Commissioners Donald & Debi Bell have been appointed as the new Southern Territorial leaders, effective November 1, 2013.
Commissioners Don and Debi Bell were appointed Territorial Commander and Territorial President of Women’s Ministries on 1 March 2009, after eight months’ service as Chief Secretary and Territorial Secretary of Women’s Ministries for the New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga Territory. As territorial leaders, the Bells have been strong champions of the territory’s Strategic Mission Plan, which is focused on growing disciples, making new soldiers, and fighting poverty and injustice through a streamlined, connected and mission-focused approach. They have taken a close interest in indigenous Māori culture, learning the Māori language and helping to lift the profile of The Salvation Army Māori Ministry. Commissioner Don Bell has served as President of Bible Society New Zealand since August 2012.
Prior to their appointments in New Zealand, they served as Chief Secretary and Territorial Secretary for Women’s Ministries for The Salvation Army USA Western Territory where their responsibilities covered Salvation Army programmes and services in the 13 Western States of the US, the Pacific Islands including Guam, the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia. Don and Debi served over 35 years in ministerial and administrative positions with The Salvation Army in California, Arizona, and at The Salvation Army National Headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia.
Don is a graduate of the University of California at Davis, with a double major in Economics and History; Gonzaga University School of Law in Spokane, WA, with a Juris Doctorate; The Salvation Army College for Officer Training, CA; and The Salvation Army International College for Officers, London. He has been a member of numerous professional associations and service clubs throughout the USA’s western states. Don was awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship by the San Diego Rotary Club and served as the Pacific Southwest regional chaplain of the Navy League.
Debi came to The Salvation Army through the Girl Guards, and entered the College for Officer Training from Hobbs, NM. She served on the national board for ‘AD 2000 and Beyond.’ Debi was a founding board member of two significant prayer groups, and led one of the largest and most successful Women’s Auxiliaries in the US. In 2001, Debi was nominated for ‘Women Who Mean Business’. She is also an author, with Lyssa Lamb – a children’s book written by Debi and illustrated by Ronda Gilger – published in 2005.
The Bells were married in January 1979. For hobbies, Don and Debi enjoy travel, having visited all 50 American states, five American territories and 30 North American, Central American, African, Asian and European countries. They have appreciated adding travel within the New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga Territory to this list of experiences.