10 INSPIRATIONAL ORDER OF THE FOUNDER RECIPIENTS
By: Meagan Hofer
General Bramwell Booth, son of founder William Booth inaugurated the Order of the Founder in 1917 to recognize Salvationists who had “rendered distinguished service, such as would have specially commended itself to the Founder.” We wanted to highlight ten women Order of the Founder recipients from the Southern Territory.
Major Cecil Brown (1947)
From the mountains in North Carolina she met the Army as a young girl and was commissioned as an officer in 1928. She returned to the mountains and established corps and mission stations at nine points throughout a 105-square mile area, which she reached by foot, on horseback and with a jeep.
Mrs. Ruby Ferraez Laudun (1983)
After reading about the tragic death of her husband in the local paper, officers visited her and asked how they could help. Laudun accepted a welfare caseworker position with the Army, which led to more than 40 years of service that earned her the title of “Mother to the Needy” in New Orleans. She was the first soldier in the Southern Territory to be honored.
Mrs. Brigadier Keitha Holz (1987)
After 25 years of active service, she retired early after becoming a widow, but this did not stop her from serving. During post-retirement In Miami, Florida she worked as a caseworker, VAVS representative at the Veterans’ Administration Hospital, and the corps pianist for 4o years.
Mrs. Clara Paige (1989)
Born in La Boca, Panama where her father was the Corps Sergeant Major, Paige excelled both academically and athletically in school and she was honored with many awards. Among them being the “U.S. Army Exceptional Performance Award” and the Panama Canal Companies “Superior Performance Award.” In retirement she focused her passions into The Salvation Army’s Christian Education programming.
Major Billie Jean DeArman (1992)
After several appointments in the AOK division, she answered God’s call on her life to serve in Mexico. She was known as Madre to many during her 22 years as the Mexico City Children’s Home superintendent. When she returned to the US, she continued to share the gospel in the “Little Mexico” district of Dallas, Texas.
Major Kathryn Cox (2000)
With a master’s degree in criminal justice she was recognized for her leadership and ministry in correctional institutions throughout the State of Texas. As well as her death row ministry with inmates and their families, she also was responsible for the organizing of the Bible correspondence courses for prison inmates.
Brigadier Dorothy Langston (2002)
She met The Salvation Army through her father who was the Chairman of The Salvation Army Advisory Board in Goldsboro, NC. After attending an open air she answered the call to officership, where she specialized in counseling youth and recruiting. Many give her credit to their officership to this day.
Mrs. Pat Germany (2003)
She makes an impact wherever she serves; from Baltimore, Maryland where children lovingly called her their “Angel in Blue” to showing God’s love and kindness to her Sunday School class in Atlanta, Georgia. Pat has been doctor, nurse, counselor, teacher, mentor, caregiver and much, much more to a lot of people through the years.
Brigadier Gertrude Purdue (2005)
She made an incredibly impact in Memphis, Tennessee, from hosting forums at the corps with Church Women United advocating for healing after the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. She reached out to the local military base and made sure the men serving knew they were welcomed and loved. Brigadier also led the partnership with the Junior League in opening the first day care for low income families that still operates today.
Commissioner Ruth Osborne (2014)
In a letter from General Eva Burroughs she states: “In the case of Ruth Osborne, she is a dynamo – always actively involved in every aspect of leadership and activity. She has been an inspiration to women in particular. She and James are a remarkable duo, so energetic, seemingly unstoppable…their physical vigor is matched by their spiritual fervor. They have been indefatigable in their service.”
Thank you to Michael Nagy, Director and Archivist at The Salvation Army Southern Historical Center for your support of this post.