The General and Commissioner Rosalie Peddle bring blessing to area corps in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Jan 18, 2022 | by Brad Rowland

The General and Commissioner Rosalie Peddle bring blessing to area corps in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

By: Lt. Colonel Allen Satterlee

Hundreds of soldiers, officers and friends gathered at the Fort Lauderdale Corps to welcome The Salvation Army's international leaders, General Brian Peddle and Commissioner Rosalie Peddle, World President of Women's Ministries. Also from International Headquarters were Chief of the Staff, Commissioner Lyndon Buckingham and Commissioner Bronwyn Buckingham, World Secretary for Spiritual Life Development, as well as Commissioners Edward and Shelley Hill, who serve as the International Secretary for the Americas and Caribbean Zone and Zonal Secretary for Women's Ministries respectively. The international leaders were joined by the the USA Southern territorial leaders, Commissioners Willis and Barbara Howell as well as the territorial leaders from other three USA territories and National Headquarters. The General's private secretary, Major David Williamson, also was in attendance.

After a beautiful dance number by the South Florida Area Dance Team, the corps officer and area commander, Major Steve Long welcomed everyone present. After introductions of both the national and international leaders, Commissioner Lyndon Buckingham urged those present, that while they warmly welcomed the Army dignitaries, the most important thing was "to welcome the Greatest Guest, who will do immeasurably more if He is among us."

Prayers were offered by area soldiers in Haitian Creole, Spanish and English which was followed by the Scripture reading and personal testimony of Commissioner Rosalie Peddle. Citing how God has been faithful to her since her early childhood, she talked of the recent shutdowns forced upon the world by the pandemic. "I have learned several things, among them how I can be more grounded in Jesus. Through all this crisis, I am reminded that God has the whole world in His hands…I have been even more gripped by grace."

Soldiers were then enrolled from area corps. All looking particularly smart in their new uniforms, twenty senior and eight junior soldiers were challenged by the General and following their enrollment, declared to be the newest soldiers in the worldwide Salvation Army.

When the General rose to speak, he referred to the Scripture read earlier from Isaiah 6, particularly the eighth verse where Isaiah declared, "Here am I. Send me."

"God calls us forth to serve Him faithfully," the General opened, "He calls us for a maximum capacity to live a surrendered life. That includes a walk in a personal experience of holiness. We need to beware of being distracted from this. Satan doesn't want to destroy the church as much as he wants to distract it from its purpose. That is why we must daily be battle ready.

"The Salvation Army must listen to God's call and answer, ‘Send me.' Send me to my neighbor. Send me to my casual acquaintances. Send me to my co-workers. Send me to the family nearby. Send me, if God wills, to the training college. Send me to the ends of the earth if that is what He wants. We need to be captured by something greater than ourselves, part owners of God's redemptive plan for the world.

"I have often been asked about the effects of the pandemic on The Salvation Army. We have lost over 100 active officers plus countless soldiers, yet the Army through this difficult time has seen a net increase of over 46,000 senior soldiers. Personally, I have been reminded of my own mortality, that there are no guarantees calling me to be all the more faithful before the Lord.

"To do this most effectively we need to be holy. Our holy living will cause others to ask about our lives. And holy living will result in us be purposefully engaged in every aspect of the Great Commission."

As the General closed the meeting, the altar was lined several deep by those who were moved to offer themselves anew. Closing the meeting, the Florida divisional commander, Lt. Colonel Ken Luyk, led congregation triumphantly singing,

Storm the forts of darkness, bring them down, bring them down!
Storm the forts of darkness, bring them down, bring them down!
Pull down the devil's kingdom,
Where'er he holds dominion,
Storm the forts of darkness, bring them down.
Glory, honor to the Lamb,
Praise and power to the Lamb;
Glory, honor, praise and power,
Be forever to the Lamb.

Photo Credit: Jon Avery

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