‘It’s A Southern Thing:’ Colonel Deborah Sedlar welcomed to Southern Territory

By: Brad Rowland

On January 1, 2023, Colonel Deborah Sedlar took up a new appointment as the Chief Secretary of the USA Southern Territory. Just a few days later, the officers and employees of the USA Southern Territorial Headquarters welcomed Colonel Sedlar with a themed gathering under the banner of “It’s A Southern Thing” on January 5.

The event featured a menu of Southern cuisine, including fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, potato salad, and peach cobbler, and Colonel Sedlar was also greeted with customary Southern warmth. Major Brenda Raymer and Lt. Colonel Karol Seiler served as narrators, with a welcome from Commissioner Donna Igleheart, who encouraged attendees to remember Jesus Christ is the centerpiece of this and any gathering.

“One of the things I always do in the new year is to thank God for the new people that He will send into my life, and He always does this,” said Commissioner Donna Igleheart. “Today, we have come to celebrate and to welcome a new member of our family in Colonel Deborah Sedlar. We are so very happy that you are here.”

The meeting featured various songs of the South, including “I’ll Fly Away,” “I’m Gonna Sing, Sing, Sing,” “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,” and “When the Saints Go Marching In.” A five-member vocal ensemble blessed the day with “The Unclouded Day,” and each of the Southern Territory’s eight divisions, in addition to THQ and the ARC Command, was represented with a message aimed at familiarizing Colonel Sedlar with the local fare. The presentations came from Captain Jervonne Hinton (ALM), Lt. Colonel Janice Riefer (AOK), Cheryl Werner (FL), Major Brenda Raymer (GA), Major Bethany Hawks (NSC), Bernie Dake (PMC), Nick Simmons-Smith (TX), Freda Bullock (THQ/ARCC), and Commissioner Kelly Igleheart (KT).

Commissioner Kelly Igleheart also provided an overarching welcome for Colonel Sedlar, complimenting the new chief secretary on her considerable experience, including a recent post as the Executive Secretary to the General at International Headquarters in London.

“I think you sense already the love and appreciation that this group of people has for people who are no longer visitors but are family,” Commissioner Kelly Igleheart said. “You’re not visiting anymore. You are truly welcomed at THQ.”

The afternoon came to a close with a joint singing of “Blest Be the Tie That Binds,” but before the chorus, Colonel Sedlar offered a heartfelt response. She spoke on the perfect plan of God, how we are all His poetry, and offered encouragement on the aim to stand on the realization that “we’re all in this together.”

“What a welcome,” Colonel Sedlar said. “It’s already home to me and I feel so grateful to be here. God has blessed me in so many ways.”