Commencement at Crestmont

GENERAL JOHN GOWANS addresses the crowd during the commencement of the Crossbearers Session at Crestmont College.


General John Gowans and Commissioner Gisèle Gowans were special guests at the Crossbearers commencement service, held in the Crestmont College Rose Garden on a warm, sunny day.

Gowans was happy to visit Crestmont, among “the most beautiful spots on Earth,” and reminded everyone of the years he and Commissioner Gisèle spent in the Western Territory at THQ and at Southern California DHQ (1981-1986).

After a musical prelude by band members from the Pasadena Tabernacle Corps and the Torrance Corps, led by Territorial Music Director Bandmaster Jim Anderson, Crestmont College President and School for Officer Training Principal Lt. Colonel Doug O’Brien opened the commencement ceremonies. The cadets of the Crossbearers Session mounted the stage and performed their session song, “Crossbearers,” with words by Lt. Colonel Diane O’Brien and music by Ivor Bosanko.

Territorial Commander David Edwards welcomed the Gowanses to the west and after a scripture reading by board of advisors member Dr. James Hartman, Gowans addressed the Crossbearers cadets.

“What does the Lord require of me?” Awaiting their first appointments, the cadets might ask themselves this question. With his 47 years of experience, Gowans had an answer, at first a seemingly comforting one.

The voice of Jesus answers, “only to do what you can.” What a relief to know that daily miracles are not required. But Jesus applauded the woman who anointed his feet not just because she did what she could, but also because she did all she could. That’s what’s required-to give all we have to the ends of our capabilities-to grasp all the opportunities, do all we can, and love all we can.

After the address, Lt. Colonel Diane O’Brien led the Crestmont Ensemble as they sang “A miracle of grace.”

Edwards presented the academic awards, degrees, and certificates, supported by Captain Stephen Smith, Major Donna Jackson, Major Tedd Lowcock and Captain Michael Beauchamp. LEADS students also received their certificates.

Session speaker Cadet Nancy Halverson spoke on the gifts God has given her and her session mates and the gifts he has in store for them.

A surprise was in store after the service concluded when Joe the Turk arrived in a vintage vehicle with three Salvation Army lasses to christen the Western Territory museum, which is located at Crestmont. Gowans opened the envelope and announced the museum’s name, the Museum of the West. The name was chosen among several by votes of New Frontier readers.

Also receiving the AA degree in Ministry were Major Pat Jolley of Crestmont College and Captains Bouaphet and Oulayvanh Sidavong of the Santa Rosa Laotian Outpost. A/Captain Susan Nute of the Sitka, Alaska Corps was recognized for her completion of the auxiliary captain course of study.

The cadets begin two weeks of classes for their BA degrees on June 19.

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