary


Captain Shannon Thies grew up in Omaha, NE.  She gave her life to the Lord when she was 6 years old, but did not always walk with Him.  Shannon met her husband Martin in college, where they were both vocal music majors.  They were married in 1998. 

In 2001, Shannon rededicated her life to the Lord and was called to be an officer in The Salvation Army.  She was commissioned and ordained in 2005 in the “Preparers of the Way” Session. 

Shannon and Martin have 2 teenagers, Jacob and Andrew.  Shannon loves youth ministry and is passionate about young people knowing and living for Jesus.  

Caryle Wheelock

Divisional Youth Program Specialist for Preschool to 5th Grade

Caryle has a passion for  youth ministry that started long before she realized it.  She has served at her local corps for 22 years, as a Sunbeam troop leader, the teen Sunday School Teacher, mid-week teen Bible Study Leader and Youth Group Leader.

When she was younger, Caryle enjoyed working at Army Lake Camp in the Dining Hall & Nursery, as a Resident Counselor (back when they first started using resident counselors!) and finally for the past 16 years with the Youth Department.  

Caryle loves working with young people and wants them to have a personal relationship with Him.  She is an awesome aunt and an even better great-aunt!  She loves to study the Bible and create things through crocheting and, at Christmas time, through baking.  Caryle is currently the Youth Program Specialist for Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 5. 

Curtis Payton

Divisional Youth Program Specialist for Grade 6 to Young Adult

Curtis became a Christian in college after hearing the gospel in a chapel service. On that day the Lord unveiled his hard heart to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It was then that Curtis decided (through the leading of the Holy Spirit) to devote his life to the sharing of the Love of God with whomsoever he would come in contact with.

Curtis has been married to Kaitlyn (pictured right) since August of 2013. Together they journeyed to Milwaukee in order for her to pursue a masters degree. It was there that Curtis found out about the opportunity to work with the Salvation Army.

Curtis has a Major in Christian Ministries emphasizing in pastoral preaching and overseas missions, with a Minor in Christian Studies. He is currently pursuing a Master of Divinity through Reformed Theological Seminary. He lives in Milwaukee and is serving in the United States Army as a Firefighter in the reserves, but is attempting to transition to a Chaplain Officer.

Curtis is passionate about the gospel breaking down the barriers of segregation uniting all people under the love of Jesus Christ.

Amy Gwyer

Youth Department Secretary

Amy Gwyer started with The Salvation Army in March of 2014.  She has 4 years of administrative experience and 10 years of youth leadership and teen mentoring. 

Amy grew up as a missionary child and has traveled to many places around the world.  She is very creative and loves scrapbooking and card making.  Amy is married with 7 wonderful children and is excited to continue working with youth as part of The Salvation Army Youth team.


Stephen Hull

Divisional Music and Gospel Arts Director

Steve spent 5 years as a child in the central African country of Zambia where his Salvation Army officer parents were missionaries. Upon returning to the US at age 10, he lived in Chicago and Royal Oak, MI and taught school music until entering the Salvation Army CFOT in 1982. The next 20 years were spent in corps appointments in Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan.

In 2004, he returned to full time music teaching in Florida where he taught at all levels of K-12 music (most of those in middle and high school band). During the period of 2011-16, he was the full time Music Director at the Naples, FL corps where he developed and ran an after-school music program for local low-income children.