General Linda Bond Is Entering Into Retirement

Below is a letter from the International Chief of The Staff, André Cox

I write to inform you that General Linda Bond is entering into retirement. Following a period of personal reflection and prayer, General Bond has decided that she should relinquish the Office of the General with effect from 13 June 2013. The General’s decision to step down comes after 44 years of ministry.

As is required by our constitution, contained in the Salvation Army Act 1980, the Chief of the Staff will perform the functions of the General pending the election of a new General. The Chief of the Staff will also shortly be calling a High Council to elect the new General. A further announcement regarding that High Council will be made in due course.

General Bond, who holds a Bachelor’s degree in Religious Education and a Master’s degree in Theological Studies, entered the training college in Canada as a cadet in 1967 and was commissioned as an officer two years later. She spent the following nine years in corps appointments, before being appointed first as a member of the training staff at the College for Officer Training in Toronto and then as Territorial Candidates Secretary. She returned to corps ministry, becoming Commanding Officer of the Kitchener Corps, before serving at the College for Officer Training in St. John’s, Newfoundland, as Assistant Training Principal, Divisional Secretary of the Maritime Division and Divisional Commander of the same division.

In 1995 she was appointed to International Headquarters in London as Under Secretary for Personnel. She remained in the United Kingdom, transferring to the UK Territory as Divisional Commander, Central North Division, in 1998. A return to Canada came just over a year later, when she was appointed as Chief Secretary, Canada and Bermuda Territory. In July 2002 she was appointed to the USA Western Territory, where she served as Territorial Commander and Territorial President of Women’s Ministries. She returned to International Headquarters in 2005, as Secretary for Spiritual Life Development and International External Relations.

In 2008 she became Territorial Commander of the Australia Eastern Territory. She was elected to The Salvation Army’s most senior office in January, 2011.

We pray God’s blessing upon General Linda Bond as she enters retirement.

Yours sincerely,
André Cox


General Bond in India. Visit International Headquarter’s Flickr page to see this photo set of General Bond’s ministry abroad and many others.

Words of Welcome to Pope and Archbishop of Canterbury from General Linda Bond

General Linda Bond, international leader of The Salvation Army, has sent messages of welcome to Pope Francis I and to the Rt Hon and Most Rev Justin Welby, who will be enthroned as Archbishop of Canterbury, leader of the Church of England, on March 21.

To Archbishop Welby she wrote:

“The Church universal faces great challenges as we seek to minister the gospel of Jesus Christ and so I want to assure you that Salvationists stand with their Anglican sisters and brothers in the cause of Christ. God bless and keep you and grant you wisdom, courage and strength.”

In her message to His Holiness Pope Francis she said: “My prayer is that God will give you physical and spiritual strength, as well as holy courage, so that you might stand firm as a true soldier of Jesus Christ. God bless and keep you always and grant you his peace.”

Reposted from the The Salvation Army USA’s Blog.
Photo Courtesy of the Vatican Radio – English Section Facebook Page.

We Are Here To Serve – IHQ Welcome To General Linda Bond

London, England—There was an authentic sense of joy and warm comradeship at The Salvation Army’s International Headquarters (IHQ) in London, UK, when the Army’s new world leader, General Linda Bond, was welcomed on Monday, 4 April.

General Linda BondThis holy joy was evident right from the effervescent opening, led by Commissioner Sue Swanson (World President of Women’s Ministries), to the thoughtful benediction by Commissioner William Cochrane (International Secretary to the Chief of the Staff). It came through the prayers, the Scripture reading (Psalm 134), the welcome talks, the music and through General Bond’s words.

In her first message as world leader the General positively emphasized the blessing of God, living totally for Jesus, thankfulness, the importance of serving others, Christian accountability regarding behavior, wise use of authority and the value of teamwork.

As she spoke to IHQ officers, staff and invited guests, Canadian-born General Bond revealed that her mother was English and ‘when I was previously appointed to IHQ in 1995 as under-secretary for personnel it felt like coming home. It is no different now.’

The General said she counts it a blessing to serve God at IHQ. ‘In fact, everyone who serves at IHQ is blessed because we have the mission of serving the world. Everyone here makes a difference to the worldwide Salvation Army.

‘It is vital that we serve the world with gratitude and attitude. We need to be grateful and thankful to God for his blessings. We also need to serve with a caring attitude because it is the love of God that compels us.’

Regarding her new position General Bond said she holds it with respect and dignity but she holds it lightly because ‘the power the Lord has given me as General is delegated authority. It is a power for people – not power over people.’

‘I live for Jesus and all the praise, power and glory belong to him.’

Earlier in the meeting Commissioner Barry C. Swanson, the Chief of the Staff, presented the General with the framed Certificate of Election that had been signed by all members of the 2011 High Council that elected General Bond.

Commissioner Swanson said that the High Council is an exercise in law and grace. ‘There are many legal requirements regarding the election of the General but, more importantly, God’s grace is at work in all members of the High Council, especially in the life of the one elected.’

In her words of welcome on behalf of IHQ officer staff Captain Emerald Urbien (International Auditor) said that General Bond comes at a time of turmoil for the world. ‘People are confused and hurting, souls are lost – the need is great. However, we know God is still in control.’ She drew parallels from the Old Testament book of Esther and stated that General Bond has been elected ‘for such a time as this.’

Captain Urbien assured the General that she had the support of IHQ officers in moving the Army forward.

Mark Read (Researcher IHQ Program Resources) welcomed the General on behalf of IHQ employees and stated: ‘There is already a heartfelt respect and love for you.’ In researching his talk Mark asked a friend at one of the General’s previous appointments to describe her, the response was: ‘A woman who sincerely and deeply loves Jesus.’

‘General, at IHQ we have a shared mission to serve Jesus that transcends roles. We will all do our part to support and serve you,’ Mark added.

Other participants in the meeting were Commissioner Gillian Bosh (Americas and Caribbean Zonal Secretary for Women’s Ministries) who prayed, Major Lorraine Hart (Private Secretary to the General) who read from the Scripture, an IHQ vocal group that sang ‘At Thy Command’ and an ensemble from the International Staff Band that played ‘Mighty to Save.’

Retired General John Larsson, Commissioners Freda Larsson and Gisèle Gowans and United Kingdom with the Republic of Ireland territorial leaders Commissioners John and Betty Matear were among the invited guests for this occasion.

Prior to the welcome meeting the General had been greeted by all the IHQ-based Commissioners at the entrance to her office, having been accompanied into IHQ from Queen Victoria Street by the Chief of the Staff and Commissioner Sue Swanson.

Photos from the welcome meeting are available here: