My Calling – Major Brooks Gilliam
By: Major Brooks Gilliam
I was born into a Salvationist family that was at the corps whenever the doors were open in Weirton, West Virginia. My family attended every program The Salvation Army offered. I received Christ as my Savior at an early age. Through the faithful leadership of many officers and local officers, I was given a foundational education in God’s Word, salvation and the fact that God had a plan for my life. I am so thankful to those leaders who were patient in teaching me and modeling lives of holiness.
Our corps officer allowed me to attend Corps Cadets as a prospective early, and at the age of 12 I found myself at youth councils in Staunton, Virginia. It was there that God first issued his call to officership upon my life. The Holy Spirit spoke his strong desire to my heart to make the salvation of others my life’s goal.
The urgency that I felt at 12 began to wane as I grew older. I began to doubt and question that calling and what I wanted to do with my life. In high school I began to pursue other interests and started working with the local ambulance service. As I tried to answer the questions about my future and pursue my own desires, the easier it became to overlook what God had spoken so clearly to me.
But God again spoke very clearly to me, first at youth councils, during my senior year of high school. During the altar call he sent a dear friend to me. Speaking through that friend, God addressed the matter dead-on.
“You are not listening to what God has planned for you,” my friend said. “Stop trying to shirk off what God has in store for your life.”
I went to the altar to accept and reaffirm God’s call upon my life. That summer I was home again with an evangelistic team and was blessed to minister to a group of children for the week. Weeks later, I received a call that one of the children from my class, who I had the privilege of praying with at the altar, had been brutally murdered. What if I had not listened to God’s leading? Who else was I being called to minister to?
That urgency is still there, even 20 years after my commissioning! I thank God for his call upon my life. Every day I am privileged to not only serve those in need but to save lives. I want to be right where the he leads me so that I can be His Messenger of the Truth! Are you ignoring his leading? Who else will he send?