Gowans Installs Busbys As National Leaders

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NATIONAL LEADERS–Commissioners John and Elsie Busby installed by General John Gowans.


by Lt. Colonel
Marlene Chase –

Salvationists and friends from around the Washington D.C., area recently gathered in Alexandria, Virginia to witness the installation of national leaders Commissioners John and Elsie Busby. General John Gowans conducted the installation, and Commissioner Gisele Gowans and commanders from all four of the United States territories participated. These included Commissioners David Edwards, Harold D. Hinson, Joe Noland and Raymond Cooper, who with his wife, Commissioner Merlyn Cooper, sang a duet. Two retired national commanders, Commissioners Andrew S. Miller and James Osborne, supported the program with prayers of invocation and dedication.

Colonel John Bate, National Chief Secretary, presided, and flagbearers were Assistant Corps Sergeant-Major Scott Busby and Captain Dawn Luyk, children of Commissioners John and Elsie Busby.

Mr. Donald Fites, Chairman of the National Advisory Board, welcomed visiting leaders, pledging continued support of the Army’s mission and work. The National Capital Band, under the direction of Lars-Otto Ljungholm, and Massed Songsters, led by Debbie Bearchell, provided stimulating music that highlighted the joyous celebration and high purpose of the

Adaptation and Expectancy

In his response and challenge to the new national leaders, General Gowans quoted the words of General William Booth, “It isn’t what you do yourself as much as what you get others to do that will be the making of the Army.” He said it was his prayer for the Busbys “that God would continue to endue them with the special ability to get others to do what he or she alone could never accomplish.” Referencing Catherine Booth’s admonition along the same theme, the General added, “May God give to our leaders a new emphasis on the great fundamental principle of adaptation.”

Commissioner Elsie Busby stated her resolve that she would “stay in a state of hopeful expectancy. We don’t know what each day will hold, but we are certain of God.” Expressing her gratitude for the great “privilege of partnership with God,” she confirmed that her “‘hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.'”

A Platform Firmly in Place

Commissioner John Busby said that there was no need for a National Commander to develop the planks of a platform on which to stand. “The platform is firmly in place in the gospel of Jesus Christ.” Basing his message on the Army’s mission statement in its component parts with its scriptural underpinnings, he expressed his vision for a “mission-driven, values-based, vision-focused, service-oriented Salvation Army.”

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