General celebrates 125 years of Army service in Canada
The General visits Canada
Army’s international leaders lead anniversary celebrations.
General Shaw Clifton and Commissioner Helen Clifton recently completed a five-day visit to Canada celebrating the 25th anniversary of William and Catherine Booth College and 125 years of Salvation Army ministry in Canada. This was their first official visit to Canada and the Bermuda Territory, which is led by Territorial Commander Commissioner M. Christine MacMillan.
In a meeting at Bayview Glen Evangelical Church in Toronto, multimedia helped introduce the international leaders to the congregation. In her response, Commissioner Clifton recalled how her parents had been invited to the Army as children and how that led to their acceptance of Christ. She encouraged listeners never to forget the importance of personal invitations offered in the name of Jesus.
Later in the meeting the General emphasized the importance of the mercy seat and of bringing others to Jesus. “We must never forget that we are a Salvation Army,” he said. “The souls of people are our top-most priority. Nothing else matters.” Many people responded, going forward and kneeling in dedication.
In Winnipeg, during a banquet celebrating both the William and Catherine Booth College and the Army’s many years of service in that city, General Clifton presented the Order of Distinguished Auxiliary Service to Dr. William Norrie. During his term as mayor, Dr. Norrie helped the Army procure various properties that it still utilizes today, including the current site of Booth College and the auxiliary building hosting the college library and the new College for Officer Training.
During the college’s baccalaureate service, Dr. Donald Burke—a faculty member since the college’s inception in 1982—was installed as its fourth president. He confirmed his commitment to extend its influence as a global center for excellence in education and training for Salvationists of the future.
Since its beginning as Catherine Booth Bible College in 1982, students from 40 countries, including representatives from every continent, have studied at the institution. In addition to graduates from Canada, the class of 2007 included students from the USA, Haiti, India, Ukraine and Zimbabwe. Certificate and degree programs have grown to match the needs of students preparing for Salvation Army ministry.
During a meeting with college trustees, the General welcomed the desire of the college to contribute as effectively as possible to a theological education in the Army across international boundaries, encouraging the college community to continue to be custodians of all that is best in the heritage of the Army whilst looking with imagination and boldness to the future under God.
From a report by Lt. Colonel Ray Moulton and Major Ken Smith