Major Donald Hostetler, principal, School for Officer Training, gave the following address during the Service of Appointment. –
Commissioner Swyers, I am pleased to present to you the Preparers of the Way Session of officers, the newest officers in The Salvation Army world. They are prepared to undertake an act of radical obedience.
Six days ago, these men and women signed a solemn covenant with God to love and serve him supremely all their days; to live to win souls and make their salvation the first purpose of their lives; to care for the poor, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, love the unlovable, and befriend those who have no friends; to maintain the doctrines and principles of The Salvation Army, and, by God’s grace, to prove themselves worthy officers.
That covenant was signed in confidence that God will equip those whom he has called. That covenant was signed with no knowledge of the directions that their calling would take them. That step was taken in full surrender to God’s will and with pledge of obedience to his voice.
This afternoon the Preparers of the Way were ordained as ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and commissioned as officers in The Salvation Army with the rank of captain. They now stand before you in demonstration of the depth of their commitment, prepared to accept their first appointment as Salvation Army officers. It is an act of radical obedience to walk across this platform and receive their appointments in front of this great cloud of witnesses. But that is what they are prepared to do.
They have responded to God’s call to officership. They have completed the rigors of twenty-one months of training—classroom instruction, field practicum, fundraising, evangelism, disciple making, and community living. They have signed their covenant. They have been commissioned. They are prepared to accept their appointments and to report for duty to be Preparers of the Way that leads to everlasting life.
Commissioner Swyers, I am privileged to present to you the captains of the Preparers of the Way Session to receive their first appointments.