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Cadets welcomed at private banquet

Commissioner Harold Hinson reveals rules for successful ministry.

by Karen Gleason –

At the Private Welcome Banquet, the Terrace Room at Crestmont College buzzed with the contagious energy of the new session of cadets, the Ambassadors of Christ—43 members strong. After a greeting by Major Steve Smith, College for Officer Training (CFOT) principal, the CFOT Chorus—comprised of both the Ambassadors of Christ and the Prayer Warriors—sang “I Dare to be Different,” led by Duncan Sutton. How joyous to see cadets almost spilling off the risers!

Territorial Commander Commissioner Philip Swyers introduced special guests Commissioners Harold and Betty Hinson, from the Southern Territory, who together have almost 50 years of service as Salvation Army officers. Swyers noted three characteristics of the Hinsons: 1) They are people you can count on; 2) They are people of integrity; and 3) They have made the Army better.

In other comments, Swyers remembered when he first came to the West and the incoming session was just 12 people: “We could have fit in a phone booth,” he said. He acknowledged the prayers and hard work of all those who transformed the dream of a bounty of new cadets into a reality.

Following the invocation by Commissioner Betty Hinson and the meal, Smith recognized the territorial executive council, the territorial youth secretaries and candidates’ secretaries, and the divisional leaders.

A cadet vocal ensemble sang “By His Hand.”

Prior to his charge to the cadets, Commissioner Harold Hinson pointed out that few things are a better indicator of the spiritual health and vitality of a territory than the response of those accepting God’s call to service. He jokingly wondered, “Who wouldn’t want to spend two years here?”

In his charge, Hinson gave the cadets three rules for success in ministry: 1) Love your work. Preaching, pasturing, social work, management—yes, it’s work, but it’s also a calling. “For the next two years, your work is here at the training college. You’ll never have another two years like this to develop spiritually and educationally. Knowledge will get you through college; wisdom will get you through life,” he said. 2) Love people. “People are our business…the bothersome, difficult, get-on-your-nerves, break-your-heart people. If you love someone, you’ll be a blessing to them,” he said, quoting pertinent Scripture from 1 John 3:16-18 and chapter 4:7. “We love our work and love people because God first loved us.” 3) Love the Lord, who came not to be served, but to serve. “Service,” Hinson said, “is a lifestyle. At retirement, it won’t be new buildings or budgets that you remember; it will be the people. God’s love will provide the strength you need to serve and the love you need to minister.”

Cadet Marjorie Miller, Prayer Warriors session president, welcomed the new cadets, emphasizing the bond between session mates and sister session mates. Quoting 2 Peter, she challenged the Ambassadors of Holiness to live up to their name, living above reproach in all they do, and she called them to be servants to one another with loving hearts.

First year Cadet Kristy Rosenbaum responded to Miller, recalling National Commander Commissioner Israel L. Gaither’s charge to the new lieutenants at the West’s 2009 commissioning. “Just show up,” Gaither said. Rosenbaum continued, “You don’t have to worry about anything—show up—God will be there to guide you.” She asked for prayers that the Ambassadors of Holiness stay strong and true so that the session will have all 43 cadets at their commissioning in 2011.

Commissioner Pat Swyers led the closing song, “Marching on in the Light of God,” and Major Tim Foley gave the prayer and benediction.


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