Gowans Installed as UK Territorial Commander
The Gospel According to ‘John’
In the presence of a capacity crowd at London’s Regent Hall, General Paul A. Rader and Mrs. General Kay F. Rader together conducted the installation of Commissioner John Gowans as commander of the United Kingdom Territory and Commissioner Gisele Gowans as territorial president for Women’s Organizations.
In his opening remarks, the General recounted the thrill of his recent visit to Western Australia and Papua New Guinea, and shared the greetings of the Army leaders of those two countries, all of whom are from the UK.
In her response, Commissioner Gisele Gowans said the gathering, for herself and her husband, was “a dedication, a new great commitment.” To the long list of “Will you’s?” and “Do you’s” by which the General sought affirmation of their commitment, they replied in ringing tones, “We will!” and “We do!”
“The poetry speaks the heart of the man,” said the General, paying warm tribute to the rich legacy of songs, poems and librettos by which the UK’s new territorial commander has “enriched us all beyond measure.”
Later, Gowans revealed more of his heart when, basing his Bible address on verses from the Book of Revelation, he spoke on “The Gospel of John…John Gowans.” Declaring that there is a gospel according to every individual Christian, Gowans summed up “his” gospel as: “God Almighty is an everlasting Father whose essence is love.”
Developing the theme, he painted a word picture of God as an everlasting Creator (“one who just can’t stop!”) who wants to create something beautiful in the lives of men and women. “This God who can make a million stars before breakfast prefers to make something of spiritual beauty within human beings,” he said. He listed the beautiful things God wants to create within us–such qualities as compassion, patience, purity and love.
Two representative speakers welcomed the new leaders. YPSM Kerry Giles of Norwich Citadel spoke on behalf of the youth and young people’s workers of the territory.
“Young people have always been high on God’s agenda and the Army’s. We are looking to you to help us promote their interests. Please teach us to evangelize and reach into our communities in ways that are relevant to them,” she said.
Recruiting Sergeant John Bayliss of Wickford spoke on behalf of the UK’s senior local officers and “the rank and file.” The territory, he said, was ready for the new leaders’ “radical thinking and dynamic leadership.”
From an International News Release