Farewell, El Paso

Texas city/county officially transferred to Southern Territory

The two corps in El Paso, Texas, met Sunday, June 27, to witness the public handing over of the El Paso Salvation Army from the Western Territory to the Southern Territory—recognizing a period since 1921, when the Western Territory was formed, said Western Chief Secretary Colonel William Harfoot.

Then U.S. National Commander Evangeline Booth authorized this special arrangement meant to last one year; previously El Paso had been part of the Texas Division. The one-year “loan” turned into almost 90 years!

Referencing Paul’s words to the young church, Harfoot said the Salvationists of El Paso must “press on, looking forward.” For The Salvation Army in El Paso—the number of years ahead are limitless. “We must look to the future…we must pray on. Everything about us as Salvationists begins with prayer. It begins with our own personal relationship with our heavenly Father as we face the future. We must pray forward.

The Salvation Army is an army of action. We pray, and we are always ready for action. That’s why we are called an Army! The transfer from the West to the South is a measure of how wonderful The Salvation Army is around the world.”

Harfoot then called forward the two departing officers, Major Pedro Delgado and Captain Keith Bottjen, along with Southwest Divisional Leaders Lt. Colonels Doug and Rhode Danielson, and Majors Brian and Loretta Gilliam, Texas Division secretary for program and assistant community care ministries secretary, respectively. The outgoing corps officers each received a plaque inscribed with the details of the historic transfer, official as of midnight, Wednesday, June 30.

After exclaiming, “Texas just got bigger!” Major Brian Gilliam prayed for the rich Salvation Army heritage in El Paso, for past accomplishments and future kingdom work. “May the Salvationists in El Paso dream big dreams and venture out in faith boldly. You are a God of the impossibilities. Thank you for this opportunity to bring El Paso into the Texas Division again.”

From a report by Christopher Priest

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