Hudsons poised to lead in the U.S.
This September, Colonels Dave and Sharron Hudson will take on new appointments at the helm of The Salvation Army in America.
By Christin Thieme –
Each Sunday morning, when a Portland, Oregon, corps officer picked up 11-year-old Dave Hudson and his mother for church, not one of the trio could have predicted the boy would be named National Commander of The Salvation Army in the U.S.
“We often talk about efficiencies, and I wonder if it was an efficient use of his time and gas money—it wasn’t a well-off corps,” Hudson said. “And yet, if he hadn’t done that, I wouldn’t be here today.”
Come September, Colonel Dave Hudson, a Western Territory officer currently serving at National Headquarters (NHQ) as the National Chief Secretary, will assume leadership of the organization working in every American zip code. Colonel Sharron Hudson, who was dedicated as a baby in a men’s social—what we now know as an Adult Rehabilitation Center, will become the National President for Women’s Ministries. Both will take the rank of commissioner.
The pair—who hold a master’s degree in organizational leadership from Grand Canyon University and a master’s degree in Christian leadership from Fuller Theological Seminary, respectively, will succeed Commissioners David and Barbara Jeffrey who are retiring from active service.
“I mainly want to see men, women, boys and girls really come, first, to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ,” Sharron Hudson said. “But I also have a passion for people who are already Christians, to encourage them in a deeper relationship with the Lord…to not just stay there but to go and do the love and the mercy and the grace to others that we’ve been shown.”
Following their commissioning in 1975 with the Soldiers of the Cross Session, the Hudsons served in five corps appointments before divisional appointments, starting as Divisional Youth Secretaries. They led the Hawaiian and Pacific Islands before returning to appointments at Western Territorial Headquarters, concluding with Chief Secretary and Territorial Secretary for Women’s Ministries, respectively. The pair moved to NHQ in late 2015.
“I especially want to work alongside those in youth ministry to make sure they’re equipped to reach young people, to give hope and a sense of purpose that they can be better than what their circumstances are,” said Dave Hudson, noting his own dysfunctional family environment as a child. “I’m always attracted to people on the fringes. As a Salvation Army officer, we can have a voice and influence into the lives of those who just maybe have a couple more hurdles to go in life—the feelings of inadequacy, insecurity that other people don’t have.”
Both say they are compelled by the mission of The Salvation Army to preach the gospel and meet human need in his name.
“My goal is to love and encourage officers, soldiers and employees to keep on the mission and keep the mission in mind,” Sharron Hudson said. “I look forward to meeting new people and working alongside them to keep the main thing the main thing.”
While at NHQ, the Hudsons said they have gained an appreciation for the operation of each territory and the broader perspective of The Salvation Army across the U.S.
“As National Chief Secretary, I’ve sat in the office next to the National Commander and really seen that he has his foot in two worlds,” Hudson said. “One is outside The Salvation Army, in relation to the National Advisory Board and other task forces or groups that he is invited to be part of. And then there is the internal, working with the Commissioners Conference and national Salvation Army policy, being engaged in national events and conferences.
“Commissioner David Jeffrey has done an excellent job of increasing the Army’s position with the federal government and representation and voice in critical issues—everything from poverty to housing,” he said. “We certainly want to stay the course on that.”
Hudson said he is eager to continue working in national initiatives, from promoting brand awareness to further clarifying the role of NHQ, and in even more so specifying the priorities that The Salvation Army speaks to with the federal government and at the local level.
“Someone once told me, when we lose our mission, close up shop. People need to know for what you stand, and that needs to be our guiding light,” he said. “I know I’m biased, but when I look at the mission of The Salvation Army, it’s absolutely the best mission a person could be called to work for.”