4 Aug | 2013
On what would prove to be the final day of the 2013 High Council of The Salvation Army, members entered the chamber with a sense of anticipation and solemnity, prepared for the sacred task upon which they were about to embark.
The chosen song to open the day’s devotions included the prayer request that God would ‘direct, control, suggest, this day, all I may think, or do, or say’ (The Song Book of The Salvation Army, Song 665). The Chaplain (Commissioner James Condon), reading from the letter recorded in the New Testament as being sent by the council at Jerusalem, noted that the actions they proposed ‘seemed good to the Holy Spirit’ (Acts 15:28, New International Version) and arose out of that council’s sense of harmony. The prayer for today’s work – the election of the next General – was that it too would result from the harmony that had been evident all week among the members. At the end of today’s voting, the Chaplain wanted every member to be able to say it ‘seemed good to the Holy Spirit’.
The voting process was explained and the need for a clear two-thirds majority for a General to be elected from the first round of voting. Without further preamble the Vice-President (Commissioner Birgitte Brekke) began to call the names of the High Council members who, with quiet dignity befitting the sacred task on which they were embarking, left their seats, collected their voting paper and moved to the solitude of the voting booths to cast their vote.
In the early afternoon on the sixth day of the 18th High Council, Commissioner André Cox was elected as the 20th General of The Salvation Army and will lead this Christian mission movement into our 150th year. Commissioner Silvia Cox will give direction and encouragement to The Salvation Army's women's ministries around the world.
Speaking just after the election, the 59-year-old General (who has British and Swiss citizenship) said, 'I pray that The Salvation Army will be known as being a force for good in the world. I pray that The Salvation Army will be a force for positive change and transformation in the communities in which we serve. And I pray that we Salvationists, no matter what our rank, will live up to the spiritual values that we proclaim - that we will live them out in our lives. And in that way, I know that God will bless and will lead us.'
Thank you to all who have been praying for this decision-making process and that God would lead all those involved. May God bless the mission of The Salvation Army and may God lead his Army forward.
Major Christine Clement - High Council Communication Officer