Bill and Gwen Luttrell conclude honorable service

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by Ray Moulton, Lt. Colonel – 

Commissioners Bill and Gwen Luttrell

Commissioners Bill and Gwen Luttrell entered honorable retirement June 26, 2003, with a combined service as Salvation Army officers spanning over 80 years.

Their last official responsibility was the commissioning in Vancouver, British Columbia, of the Believers Session of cadets from the Toronto Training College, and shared Congress leadership with General John Larsson and Commissioner Freda Larsson.

They served under the Salvation Army flag in three nations, with most of their varied career spent in their home territory of the USA West.

Bill entered officership from Greeley Corps, Colo., and joined the Courageous Session of cadets; he was commissioned in 1958. Gwen entered training college from Long Beach Corps, Calif., and joined the Soldiers of Christ Session; she was commissioned in 1962.

Their retirement service was conducted by General John Larsson who made reference to the martial note in their session names and how this quality has marked their officership ministry.

Bill served in various corps appointments as a single officer, and following their marriage they served together in corps, social services, training school and divisional leadership appointments. In 1986 they were appointed as divisional leaders in Hawaii, then training school leadership in 1990, followed by THQ appointments in the USA Western Territory. Bill was appointed as secretary for personnel, then chief secretary, while Gwen gave able leadership in the women’s ministries department.

Their leadership qualities were required on the International scene and in 1999 they were transferred to International Headquarters in London, England with Bill as international secretary for the Americas and Caribbean, with Gwen as zonal secretary for women’s organizations. This was a relatively short appointment as the General appointed them as territorial leaders for the Canada and Bermuda Territory with the rank of commissioners.

During their retirement service Gwen reflected on this appointment as being the “icing”(or as we in America would say “frosting”) on the cake.

Their ministry is marked by their willingness to be involved with people in ministry and not be content to sit behind their desks. During their stay in Canada they logged countless miles visiting many corps from coast to coast. Their encouragement and support to officers was evident by the many cards with personal notes received on various occasions.

During their retirement service they reflected back on their ministry finding their hearts were constantly blessed and refreshed by God. They have found it a “privilege to carry out the mission of The Salvation Army.”

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