Seventeenth High Council: Many Sacred Moments On Day Prior To Voting Commencing

Sunbury Court, London: There were many sacred moments at the 2011 High Council today (Sunday) – from the joyous African style dancing, enthusiastic singing and fervent praying in many languages during worship, to the candidates’ humility when addressing the council.

However, the sight of Salvation Army leaders from around the world kneeling in earnest prayer at the three mercy seats, an Army drum and their desks was particularly sacred.

During the Sunday morning worship High Council Chaplain Commissioner Vic Poke presented a beautiful picture of Jesus being full of grace and truth before leading into the singing of General John Gowans’ song His Provision. As soon as the first notes were sung council members moved forward to pray.

Earlier in the meeting Commissioner Jolene Hodder was the catalyst for vibrant vocal worship, Commissioner Irene Induruwage prayed for all adherents and soldiers (junior and senior) around the world and Colonel Hezekiel Mavundla prayed for all the officers and their families.

With all the business and information gathering now completed voting for the nineteenth General will commence tomorrow morning.

In writing about the voting process some years ago Retired General John Larsson described it like this: ‘In the hush of the council chamber, each member in turn receives a voting paper from the president and enters the voting room to place a tick against one of the names on the paper. The other members engage in prayer. The process is unhurried and can take an hour or so for each ballot.

‘After the voting has been completed for each ballot the tellers count the votes. Schedule 4 of The Salvation Army Act lays down:

a) That in the first three ballots a candidate must get more than two thirds of the votes of members present in order to be elected,

b) that from the fourth ballot onwards a candidate need only receive the votes of more than half of the members present, and

c) that the candidate who gets the fewest votes in each ballot must drop out until only two candidates remain.’

The announcement of the General-elect will be live streamed and as much notice as possible will be given regarding this to all who have subscribed to email, twitter and Facebook updates. If you haven’t subscribed to any of these areas please regularly check for information.