The Salvation Army International Headquarters
General André Cox was born in 1954 whilst his Salvation Army officer parents were serving in Zimbabwe. The fact that the General was born in Africa to an English father and Swiss mother makes him feel very much at home when working in different cultural settings.
Following his marriage to Silvia Volet, they entered the International Training College in London, England, and were commissioned as Salvation Army officers in 1979 returning to serve in corps appointments in Switzerland. From there, with three small daughters, Myriam, Esther and Sarah, they were appointed to the Zimbabwe Territory. Whilst in Harare, Captain André Cox held various headquarters appointments including that of Public Relations Secretary and Finance Secretary.
Returning to Switzerland the Coxes were appointed to the Switzerland, Austria and Hungary Territorial Headquarters and during their eight years of service in Bern, Major André Cox was appointed as the Secretary for Communications and then as the Secretary for Business Administration. This was a key time in his personal development due to the heightened exposure to many aspects of Salvation Army management and administration. Over the years has grown an increasing belief that the handling of the business matters relating to The Salvation Army needs to be conducted to the highest ethical and management standards as a true reflection of sound biblical stewardship.
Subsequent territorial leadership in Finland and Estonia, Southern Africa and the United Kingdom with the Republic of Ireland have deepened General André’s belief that:
‘Although it is not by our works that we are saved, what we have received and believe must translate into our everyday lives. We cannot escape the reality and the inseparable link between belief and behaviour. The two must go hand in hand if our Christian witness is to be authentic and meaningful. If it is true that we belong to God, that we are building for his Kingdom for eternity by sharing the truth of the gospel then it must also be reflected in our daily living.’
From his appointment as Chief of the Staff, he was elected the 20th General of The Salvation Army on 3 August 2013. General Cox shares his ministry with his wife, Commissioner Silvia Cox, who is the World President of Women’s Ministries.
Along with his wife, the General has a strong sense of family. They are very proud of their daughters with their respective husbands and also their grandchildren, Rebecca, Lily, Leona, Wendy, Kevin and Kiana.
The Salvation Army National Headquarters
Commissioners David and Sharron Hudson have been officers in The Salvation Army for 42 years. Commissioner Dave is currently the National Commander. Commissioner Sharron is the National President of Women’s Ministries. National Headquarters is located in Alexandria, Virginia.
Prior to coming to National Headquarters in November 2015, Commissioner David was the Chief Secretary for the Western Territory and Commissioner Sharron was the Territorial Secretary for Women’s Ministries in the Western Territory, located in Long Beach, California.
They have a wide range of experience as Salvation Army officers, including several territorial and divisional appointments. The Hudsons were corps officers (pastors) for 14 years, including appointments in Oregon, Idaho and Southern California.
David has Business Management degree and a Master of Science Degree in Organizational Leadership. Sharron has a Masters Degree in Christian Leadership.
They have been married for 41 years and have two daughters, Jennifer and Amy, as well as two grandchildren.
Operations of The Salvation Army are supervised by trained, commissioned officers. They proclaim the gospel and serve as administrators, teachers, social workers, counselors, youth leaders, and musicians.
These men and women have dedicated their lives, skills, and service completely to God. Lay members who subscribe to the doctrines of The Salvation Army are called soldiers. Along with officers, they are known as Salvationists.
Candidates for officership undergo an intensive two-year course in residence at Salvation Army colleges in Chicago; Suffern, New York; Atlanta; and Rancho Palos Verdes, California. The curriculum combines theory and field practice, including Salvation Army doctrine, sociology and social work, psychology, Salvation Army regulations, homiletics, public speaking, Bible studies, church history, composition, community relations, business administration, accounting, and vocal and instrumental music.
After two successful years of training, cadets are commissioned as lieutenants, ordained as ministers, and assigned to active duty while continuing their education. Lieutenants are required to devote five years to additional studies.
Numerous advanced training courses are available for officers wishing to specialize in a particular discipline. Institutes, seminars, and conferences have been established to ensure that officers are informed of new and innovative programs and developments.
Promotion is based on length of service, character, efficiency, capacity for increased responsibility, and devotion to duty. The ranks are lieutenant, captain, major, lieutenant colonel, colonel, and commissioner. The international leader holds the rank of general and is selected by a high council of active-duty commissioner and territorial commanders.
Salvation Army officers must devote full time to Army work. An officer who marries must marry another Salvation Army officer or leave his or her officer status. Married captains and majors will individually carry the rank applicable to their own length of service, not that of their spouse. In case of married officers, the conferred ranks of lieutenant colonel, colonel, and commissioner will be held jointly. As ordained ministers of the gospel, they are authorized to perform marriage ceremonies, funeral services, and infant dedications. They also provide counseling and consolation to the bereaved.
The Salvation Army provides officers' living quarters, furnishings, and official transportation. Officers qualify for retirement once they are eligible to receive full Social Security benefits.
The soldiers of The Salvation Army (wearing blue epaulets), the committed laity, are local citizens in communities throughout the U.S. who give allegiance to the doctrines and disciplines of the Army. There are approximately 450,000 soldiers in the United States.
These soldiers may take on volunteer responsibilities in the congregation or help in the Army's social service outreach. Many soldiers give valuable service in directing and leading youth groups in character-building activities. Many take part in the Army's musical programs and teach young people to sing and play.
As a valuable means of service to the community, soldiers visit the sick and lonely in hospitals, nursing homes, and correctional institutions. Social service programs are enhanced by the commitment of soldiers who often give their time in the Army's basic ministries of shelter and food provision.
Soldiers abstain from the use of alcoholic beverages, drugs, and tobacco. Trained and qualified soldiers are appointed as "local officers." This corresponds to a non-commissioned officer in the armed forces. Other members of the congregation are adherents who participate in church activities but have not signed on as soldiers. Adherents may take on some lay responsibilities, such as teaching Sunday School classes.
From its inception, The Salvation Army has relied heavily on volunteers who support its programs. Often referred to as "the army behind The Army," volunteers play a crucial role The Salvation Army's ability to provide quality social services for the entire community.
Volunteers are valuable assets in The Salvation Army's efforts to meet the changing needs of our world. Through the skills and experience they bring to The Army, volunteers make significant contributions to society by positively impacting the lives of those they assist. Salvation Army volunteers change lives, uplift families, and support communities throughout our nation every day.
Thank you for exploring the many opportunities to help those in need and enhance your community as a volunteer within The Salvation Army.