Gowans Chosen by High Council
Rader, Edwards Comment on Army’s New General
LONDON, SUNBURY COURT–May 15, 1999 Commissioner John Gowans was elected today to serve a three-year term as the Army’s 16th General effective July 23 upon the retirement of General Paul A. Rader. With his wife, Gisèle, they have served as territorial leaders in France, Australia East, and, most recently in the United Kingdom. Earlier, Gowans held appointments as Program Secretary and Southern California Divisional Commander here in the West.
Rader stated: “A great General he will be. John Gowans is a household name in The Salvation Army across the world. His songs are sung to our soul’s delight and nourishment. They are a window on the soul of the man. But he is more than a spiritually sensitive and gifted poet who has voiced our inner longings and declared the heart of our faith with such beauty and passion. He is an innovative and courageous leader. He has demonstrated his ability to cast a clear and compelling vision into substantive change and redemptive action. Commissioner Gisele Gowans is an effective communicator and able leader with heart for God and a firm commitment to the Army’s essential mission of transforming person and families, empowering the weak and lifting those who have been forgotten or oppressed. The Army will go forward into the new millennium with quickened pace, passion and purpose.”
Commissioner David Edwards, territorial commander, who attended his third High Council, echoed Rader’s words. “I believe with all my heart that John Gowans is the kind of leader the Army needs to take us into the new millennium. From his songs and poetry one recognizes that he is a man of prayer. He is a visionary. He is not afraid to take risks. He is open to the ways of the Holy Spirit. He speaks with passion. I thank God for him and his wife, and call on Salvationists throughout the West to uphold them in prayer.”
Commissioner Doreen Edwards, territorial president of women’s organizations, attending her first High Council, stated: “This has been one of the high moments of my life. When I responded to the call for officership I never thought that it would be my good fortune to be a member of the High Council to elect the 16th General of The Salvation Army. I thank God that I was here to see it happen. God’s man and God’s woman for our time have been chosen.”