Commissioning marks ‘firsts’ for territory


The Chief of the Staff, Commissioner John Larsson and Commissioner Freda Larsson salute the crowd gathered at the service of ordination for the Ambassadors of Grace Session.

The Ambassadors of Grace marched out of Crestmont College and into active service as fully commissioned captains during a weekend filled with festivities, fun, and significant “firsts” for the West.

Friday’s commencement was the first to be held by the School for Officer Training at the new Crestmont College; cadets were commissioned as captains (instead of lieutenants) for the first time in Army history; auxiliary captains were commissioned and ordained with the session as full captains for the first time; fathers and other significant family members received Silver Stars along with mothers; and, in a break with tradition, women officers and soldiers went hatless during the weekend’s indoor ceremonies.

The Chief of the Staff Commissioner John Larsson and Commissioner Freda Larsson were special guests and were present for extensive discussions at the territorial executive council as well as Commissioning events throughout the weekend. Commissioners David and Doreen Edwards, supported by Colonels Phil and Keitha Needham and Lt. Colonels Douglas and Diane O’Brien provided leadership.

Commissioners Joe and Doris Noland, Eastern Territorial leaders, were also in attendance. The Commissioners were the special guests at the Christian Education Summit, held during part of the weekend.

“The commissioning of officers should be regarded as an exercise of affirmation for The Salvation Army,” stated Commissioner David Edwards, territorial commander. “Affirmation that God’s hand is still on the Army for good. He is still calling men and women to serve as officers in The Salvation Army. The events this weekend served again to provide us with that affirmation. We thank God for his ‘Ambassadors of Grace’.”

More than 1,500 Salvationists and friends attended Commissioning events, held at multiple locations including Crestmont College, the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, and the La Mirada Holiday Inn (site of the Christian Education Summit).

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