Bridgebuilders Session 2002 – 2004
Captain David Leonard
Commencement speaker Cadet David Leonard is also session president. This is part of his commencement address.
Two years ago—Sept. 14, 2002—Commissioner Linda Bond welcomed us and charged Lt. Colonel Raymond Peacock to “…turn these cadets into Blood and Fire officers.” In response to this charge, the staff and officers of Crestmont College have worked to develop the Bridgebuilders Session of cadets into Salvation Army officers who know God, know themselves, and know their mission.
In her initial charge, Commissioner Bond proclaimed the life of an officer to be three things. First, life as an officer is a calling. We belong to Christ and have been called through the Holy Spirit to be an apostle of his gospel. We are to be obedient to our call through faithfulness.
Second, our life now and forever is a challenge. Commissioner reminded us that God was the first Bridgebuilder as evidenced through the nature of his creation and the prophets of the Old Testament. Christ Jesus was the ultimate “bridge” and was the “the Word made flesh” who “dwelt among us.”
Finally, Commissioner Bond emphasized that our lives would be a choice. We must never lose our desire to learn and grow. We must choose to be relational and care about people so much that we are moved to action.
Today the Bridgebuilders Session stands before you prepared and ready to accept the honor and responsibilities of Salvation Army officership. Frederick Booth-Tucker penned these words found in our songbook: “God’s trumpet is sounding: To arms! Is the call; More warriors are wanted to help on the war; My King’s in the battle, he’s calling for me, A salvation soldier for Jesus I’ll be.” (TSA Song Book, #684) As Bridgebuilders this is our calling—to save souls; this is our challenge—to grow saints; and this is our choice—to serve a suffering humanity.