Joy and gratitude expressed at Private Welcome Banquet
By Karen Gleason
Cadets spilled off the risers during their presentation of “Blessed Assurance,” directed by Bandmaster Neil Smith, Western territorial music secretary, at the beginning of the Private Welcome Banquet on Friday evening, Sept. 9, at Crestmont. The new session of cadets, the Proclaimers of the Resurrection, numbers 61 individuals who have answered God’s call to service in The Salvation Army.
After the welcome by College for Officer Training Principal Major Tim Foley, the invocation by Chief Secretary Colonel David Hudson, and dinner, the Western Territory’s divisional leaders presented their cadets—with adjectives like “awesome” and “effervescent”—and promised more to come next year. Spirits were high and the atmosphere festive.
A cadet vocal ensemble sang “For Christ Alone,” by Terry Camsey; Smith provided piano accompaniment.
“You have arrived,” declared Territorial Commander Commissioner James Knaggs, in his charge to the cadets, reflecting on a GPS unit’s announcement when a driver reaches the desired destination.
“You’ve said ‘yes.’ I want to encourage you for the rest of your life to say ‘yes’ to God. He will equip you; he will make you smart; he will make your decisions perfect.”
Knaggs continued, saying that these two years of training are a continuation of the cadets’ calling, with Crestmont a place to learn, to grow and to minister—“a place to exercise the gifts God’s given you.”
“And now that you’ve arrived,” Knaggs said, “go forward in the name of Jesus Christ.”
Finally, he offered a reminder: “Please know the weekend isn’t about you; it’s about Jesus—it’s always about Jesus.”
Cadet Tony Poe, Friends of Christ Session president, quoted Acts 4:32-34, a Scripture passage that points to the unity of the two sessions. He noted their shared calling for sharing the gospel of Christ, along with their shared community and commitment.
Speaking for the Proclaimers of the Resurrection, Cadet Jeffrey Breazeale referenced I Cor. 15:12-19, the origin of their session name. He confirmed, “It is the spreading of God’s Word that we are longing for…to the whosoever.”
The evening concluded after the singing of “Marching on in the Light of God,” led by Colonel Sharron Hudson, and prayer and benediction by Commissioner Carolyn Knaggs.