Retired General to Write Next Volume of Official History
GENERAL André Cox has decided that the next volume of The Salvation Army's official history will be written by General Shaw Clifton (Rtd). The new volume will be number nine in a series whose first volume was published in 1947.
General Clifton will not be the first international leader to write a volume of the Army's history. Volume Seven – covering the years from 1946 to 1977 – was written in retirement by General Frederick Coutts. Like General Coutts, General Clifton will be writing about a period that includes his own term as leader of the movement.
He explains: 'Volume Nine will begin with the year 1995 and take the account right up to the 2015 Congress event in London, at the request of General Cox. I am grateful to him for entrusting this task to me. The first eight volumes of the Army's official history were compiled by gifted writers and it is somewhat daunting to be asked to follow in their steps. I will do my best, with God's help.'
The first three volumes of The History of The Salvation Army were all written by Colonel Robert Sandall. The first two told the story of The Salvation Army from its birth in 1865 through to 1886, by which time William Booth's fledgling Army was already at work in 16 countries, including the USA, Canada, India and Australia. Volume Three changed its approach somewhat, focusing on the 'Social Reform and Welfare Work' from 1883-1953. Volumes Four and Five, written by Lieut-Commissioner Arch R. Wiggins, took up the story in 1886 and continued through to 1914, and the start of the First World War.
The next two volumes were written by General Coutts, the first of which – covering the years 1914-1946 – included The Salvation Army's approach and response to two world wars. The most recent volume (1977-1994), written by Colonel Henry Gariepy, was published in 1999.
'I look forward to delving into all the many facets of our witness and service across the globe in the last 20 years,' concludes General Clifton. 'What a rich mosaic the Lord has produced in the life of his Army! My prayer is that this new volume will do justice to the fidelity of Salvationists everywhere and will prove an inspiration to both present and future generations.'
General Shaw Clifton became international leader of The Salvation Army on 2 April 2006, entering retirement in 2011. Born in the UK, his wide-ranging service as a Salvation Army officer included appointments in every Salvation Army zone. He has written 10 books, including the recently published history of The Salvation Army in wartime, Crown of Glory, Crown of Thorns.
Major Richard Gaudion, from the United Kingdom Territory with the Republic of Ireland, has been seconded on an occasional and part-time basis to help General Clifton with the work of research and compilation.
Report by IHQ Communications