Proclaimers of the Resurrection receive degrees
By Robert Docter
The 58 members of the Proclaimers of the Resurrection Session of cadets marched through the Crestmont College for Officer Training (CFOT) Rose Garden on June 14, ready to end 20 months of education and training for Salvation Army officership, and begin a new career in service to God and humanity.
Immediately, they launched into their session song, “Proclaimers of the Resurrection,” lyrics by Lt. Col. Diane O’Brien, music by Ralph Pearce.
Major Brian Jones, CFOT director of curriculum, offered a blessing before Dr. Steven Gray, vice chair of the Crestmont Council, offered words of greeting to guests and a challenge to the session.
“The way we do battle is by doing good wherever and whenever we can,” Gray said. “And that is the profession, the life calling that you have responded to. As a result the more hate and senseless destruction you see on the news, the more you will need to love and care for those God has entrusted to you.”
Major Cindy Foley led the congregation in a Fanny Crosby marching song: “We are marching on with shield and banner bright;” each verse ending: “And we’ll work till Jesus calls.”
Chief Secretary Colonel Dave Hudson read John 14: 6-14, upon which Territorial President of Women’s Ministries Commissioner Carolyn Knaggs based the commencement address.
She began by quoting the first verse of Albert Orsborn’s song, “Greater Things.”
What a work the Lord has done by his saving grace
Let us praise him, every one, in his holy place.
He has saved us gloriously, led us onward faithfully
Yet he promised we should see even greater things.
Greater thing! Greater things!
Give us faith, O Lord we pray,
Faith for greater things.
“Just over 20 months ago these ladies and gentlemen behind me entered these hallowed grounds, expecting great things,” Knaggs said. “You can have confidence that from the beginning of their time here at Crestmont, there has been a greater influence on their lives.
“They have greater knowledge, experience and perspective; they have greater skill, confidence and resolve; and they have greater hope because they know Jesus more completely and have seen the work of the Spirit within their own lives,” she said.
Knaggs turned to the expectations we have for them. “You can expect that the Spirit will accompany these travelers to their appointments,” she said. “These committed Salvationists are determined to serve with integrity and purity of heart.”
She correlated the cadets’ experience with the growth of Christ’s disciples. “Through three years of Jesus’ ministry on earth, the disciples watched, listened and learned from him…He told them in John 14:12 to expect ‘even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.’”
“We can all expect greater things because our faith is in the Lord,” Knaggs said. “These who are before us believe along with 1 John 4:4: You, dear children, are from God and overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”
Following a choral presentation by the session, Territorial Commander Commissioner James Knaggs, supported by CFOT Principal Major Timothy Foley and Major Jones, presented the academic degrees and certificates.
Cadet Joy Gronleer spoke on behalf of her session. “We are ready and eager to take on this profession,” she said. “Our ministry as a Salvation Army officer, more than a profession, will be our passion. We will show up and do what we love doing.”
Captain Timothy Carr, CFOT curriculum officer, offered the benediction.
The Western Territorial Staff Band, led by Bandmaster Neil Smith, supported the ceremony.