A Summer of Milestones

Here's a look at how The Salvation Army is doing the most good worldwide.

150 years in Chatham

A year of events to mark 150 years of The Salvation Army in Chatham, England started with a service of celebration at Rochester Cathedral. General Brian Peddle and Commissioner Rosalie Peddle joined Commissioners Anthony and Gillian Cotterill, territorial leaders of The Salvation Army in the United Kingdom and Ireland, for the event.

The General, who was delighted to attend the service, said, “The church reflects its impact in the community through the testimonies of people who have found new meaning in life, a place to serve and a place to belong. The Salvation Army in Chatham is alive and well! We give thanks and praise to God for all that has taken place there.”

Major Ian Payne, who leads The Salvation Army in the Medway area, said, “Things like this don’t happen very often.” 

The Salvation Army is seeing the numbers of people supported in Chatham rise. Major Payne continued, “Our programs have changed and we are a lot more social now. On Wednesdays, for example, we have more than 100 people come through our doors asking for support. It’s a great privilege to lead The Salvation Army here and to still be doing now what people did originally.”

135 years in the Caribbean

Based on a report by Major Derrick Mitchell

The Salvation Army’s Caribbean Territory celebrated the 135th anniversary of its mission under the theme “Committed to God’s Mission — Encourage, Empower, Engage.”

General Brian Peddle and Commissioner Rosalie Peddle made their first visit to the Caribbean as international leaders and were warmly welcomed by territorial leaders, Commissioners Devon and Verona Haughton. The General and Commissioner Peddle engaged in conversation about the mission of The Salvation Army with the Governor-General of Jamaica, His Excellency the Most Honorable Sir Patrick Allen, and the Prime Minister of Jamaica, the Most Honorable Andrew Holness.

Visits to the territorial College for Officer Training and the renowned Salvation Army School for the Blind and Visually Impaired started the weekend celebrations. On Friday, 175 active and retired officers gathered for worship and responded in commitment during officers’ councils.

Later that evening, an exuberant and highly energized congress fanfare of the 16 nations from across the Caribbean welcomed the international leaders, with almost 700 joyful Salvationists joining with local dignitaries for the welcome. General Peddle presented five William Booth Awards and one Exceptional Service Award to recipients from Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica and St Lucia.

On Saturday, the General and Commissioner Rosalie Peddle, supported by the territorial leaders, led more than 500 uniformed Salvationists during an open-air march of witness in downtown Kingston at the site of the first open-air meeting in Jamaica 135 years ago.

Hundreds of market shoppers were stirred by the large presence of The Salvation Army, and a call to receive Jesus as Savior was shared. This was followed by the international leaders engaging with 200 young people, and later an evening of Caribbean reflections retold the story of how the work of the Army began.

On Sunday morning, the General asked 1,000 people gathered in the Jamaica College auditorium, “Will you do as the Lord commands?” Following the Holy Spirit-filled preaching of the General, a large number responded in prayer at the mercy seat, some making first-time commitments and others rededicating their lives to Christ.

During the final Sunday congress celebration, Commissioner Rosalie Peddle challenged the crowd to “fight fiercely” to keep the mission moving forward and Commissioner Devon Haughton gave a call to officership, with 32 people responding. A memorable time of praise filled the auditorium.

With the musical support of the Caribbean Territorial Band, Canadian Staff Band and various praise and worship groups, dancers, timbrelists and vocal groups, the weekend was a historical offering of praise to the goodness of God for 135 years of Salvation Army mission across the beautiful islands of the Caribbean.

125 years in Alaska; 101 in Ketchikan

The Alaska Division celebrated 125 years of The Salvation Army’s work in the area with a Congress in Ketchikan, where the Army has been active for 101 years. Officers, soldiers and friends gathered in the small town where the Army has a strong bond with the local Tlingit tribe of Native Americans. The theme for the Congress was “Eternal Hope.”

The weekend was attended by divisional leaders, Lt. Colonels Doug and Sheryl Tollerud, as well as several guests from around the Western Territory. A group from territorial headquarters (THQ) was in attendance, with Colonels Eddie and Genevera Vincent (chief secretary and territorial secretary for women’s ministries), the territorial review team, and a mission trip team of five THQ employees. The Salvation Army’s leaders were honored and welcomed to Ketchikan on the first night of the Congress with a traditional dance from the local Tlingit leaders and children. 

A small contingent from the Northwest Divisional Band was also at the Congress, lending their musical skill to the services. They also played hymn tunes at the end of a march of witness, where all who were able marched down Ketchikan’s main road for an open-air meeting. Additionally, the band went out of their way to visit the home of a Tlingit elder, who was unable to attend the Congress due to health complications, and they played his favorite numbers out of the tune book.

Besides the lively meetings filled with the blended traditions of The Salvation Army and the Tlingit tribe, attendees also had access to a bazaar with local goods on sale as well as concurrent men’s and women’s rallies. At the closing Sunday morning worship service, there was a memorial service to honor those in the division who had been promoted to Glory. Throughout the weekend, the heritage of The Salvation Army and its relationship with the Tlingit tribe was honored and celebrated.

Based on a report prepared by Tim Green