Singing and ceremony marked the Great Salvation Celebration meeting at the Alaska Centennial Congress. After four days of fellowship and sharing together from God’s Word, the air was filled with anticipation.
Membership in the Alaska Division increased, as Commissioner Robert Watson enrolled 14 new Junior soldiers and 10 new Senior soldiers, including 14-year-old Alberto Zavala, who traveled to Haines from Walla Walla, Wash. with Corps Officers Captains Clinton and Georgia Steele. The Steeles served in Southeast Alaska during the 1970s.
Commissioner David Edwards commended Major Nila Fankhauser, Major Brengle Navarro and Major Kathie Timpson for their faithfulness in each completing 25 years of active service as officers. Two young people were also recognized for outstanding achievement: Anna Marie Barton, from the Angoon Corps, was presented with her Commissioner’s Sunbeam medal and newly enrolled Senior soldier Mark Davey, of the Mat-Su Valley Corps, received the Adventure Corps Program General’s award.
The culmination of this time of recognition was the announcement by Commissioner Edwards that divisional leaders Majors Harold and Joann Brodin would be promoted to the rank of Lt. Colonel effective April 1.
Watson, in his final challenge to Congress delegates, spoke of the awesomeness of God. “God is awesome in his power to heal. He will heal broken relationships and broken promises.” Evidence of God’s healing power was witnessed by all assembled as two sisters, one an Alaskan Salvationist and one a member of the Northwest Brass Ensemble, long separated by distance and broken family ties, responded to God’s healing in restoring their relationship.
As the final meeting of the Alaska Centennial Congress drew to a close, Native elder Mona Jackson sang the chorus, Speak to Me, Lord, and the Mercy Seat filled with seekers pouring out their hearts in rededication to God.