Gowans to be next Words of Life author

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General John Larsson has chosen his predecessor, General John Gowans (Ret.), to be the next author of Words of Life – The Salvation Army’s best-selling book of daily Bible readings and comments. General Gowans will begin writing his contributions this September and will be responsible for the Pentecost 2007 and subsequent editions.

General Gowans will succeed Major Barbara Sampson at the conclusion of the major’s six-year tenure as the writer of Words of Life. Her authorship, described by Chief of the Staff Commissioner Israel L. Gaither as “outstanding,” has been universally appreciated.

Says the Chief: “General John Gowans will need no introduction to Salvation Army readers, who will be excited by the prospect of a daily blessing through his inspirational writing. He has often spoken and written of his belief in an essentially kind God, while also delivering trenchant challenges which cut swiftly to the heart of the dilemmas of daily living. The world increasingly needs to hear of such a God, and Words of Life—a world leader among daily Bible reading publications ––will provide our retired leader with an unrivaled platform for a continuing ministry to thousands of people. Few devotional writers today are as in touch with the needs of the world as is General Gowans, and even fewer have his remarkable ability to communicate with ‘everyman’ and ‘everywoman.’”

Paying tribute to Major Sampson, the Chief said she brought to Words of Life “a combination of skills, including Bible scholarship, a deep spirituality and a particular awareness of the importance of inclusivity. Her contribution to the ongoing excellence of Words of Life has been a distinctive one.”

Words of Life is published jointly by The Salvation Army and Hodder & Stoughton, one of the world’s premier publishers of religious books. Its healthy circulation of 11,400 copies is almost equally split between UK and overseas sales. It is published three times a year, in Advent, Easter and Pentecost editions.

Because of the need to work in advance of editorial deadlines, General Gowans will take up his responsibilities on 1 September 2005. Major Sampson will relinquish her Words of Life duties on 1 May 2006, by which time she will have completed all the editions up to and including Easter 2007.

—IHQ News Release

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