Advancing the junior soldier program
Campaign tracks attendance of nearly 2,000 prospective young soldiers.
by Cari Arias –
Sixty-nine corps participated in the Western Territory’s eight-week advancement campaign promoting the junior soldier program, allowing the Youth Department at Territorial Headquarters (THQ) to track junior soldier growth throughout the territory.
Nearly 2,000 prospective junior soldiers participated during this time. Over 1,000 junior soldiers recited a weekly Bible verse, 280 of them reciting the junior soldier pledge for the first time and 136 reciting The Salvation Army’s second doctrine from memory.
The campaign’s purpose was to renew interest in the junior soldier program, encourage current junior soldiers and leaders, and bring a new emphasis on conducting a consistent, high quality junior soldier program (a required program) at each corps. This was not just for those corps who already had regular junior soldier classes; it was created for all corps, in order to advance the program.
Now, at the close of the campaign, the THQ Youth Department has announced the territorial winners, determined by weekly score sheets.
1st place Broomfield Corps, Intermountain Division, Captains Thomas and Laura Fenton
2nd place Pendleton Corps, Cascade Division, Captains Donald and Martha Sheppard
3rd place Riverside Corps, Sierra del Mar Division, Majors Rick and Margaret Peacock
Inviting them to join
Captains Fenton and junior soldier leader David Eliason worked with a number of kids in the after-school program at Broomfield Corps, teaching junior soldier classes.
When asked about his success, Fenton responded, “The youth want to join our Army. They will join our Army. We must invite them to join!”
After the campaign, Major Gwyn and Captain Ann Marguerite Jones, Intermountain divisional youth leaders, enrolled 16 new junior soldiers at the Broomfield Corps. Parents joined in the commitment ceremony where children said the junior soldier pledge and signed certificates.
“I believe this junior soldier campaign shows that it is good to challenge ourselves as a church community as well as individually to bring more young people into the ministry and mission of The Salvation Army,” said Jones.
The most exciting outcome of the campaign is that children made commitments to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and to The Salvation Army as their home church. As a direct result of the campaign, 130 kids completed the junior soldier prospective course and most were enrolled as junior soldiers.
While at times we must focus on dwindling numbers and take action, we also must rejoice as we see what God is doing with his Army! The junior soldier program is alive and well—these kids are the future of our Army!
Junior soldier campaign divisional winners—
Captains Ronnie & Debra Davis
Captains Don & Martha Sheppard
YPSM: Marie Wister
JS Sargeant: Ariel Dunn
Asst. JS Sargeants: Grace Sheppard & Taghelor Markle
Captains Enrique & Jasiel Tumale
Captains Dwaine & Deborah Breazeale & Captain Kristin McConnell
Hawaiian & Pacific Islands
Kauluwela Mission Corps
Majors Brian & Leticia Saunders
Captains Thom & Laura Fenton
JS leader: David Eliason
Majors Steven & Merry Svenson & Captain Laura Wycoff
Sierra del Mar
Majors Rick & Margaret Peacock
Tustin Ranch Corps
Majors Lee & Michele Lescano
Tucson South Corps
Captains Hector & Emma Orellana