Addisons Demonstrate Strong Commitments
by Robert Docter –
Captains Edward and Mercy Addison, extension training officers in the Ghana Territory, are among seven Ghana officers spread throughout the four American territories for a three-month period to observe and learn administrative leadership systems and practices.
Their love for the Army is immediately evident. Both are third-generation Salvationists whose families have served as strong lay leaders over many years. They have four children currently living with relatives in Ghana. Their native tongue is Akan, but both are fluent in English and have ministered in English- speaking corps.
Their presence in the United States provides Western soldiers and officers opportunities to learn a little about the Army in Ghana. Headquartered in Accra, a city of well over 1.5 million in population, the Army in Ghana has 91 corps. It has been alive and growing since 1922 when King Hudson founded the Army there in what was formerly named Gold Coast. Besides the corps, the territory has 122 societies, a smaller program which shares officers, and many outposts, smaller yet and staffed by lay leaders.
Ghana, formerly a British colony, gained its independence in 1957 and is a peaceful democracy surrounded by nations dewmonstrating considerable political turmoil.
In Ghana, the Army is part of the Church Council, but the only members who wear uniforms. It is perceived by many as a social work society. Officers and soldiers are very busy with activities at the corps every evening, much like one would find in corps throughout this nation.
Sundays begin with an open air march with flags and the band leading the way. Soldiers come from all over and join the band on the corner, and then all march back to the corps, Addison described the meetings as “noisy compared to meetings here–with spontaneous worship, stimulating drums beating out African rhythms, rousing singing and dance, loud clapping and much enjoyment. A full day ends with a Salvation meeting.
The absence of adequate resources makes officership difficult. In one appointment, the Addisons had nine societies to oversee. Knee drill in a distant locale was scheduled at 4:00 A.M. They had to leave home at 2:00 A.M. in order to walk there and arrive on time. There are more musicians than there are musical instruments and more children who would like to learn to play.
Both of the Addisons have education beyond what we would describe as high school. Their work involves helping officers learn how to teach many practical things to their soldiery. Besides helping them with worship activities, they also provide assistance in teaching AIDS/HIV awareness, reproductive health and personal hygiene.
In commenting on the Army here, they are most impressed with the computer services available in which information can actually be used rather than simply stored. They have expressed a desire to learn much more about computers. Headquarters in Accra have a very limited number. They have enjoyed attending a number of local corps services. After attending a meeting at the Pasadena Tabernacle, Mercy said: “I have never seen so many Songsters.”