New World Leader Announced For The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army has today announced its new world leader and the 19th General will be Canadian-born Commissioner Linda Bond.

Commissioner Bond becomes the third woman and the fourth Canadian to hold the post of General of The Salvation Army since the international church and charity organisation was founded 146 years ago.

The commissioner, who currently heads up the church and registered charity’s work in the Australian Eastern Territory, was elected by The High Council of The Salvation Army made up of senior leaders from around the world who met this week in Sunbury-on-Thames near London.

Commissioner Linda Bond (64) will have the title General-elect until she succeeds the current world leader General Shaw Clifton, who retires at the beginning of April.

Once in post as General of The Salvation Army, the commissioner will become the head of more than one million Salvationists in 123 countries. The Salvation Army also has more than 100,000 employees who between them communicate in 175 different languages.

In recent days and months, The Salvation Army has been involved in relief work in the aftermath of the Australian floods, the devastating mudslide in Brazil, floods in Sri Lanka, and the New Zealand earthquake.

Commissioner Bond comes to the role of General of The Salvation Army with 42 years’ experience of Christian ministry and leadership.

Since 2008 Commissioner Bond has headed up The Salvation Army’s work across Eastern Australia, a huge territory with its headquarters in Sydney. This includes the recently devastated state of Queensland where The Salvation Army continues to be heavily involved in assisting victims of widespread flooding.

Prior to this, the commissioner worked at Salvation Army International Headquarters (IHQ) in London, as the Secretary for Spiritual Life Development and International External Relations. This was her second spell at IHQ where she had previously served as Under Secretary for Personnel in the mid 1990s.

As a Salvation Army officer (ordained minister of religion and leader) Commissioner Bond has served in local corps (church) ministry, on the staff of Salvation Army national and regional (divisional) headquarters and as part of the training staff for new officers in her home territory of Canada and Bermuda. During those years she also served as a divisional and subsequently a leader of The Salvation Army in Canada and Bermuda.

Other appointments have included divisional leadership roles in the Manchester region of the United Kingdom between 1998 and 1999, and as Territorial Leader in the USA Western Territory of The Salvation Army.

The announcement of the new General of The Salvation Army was broadcast live on the worldwide web. Speaking just after her election Commissioner Bond said:

‘I love the Lord Jesus Christ and pledge my utmost obedience to him. I am absolutely committed to a life of praise and thanksgiving to God. We, the Salvation Army need to be an Army of praise and thanksgiving to God and we must place our trust in God. We need his Holy Spirit to come mightily on The Salvation Army.’

During the past five years under the leadership of General Shaw Clifton, the work of The Salvation Army has expanded into 12 new countries. The Salvation Army is now in 123 countries. During his term General Clifton established the Salvation Army’s International Social Justice Commission, based in New York USA and the Army’s Centre for Spiritual Life Development in London. The General and Commissioner Helen Clifton have also actively worked to aid the plight of struggling women and children around the world, including mobilising The Salvation Army in a concerted effort against human trafficking. Increasing the role of women in Salvation Army leadership has been of special concern to General Clifton and he has appointed many more women to senior leadership positions around the world than has occurred previously.

The Salvation Army is an international Christian church and registered charity and is one of the largest providers of social welfare in the world. The General directs Salvation Army operations throughout the world via International Headquarters in the City of London. Programmes include accommodation for homeless men, women, children and families; drug rehabilitation centres; schools; hospitals and clinics; HIV/Aids projects, micro-credit schemes, training centres and day-care facilities. Support is also offered through nearly 15,000 local church and community centres.

The Salvation Army across the world increasingly uses the internet and social media to share its Christian message and news about its mission, so it was appropriate that news from the High Council 2011 was shared in this way.

The webcast of the opening service, the Welcome to the High Council and the Salute to General Shaw Clifton, has to date been accessed by more than 20,000 individual computers, with many more thousands expected to have viewed the service. For the first time social media was used to share information about the progress of the High Council in London, with many thousands of people receiving information through Facebook, Twitter and Flickr and more than 3,000 people receiving email news alerts.

