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Pioneers Session reunites after 50 years

by Marilyn G. Gregory, Major –

The Pioneers Session celebrate their 50th year in ministry. Pictured (standing l-r) Major David Boyd, Irene (Castro) Ramirez, Majors Robert and Irene Lloyd, Lt. Colonel Check H. Yee, Major Betty (Rollins) Gibson, Lt. Colonel Sherryl (Rudd) Van Cleef, Major Juvencio Utrera, Major Robert Gregory; (seated l-r) Jayne (Smith) Rosnick, Frances (Shimuzu) Imai, Major Marilyn (Bawden) Gregory, Barbara (Santos) Dooley, Pegi (Brown) Ackerman [Photo b Nikole Lim]

During commissioning weekend, on June 14, 13 of the 42 members of the 1959 Pioneers Session—from around the western U.S.— reunited and recalled training school days.

As current session president, I led a brief time of remembrance honoring Major Lawrence Holmes, a Pioneer recently promoted to Glory from his home in Jacksonville, Fla.

Lt. Col. Check Yee, former session president, shared devotional thoughts from one of our training principal’s lectures on “the spirit of Salvationism.”

“Lt. Col. H. Larsen took us to the four corners of the earth to meet soldier-saints of The Salvation Army and their daring stories of soul-saving,” Yee said.

“From the Pioneers Session have come 25 children serving as officers; and two grandsons and their wives will soon enter Crestmont to prepare for life service,” Yee said. “Many Pioneers still serve in lay positions in their corps and various churches. The Pioneers Session is perpetual from generation to generation!”

In closing, the group sang with affirmation, “I’m In His Hands,” a song first introduced publicly during our session that still holds true today.

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