The General and Commissioner Rosalie Peddle encourage Salvationist young people in Kentucky-Tennessee Division
By: Brad Rowland
After an anointed gathering at USA Southern Territorial Headquarters in Atlanta on the morning of Friday, March 25, the General and Commissioner Rosalie Peddle made the short journey to Chattanooga, Tennessee to stand alongside a group of over 300 committed young people of the Kentucky-Tennessee (KT)Division. The General and Commissioner Peddle were supported by USA Southern Territory leaders, Commissioners Willis and Barbara Howell, and members of the territorial and KT divisional staff.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its wide-ranging impact, the gathering was the first for the division in this form since 2019. The Friday evening meeting served as the opening of a full weekend of events. The General and Commissioner Peddle were presented a handcrafted gift on behalf of the youth of the division followed by an informational and humorous video providing background on the region.
The General and Commissioner Peddle also took part in an extensive and informative question-and-answer session with the youth. Asked what she learned from the challenges of the pandemic, Commissioner Peddle spoke glowingly on the “kindness, love, hard work, and resilience of The Salvation Army around the world. The biggest thing God’s shown to me is my need of Him, because when I was left with nothing and didn’t have a proper opportunity to be able to move around the world, I needed to rely on Him. I really had to go deep into my faith, and I’m grateful for the times that I’ve been able to study and pray and really understand what God is still calling me to do.”
The General was questioned on his hopes and dreams for The Salvation Army in the future. Drawing on the inspiration of the assembled youth, he said, “I’ll tell you what the fulfillment of those hopes and dreams are. It’s to look across an audience of younger people with so much potential, who are trying to figure out what this whole walk with God is all about. Out of this comes the future of The Salvation Army.”
The evening also featured musical worship performed by local youth, with Commissioner Willis Howell joining the ensemble on the banjo for a rendition of “I’ll Fly Away.” Seven young people also received graduate certificates from the Corps Cadet program, with personal congratulations and photos with the General and Commissioner Peddle.
In bringing a challenge to the youth, The General and Commissioner Peddle spoke eloquently on three focuses of confidence, commitment, and courage. The Youth Councils theme of “Even If” was woven throughout the message, with the General citing the faithfulness of God and sharing the good news that “even if it doesn’t work out the way that I want it to or the way that I hope it will, God will be faithful.”
“God calls us to a full commitment of ourselves to Him,” he continued, “We then can respond to Him by being fully committed to Him. Being a follower of Jesus is about being committed…To commit ourselves to God means that we yield ourselves, surrender to Him, and trust Him with our lives, so that in the end, we know that He is walking with us and we don’t have to worry about who is going to catch us when we fall.”
Photo Credit: Joseph Chang