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A sense of keen anticipation and a buzz of great excitement greeted the Prayer Warriors Session of Cadets as they entered the Atlanta Temple Sanctuary. This is it-the night they have been so long awaiting.
Now for the Prayer Warriors, this is their most important appointment as Salvation Army officers. Why? It’s their first opportunity to meet their people, making them radical followers of Jesus Christ, loving them inclusively, serving them helpfully, and discipling them effectively in their own communities. After all, that’s why these 42 Cadets, soon to become Lieutenants, have answered God’s call.
To the majestic marching music played by the Atlanta Temple Band (Robert Snelson), first the session colors appeared, then the Cadets bravely made their way to their places on the platform, encouraged by a large crowd of divisional and corps officers, family members, first year session Cadets and other supporters. The Training Principal and President of the Evangeline Booth College, Major Willis Howell, welcomed everyone to the occasion and so the evening began. Congregational songs, representative speaker Cadet Stephen Correira, scripture readings, the combined sessions of Cadets in song before the Territorial Commander, Commissioner Max Feener issued a challenge to each Prayer Warrior.
Then the time had come! Weeks of anticipation, speculation, rumor after rumor, but now was the definitive word, or more importantly city and state! The Secretary for Personnel, Lt. Colonel Charles White, handed each closely guarded appointment to the territorial commander. Then the Commissioner greeted each Cadet and their children as they boldly paraded center stage, saluting their leader, eager to know, and no doubt wondering if their best guess was anywhere close! The Commissioner, in a relaxed, conversational style was able to calm their nerves at least for the moment.
Through the wonders of technology, Communications Bureau staff were able to ‘tweet’ each appointment as it was announced. It is reported that 255 ‘followers’ picked up the appointments over the Internet and ‘re-tweeted’ to who knows how many others!
Here are the Prayers Warriors and their first appointments:
Cadets Aaron & Rebekah Abram – Baltimore (Temple), MD – Corps Officers
Cadets Tewodros Beshah & Ariam Kidane – St. Petersburg (Downtown), FL – Corps Officers
Cadet Kellie Cantrell – Waycross, GA – Corps Officer
Cadets Carlos & Valentina Cantu – Atlanta (Peachcrest), GA – Corps Officers
Cadets Joe & Monica Contreras – Bryan, TX – Corps Officers
Cadet Stephen Correira – Fort Worth (Lancaster Avenue), TX – Corps Officer
Cadets Ben & Wendy Deuel – New Orleans, Louisiana Metropolitan Area Command Assistants to the Area Commander
Cadet Dee Jay Fox – Atlanta, GA Kroc Center – Assistant Corps Officer
Cadet Jana Griffin – Beaumont, TX – Assistant Corps Officer
Cadet Jessie Harding – Salisbury, MD – Assistant Corps Officer
Cadet Dennis Hayes – Mobile (Northside), AL – Corps Officer (To marry Cadet Armandina Watson)
Cadets E. Scott & Andrea Hoover – Stuart, FL – Corps Officers
Cadet William Patrick Jones – Dallas (Temple), TX – Corps Officer
Cadets Kevin & Wendy Jo Justice – Smithfield, NC – Corps Officers
Cadet Derrick McKeller – North Little Rock, AR – Corps Officer
Cadet Carl Melton – Owensboro, KY – Corps Officer (To marry Captain Jennifer LeBeau)
Cadets Joshua & Chastina Morse – Columbia (Midlands), SC – Corps Officers
Cadet Arthur Brian Mott – Lubbock, TX – Associate Corps Officer
Cadet Jason Perdieu – Washington (Sherman Ave.), DC – Corps Officer
Cadets Alvaro & Danitza Porras – Winchester, VA – Corps Officers
Cadets Pradeep & Priscilla Ramaji – Front Royal, VA – Corps Officers
Cadets Joshua & Ashley Robinett – Russellville, AR – Corps Officers
Cadets Israel & Claudia Roseno – Springdale, AR – Corps Officers
Cadet Joseph Ryerson – El Paso (Citadel), TX – Corps Officer (To marry Lieutenant Analese Meredith)
Cadets Jimmy & Sarah Steele – Portsmouth, VA – Corps Officers
Cadet Ashley Taylor – Greenville, SC – Corps Officer
Cadets Luis & Selena Valdes – El Paso (Temple), TX – Corps Officers
Cadet Armandina Watson – Mobile (Northside), AL – Corps Officer – (To marry Cadet Dennis Hayes)
Of special note was the appointment of Corps Officers to El Paso, TX. For those of you wondering the significance of this, El Paso -the most western city in Texas has been formally transferred from the Western Territory to the Southern Territory. Thus Cadets Valdes, and Cadet Joseph Ryerson have made Salvation Army history!
Following the service the ‘hub bub’ in the lobby was intense, as congratulations were offered, hasty cell phone calls made to family and friends, Cadets hugging, and shaking each others hands. I’m sure the Internet at the EBC was busy later that evening as each Cadet started to find out more about their new communities!
We praise God for the 42 Cadets of the Prayer Warriors session. Those who will marry following Commissioning, and the session’s children as they all depart 1032 Metropolitan Parkway in Atlanta for pastures new. We are each challenged to pray for these soon to be Lieutenants as they begin a wonderful journey of opportunity in His name.
God bless the Prayer Warriors as they are ordained and commissioned as Lieutenants on Sunday, June 6 at the Cobb Energy Center, Atlanta, Georgia.