West Welcomes New Session of CFOT Cadets
by Robert Docter –
Commissioners David and Doreen Edwards, Western Territorial leaders, welcomed the Ambassadors of Grace session of cadets to the territory. Their goals during the two year education and training program on the Crestmont campus will be to respond to the stirring opening song of the evening:
Who is on the Lord’s side? Who will serve the King; Who will be his helpers other lives to bring?; Who will leave the world’s side? Who will face the foe?; Who is on the Lord’s side? Who for him will go?
With a single, rousing voice and a depth of committed spirit, the cadets and the audience responded:
By thy grand redemption, by thy grace divine; We are on the Lord’s side, Savior, we are thine.
Major Rudy Hedgren, territorial youth and candidates secretary, introduced the Ambassadors to the territory. He noted the broad range of life experience represented in the group and the importance of the word “grace” as the principal belief which set Christianity apart from every other faith. “Only Christianity dares to make God’s love unconditional,” he said.
In accepting the session, Edwards thanked the officers and soldiers of the territory for their assistance in preparing the group for this decision and challenged all to the goal of continuing officer recruitment. “Pray for the laborers,” he said.
Then, in addressing the new cadets he stated: “This is what God wants you to do–where he wants you to be.” He then articulated the challenges of Army officership today and expressed appreciation for their response. To the officers of the college he stated: “I entrust these cadets to you. Transform them into “Blood and Fire” officers of The Salvation Army.
In a moving ceremony laden with tradition, Edwards personally gave the session flag to Cadet Bill Welch, formerly a soldier of the Kauluwela Mission Corps in Honolulu. Welch and his wife, Elizabeth, have four children: Tim, 14; Sarai, 13; Steven, 10; and Mark, 8. He completed 12 years of duty in the United States Army serving as a Special Forces paratrooper.
When asked later about his role as session standard bearer, Welch replied: “The flag represents who we are and is a guide for others to follow into battle. I will carry it with honor.”
The Cadet chorus sang their session song, Ambassadors of Grace, an original melody and lyric by Bandmaster Ivor Bosanko and Major Diane O’Brien
Edwards also introduced two Korean cadets who continue the West’s link with the Korean territory initiated by Commissioner Peter Chang (R) during his tenure of territorial leadership. Joining the “Forward 2000” session of second year cadets are Chang-man Moon and Mi-sook Moon.
Music for occasion was provided by the Korean Corps Singing Company, led by Lieutenant Ruth Lee, and by the Southern California Divisional Youth Band under the leadership of Bandmaster Chris Mallett. Janette Bosanko led the Cadet Chorus.