Private banquet honors new cadets
by Karen Gleason
Cadets and officers packed the Terrace Room at Crestmont College for the Private Welcome Banquet honoring the first-year cadets, the Friends of Christ Session—46 members strong—who join the 42 cadets of the Ambassadors of Holiness Session. Supporting and encouraging the cadets were Territorial Leaders Commissioners James and Carolyn Knaggs and special guests Commissioners Todd and Carol Bassett, along with territorial and divisional leaders.
Training Principal Major Stephen Smith welcomed the assembly and Director of Music Duncan Sutton led the Cadet Chorus in “Psalm 24.” In a powerful witness to the cadets, Commissioner James Knaggs affirmed, “I have no intention of saying ‘no’ to God. My answer to him will always be yes. This is the witness of my soul. As time passes I trust you will see the veracity of these words.” He proceeded with introductions of the guests, followed by the invocation by Commissioner Carol Bassett and a selection by the Cadet Vocal Ensemble, “Thou Hast Called Me.”
In her charge to the cadets, Commissioner Carolyn Knaggs said, “You are dressed for the battle today…wear the uniform and proclaim that Jesus saves. You’ll learn that God in his strength will always walk with you.” She compared The Salvation Army uniform to the armor of God described in Ephesians 6:10-18. She continued, quoting Colossians 3:5-14, emphasizing: “So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it” (vv. 12-14, The Message). Concluding, she challenged the cadets to, “Wear your uniforms well. Wear these things as a reflection of Christ.”
In his welcome to the first-year trainees, Cadet Jay Koebel, Ambassadors of Holiness Session president, encouraged the cadets to keep in mind why they are there and what they are learning to do together, while maintaining balance in their lives. He said, “As you go through your two years at Crestmont, don’t just look to the end goal of being an officer—it’s the process that’s important—embrace the process, be there for each other and be present every step of the way.”
First-year Cadet Jennie Onitsuka-Adams spoke for her session, thanking all the people who have supported these future officers. She quoted Micah 6:8 and encouraged her session mates to show grace for each other, to serve their corps and humanity, and to keep a close personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
The evening concluded with the song, “Who is on the Lord’s side?” led by Commissioner Todd Bassett and the prayer and benediction by Commissioner James Knaggs.