Release prepared in conjunction with United Kingdom Territory with the Republic of Ireland Communications Department.

The Salvation Army High Council Names Commissioner Linda Bond General-elect

Commissioner Linda Bond

Territorial Commander and Territorial President of Women’s Ministries,
Australia Eastern Territory

Date of Birth: 22 June 1946
Nationality: Canadian
Home Corps: St James, Winnipeg, Canada and Bermuda Territory
Commissioned: 21 June 1969

Canada and Bermuda Territory
Corps (June 1969), Training (June 1978), THQ (August 1982), Corps (February 1987), Training (October 1989), DHQ (July 1991)
Divisional Commander (July 1993)

International Headquarters
Under Secretary for Personnel (July 1995)

United Kingdom Territory with the Republic of Ireland
Divisional Commander (August 1998)

Canada and Bermuda Territory
Chief Secretary (November 1999)

USA Western Territory
Territorial Commander and Territorial President of Women’s Ministries (July 2002)

International Headquarters
Secretary for Spiritual Life Development and International External Relations (July 2005)

Australia Eastern Territory
Territorial Commander and Territorial President of Women’s Ministries (May 2008)

Seventeenth High Council: General Elect Announced

At approximately 11:10 AM EST, the President of the Seventeenth High Council Commissioner James Knaggs made the announcement that Commissioner Linda Bond had been duly elected to serve as The Salvation Army’s nineteenth General.

Further information will follow on receipt of official news releases from IHQ.

You are invited to pray for the General elect as she prepares to become International Leader of The Salvation Army.

Seventeenth High Council: Future Announcement of General Imminent

Due to technical difficulties the public announcement regarding the election is now scheduled for 15:30 GMT which is 10:30 AM EST.

Here is the new link:

Seventeenth High Council: Future Announcement of General Imminent

An update regarding the election is likely by 14:30 GMT which is 9:30 AM EST.

Here is the link to the website:

Seventeenth High Council: Future Announcement of General

With the voting now well underway for the election of our nineteenth General, an announcement is possible at any time.

As you read in the last communique from Sunbury Court, the election process as explained may well mean that one of the nine candidates receive the majority needed for election to the office of General sometime today. Alternatively, the election process may well run its full course, with an announcement deferred until tomorrow.

I advise all who are interested to keep the High Council website close at hand as the announcement will be made via live web stream.

Here is the link to the website:

Please continue to pray for the seventeenth High Council that the Holy Spirit will be in control.

Southern Spirit Online: Southern Spirit TV

The January episode (#3) of the new territorial communication Southern Spirit TV is now on line.

View this latest episode, produced by the Communications Bureau, centered on the recent Redemption conference in Atlanta.

This monthly television news magazine is coupled with the territory’s website and both present Salvation Army news for Salvationists.

Click here to watch SSTv.

Seventeenth High Council: Many Sacred Moments On Day Prior To Voting Commencing

Sunbury Court, London: There were many sacred moments at the 2011 High Council today (Sunday) – from the joyous African style dancing, enthusiastic singing and fervent praying in many languages during worship, to the candidates’ humility when addressing the council.

However, the sight of Salvation Army leaders from around the world kneeling in earnest prayer at the three mercy seats, an Army drum and their desks was particularly sacred.

During the Sunday morning worship High Council Chaplain Commissioner Vic Poke presented a beautiful picture of Jesus being full of grace and truth before leading into the singing of General John Gowans’ song His Provision. As soon as the first notes were sung council members moved forward to pray.

Earlier in the meeting Commissioner Jolene Hodder was the catalyst for vibrant vocal worship, Commissioner Irene Induruwage prayed for all adherents and soldiers (junior and senior) around the world and Colonel Hezekiel Mavundla prayed for all the officers and their families.

