Edwardses Formally Installed

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INTERCEDING–Commissioner Alice Watson offers a prayer of dedication following the installation of Commissioners David and Doreen Edwards. Joining her are members of the cabinet and Commissioner Robert Watson.

New TC Urges
Territory to Prayer

By Robert Docter

Strong feelings of joyous anticipation flooded the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts as a thousand Western Salvationists expressed warm greetings to both our new territorial leaders, Commissioners Doreen and David Edwards, and the Faithful Intercessors session of cadets.

Many attended in order to get to know the West’s new Territorial Commander and President of Women’s Organizations. They discovered two highly intelligent, well read, contemporary people who are excellent communicators, able to relate effectively, in touch with the tempo of the times, with an engaging sense of humor, a deep passion for souls and with strong commitments and devotion to God and the Army.

Following the installation by the National Commander, Commissioner Robert Watson, Edwards recalled his early introduction to the Army through a caring aunt who took him to the New Market Corps in Georgetown, Guyana. It was there his values were formed and his faith established. There, he first heard God’s call and it was from there he responded. At age 18 he journeyed to Jamaica and officer training. In a powerful, deep, bass voice he reminded the audience that “God calls us all to serve him and to live our lives in service to others.”

Drawing attention to the newly arrived Faithful Intercessors, he stated: “God has not stopped calling young people to be officers of The Salvation Army. He does not call all, but he does call some. If God calls–make yourself available.”

Disciples Count campaign

Edwards also affirmed strong commitment to the goals of MISSION2000, the territory’s campaign for this decade to double in size in all key categories. He noted we were entering a third stage of the campaign as we stand poised on the verge of a new millennium. He introduced the Disciples Count campaign as a way to maximize the power of the prior People Count! effort. Additionally, he issued a call to prayer and stressed an intention to maintain the Keeping in TouchPrayer Partners program. Lt. Colonels Shirley and Mervyn Morelock have been assigned responsibility to coordinate this vast territorial commitment to prayer.

In installing our new leaders, Watson noted their long friendship and the joy they shared in serving together earlier in their careers in the USA Eastern Territory. “They won the hearts of the East,” Watson said, “and I know they will demonstrate their valued and unique gifts of leadership here in the West. On this historic occasion, I install you as leaders of the USA Western Territory.” The flags for the ceremony were held by Major Cameron Leslie (R) and Commissioner Orval Taylor (R), both of whom served with Edwards in the Caribbean.

Warm welcome

In welcoming the Edwardses to the territory, Stacie Brown of Pasadena Tabernacle represented soldiers and Captain William Raihl spoke on behalf of officers. A delightful representation of the territory’s ethnic and racial diversity was presented by a choir of children who reminded the audience that “it’s a small world, after all.” Captains Clement and Evangeline Leslie of Sacramento, who were young people in the Caribbean when the Edwards were divisional youth secretary, reminded them of home when they sang Ten Thousand Joys.

Commissioner Doreen Edwards, responding to the words of greeting, stated: “We are heartened by the many letters of welcome sent to us by soldiers and officers of the territory and throughout the world. God is good … all the time.” She expressed appreciation to General Paul Rader for the confidence expressed in appointing them to this position.

Major Rudy Hedgren, territorial youth secretary, presented the new session of cadets to the territory, and Major Terry Griffin, CFOT principal, greeted them on behalf of the College. In accepting them, Edwards expressed appreciation to the corps officers who nurtured them and for modeling to the cadets what officers should be. To the cadets he stated: “Your session name should mean something. Don’t take it for granted. When I think of faithful intercessors I think of people like Abraham and Moses–of my own corps officer–of people like Lt. Colonel Lyell Rader, now promoted to Glory, who prayed daily for people all around the world, including myself. Don’t just carry the name ‘Faithful Intercessor’ around,” he said. ” Be one!”

Territorial Music Director Ivor Bosanko led a band of selected musicians and presented Dudley Bright’s moving Fanfare, Hymn of Thanksgiving. Songster Leader Janette Bosanko conducted the Cadet Choir in the vocal selection: Come Join Our Army.

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