2 February 2011
THE final day of the 17th High Council began in prayer with all council members seeking the will of God. It concluded with the election of Commissioner Linda Bond as the 19th General of The Salvation Army – the announcement being live-streamed worldwide via the Internet.
Calm assurance permeated the High Council chamber from commencement to conclusion on this 11th day that included quiet times, praise singing, voting, the announcement of the General-Elect and pertinent legal matters.
After the President of the High Council, Commissioner James Knaggs, announced that Commissioner Linda Bond had been elected to succeed General Shaw Clifton, the General-Elect stood and saluted the Army world.
Commissioner Bond said that her relationship with Jesus Christ is the most important relationship she has in the whole world and went on to say: 'I give him all the glory. Jesus is my redeemer and saviour. He has transformed my life and he is my lord.
'I am absolutely committed to living a life of praise and thanksgiving to him. I will obey him completely and seek to live a pure, passionate, Christ-like life.
'And what is true for me is true for The Salvation Army. Our relationship with Jesus is what makes The Salvation Army great, effective and loved. This is the most important thing for the Army to centre on – uplifting the name of Jesus.'
The General-Elect said she believed that The Salvation Army also needed to make a commitment to being an Army of praise, joy and thanksgiving to Jesus.
'And we must be an Army of obedience,' she added. 'The Lord has raised us up and given us a mission to save souls, grow saints and to serve suffering humanity. Every day The Salvation Army must be obedient and give itself to God and say, "We will do what you have called us to do and be who you have called us to be."
'The Salvation Army must also trust the Lord. We have lots of skills, capable people and wonderful resources but we need the Holy Spirit of God to come upon The Salvation Army to bless us. We need to trust God because we have a great world that needs us. We need to trust God to help us do things that will count for eternity.'
Commissioner Bond concluded by saying that she is 'a Salvationist through and through who loves the Lord with all my heart'.
Following Commissioner Bond's impromptu address General Clifton spoke and after bringing greetings from Commissioner Helen Clifton assured the General-Elect that he and the Army would be praying for her.
'We love you and offer you our esteem and Christian love. God loves you and you are safe in his hands,' said General Clifton.
In concluding the announcement meeting the General thanked the High Council members, candidates in the election, support staff and Sunbury Court staff for the part they had each played in this 17th High Council.
He read from Psalm 24, led song 637 from the Salvation Army song book, 'There Shall be Showers of Blessing' and prayed for the General-Elect and the High Council, thanking God for his guidance and 'for pouring out his grace into every mind present at the High Council'.
As soon as Commissioner Bond signed the required legal documentation the 17th High Council was dissolved. The commissioner will succeed General Clifton on 2 April.
All High Council news and videos can be found at www.salvationarmy.org/highcouncil
Report by Lieut-Colonel Laurie Robertson
Communications Secretary, Editor-in-Chief and Literary Secretary