Captain Philip Canning Area Commander, The Salvation Army

P.Y.S.K.

salvation armyNumber of years in position:

Family: Wife, Captain Elaine Canning (Associate Area Commander); two children, ages 14 and 9

Why I’m Passionate About What I Do: I’m passionate about my role as a Salvation Army officer because it affords me the privilege of working with a broad range of individuals and organizations in order to create positive change in our communities.

Community Groups and Charities I Love to Support: My favorite charity is The Salvation Army. Go figure! I work for, and support, The Salvation Army because it is one of the most trusted charitable organizations in the world. With more than 82 cents of every dollar going towards programs and services in local communities, its integrity and accountablity is second to none. When individuals give of their time and resources, they can be assured that they will be used to “Do the Most Good.”

Biggest Career or Life Obstacle I’ve Overcome and How: The biggest life obstacle I’ve had to overcome is myself. Coming out of high school and going through college, I had goals and dreams for my life. I spent 10 years in the financial services field and found myself to be successful in the pursuit of my plans. The crazy thing was that the closer I got to obtaining my goals, the more unhappy I was becoming. After a two-year debate between me and God, I finally surrendered my life plans to Him. Now I have the honor of serving God and his people and bringing hope into the most hopeless of places. 

Accomplishment I’m Most Proud Of: I am most proud of being presented with the 2016 Community Visionary Award in Shawnee, Oklahoma. In Shawnee, my team and I developed an innovative, grassroots strategy to develop understanding between the social classes, consolidate influence around the greatest needs in our community and create meaningful change in the lives of those impacted by poverty. One of the single mothers involved, who came from an under-resourced background, is about to have her first book published by aha! Process Inc.

What Your Childhood Self Wanted to Be When You Grew Up: As a child I always wanted to be a police officer so I could ride a motorcycle and catch the “bad guys.” “CHiPs” had undue influence on my young life!

Favorite Way to Spend Saturday Afternoon: My favorite way to spend a Saturday afternoon is to ride my bike down the Augusta Canal path, watch college football and spend time with my family.

Favorite TV Show: I don’t really watch any TV shows other than sports and news.

Favorite Movie: My favorite movie is Glory. Based on true events, it’s a great account of grace, mercy, redemption, understanding and a love that shatters all barriers. 

Favorite Sports Team: I’m originally from Atlanta, so I like all the Atlanta teams: Falcons, United, Braves and Hawks. The one exception is college football: Florida State University. 

Favorite Comfort Food: My favorite comfort food is pot roast, especially on a cool fall day.

Favorite App: My favorite app is the YouVersion Bible app.

Last Book Read: The last book I read was Great Teams: 16 Things High Performing Organizations Do Differently by Don Yaeger.

Dream Vacation: My dream vacation is a cruise to anywhere. I love cruises because the toughest decision of each day is, “Do I want a chocolate, vanilla or swirl ice cream cone for a snack?” 

Something That Has Changed My Life: Something that has changed my life is my relationship with Christ. As I mature in my relationship with Him, my perspective on life and the world has changed dramatically. When I look around me I see so much division, hurt and hate that it can be depressing. Then I open the pages of Scripture and find hope. I clearly see that if we as a people would be guided by laws of relationships as given by God, then this world would be a much better place. I strive to live by these standards, and it has made me a better person. 

Best Thing I Ever Learned: The best thing I ever learned is to love God with everything that you are and to love all those around you the way you desire to be loved.

One Word You Would Use to Describe Yourself: The one word I would use to describe myself is “discontent.” I’m never satisfied with the status quo of anything. I believe everyone and everything can be better than it currently is.

Favorite Hobbies: My favorite hobbies are riding my bike and spending time with family.

Secret Aspiration: I don’t really have a secret aspiration. One of my most important goals is to be the best husband and father that I can possibly be. I’ve got some work to do here!

Reality Show I Would Totally Win: I don’t really watch TV shows, so I have no idea what reality shows are on the air. I know it’s not considered a “reality show,” but I’m pretty good at “Wheel of Fortune.” 

Something People Would Be Surprised to Know About Me: Even though I’m only 5’3” I was a starting forward on my varsity high school basketball team. 

What person do you think we should know? If you’d like to suggest someone we should meet, email editor@columbiacountymag.com and tell us why.

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