With all the business and information gathering now completed voting for the nineteenth General will commence tomorrow morning.

In writing about the voting process some years ago Retired General John Larsson described it like this: ‘In the hush of the council chamber, each member in turn receives a voting paper from the president and enters the voting room to place a tick against one of the names on the paper. The other members engage in prayer. The process is unhurried and can take an hour or so for each ballot.

‘After the voting has been completed for each ballot the tellers count the votes. Schedule 4 of The Salvation Army Act lays down:

a) That in the first three ballots a candidate must get more than two thirds of the votes of members present in order to be elected,

b) that from the fourth ballot onwards a candidate need only receive the votes of more than half of the members present, and

c) that the candidate who gets the fewest votes in each ballot must drop out until only two candidates remain.’

The announcement of the General-elect will be live streamed and as much notice as possible will be given regarding this to all who have subscribed to email, twitter and Facebook updates. If you haven’t subscribed to any of these areas please regularly check for information.

Seventeenth High Council: Mutual Grace and Encouragement

Sunbury Court, London:- A hallmark of the 2011 High Council has been the mutual grace and encouragement reciprocally shared among the members.

In the tradition of previous high councils the election for the nineteenth General of The Salvation Army is being conducted graciously, prayerfully and carefully.

There has been no sense of rivalry, instead each candidate (and where applicable their spouse) has transparently answered the High Council’s questions with dignity and humility. As was the practice on Friday there was a time of silent prayer before each candidate spoke.

High Council Chaplain Commissioner Vic Poke quoted from Psalm 46 in his opening devotions when he reminded the council that, ‘the Lord is our refuge’ and that ‘we need to be still and know that he is God’.

He also spoke of a Salvationist vocalist who sang unaccompanied at Parliament House in London and kept perfect pitch despite being interrupted by Big Ben chiming in the background. In commenting, the commissioner said that ‘in a world of distractions we need to stay in pitch with God’.

Commissioner Poke used two Salvation Army Song Book songs in focusing the council’s worship and praying.

These were: song 567 ‘Dear, Lord and Father of mankind, forgive us our foolish ways; re-clothe us in our rightful mind; in purer lives thy service find, in deeper reverence, praise. Drop thy still dews of quietness till all our strivings cease; take from our souls the strain and stress, and let our ordered lives confess the beauty of thy peace,’ and song 357 ‘My Jesus, I love thee, I know thou art mine, for thee all the pleasures of sin I resign; my gracious Redeemer, my Savior art thou, if ever I loved thee, my Jesus ’tis now.’

Prayer and praise to God began each session throughout the day.

Seventeenth High Council: Ever-Present Spirituality Deepens

Sunbury Court, London: Throughout the 2011 High Council there has been an ever-present spirituality. From the first morning more than a week ago the intentional reliance of the council members on the power of the Holy Spirit has been obvious.

Today (Friday), during the opening question answering sessions, this connection with God appeared to deepen. There was a definite sense of holy responsibility throughout the chamber.

During the presentation of answers the High Council members are to listen without responding in any way. Despite this limitation there was an atmosphere of affirmation for each candidate and, where applicable, their spouse. Before each speaker participated, High Council President Commissioner James Knaggs called for a time of silent prayer.

Devotions commenced the day with High Council Chaplain Commissioner Vic Poke reading from selected Psalms and leading singing of Salvation Army Song Book (SASB) song 412 ‘Christ, whose glory fills the skies’ and chorus 99 ‘Silently now I wait for thee’, which led into a time of prayer.

Commissioner Poke assured God that, ‘we have confidence in you and we are thrilled that you have confidence in us’.

Prior to the second session, Commissioner Debi Bell prayed, ‘refresh us again God with your living water’.

The final evening session concluded with the singing of SASB song 220 ‘Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God almighty’.

The remaining candidates and, where applicable, spouses will respond to the questions tomorrow (Saturday.).