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Divisional Commanders look to the year ahead


The Australia Territory’s six divisional commanders (top row from left) Major Brad Potter, Colonel Kelvin Merrett, Major Paul Hateley, (bottom row from left) Major Mark Everitt, Major Tracy Briggs and Major Kim Haworth.

The role of the Divisional Commander (DC) is to support programs and services mainly offered in corps and faith communities within a geographical area and ensure all parts of The Salvation Army are working together to achieve our vision and mission. We caught up with our DCs to see what they are looking forward to in 2024. 

 

Our Divisional Commanders:

Queensland: Major Mark Everitt NSW/ACT: Major Kim Haworth South Australia/Northern Territory: Major Paul Hateley Tasmania: Major Tracy Briggs Victoria: Colonel Kelvin Merrett Western Australia: Major Brad Potter

 

What are you looking forward to the most in 2024?

  

Major Mark Everitt (Qld) says, “Returning to what is my home state of Queensland (after 23 years of serving in NSW/ACT Division) is a great thrill and sort of like a bookend to my life. I’m looking forward to catching up with lifelong friends and meeting new ones. And I’m looking forward to seeing what God has been up to in those 23 years of being away.” 

 

Major Kim Haworth (NSW/ACT) is looking forward to continuing the journey of serving God through The Salvation Army and partnering with him in mission throughout the NSW/ACT Division. She said, “I’m encouraged and truly blessed to work alongside some amazing people in this division and the broader movement. My passion is for the frontline, so anything I can do to empower and support our frontline in their work of seeing people’s lives transformed by the love of Jesus is my aim. We have a miracle-working God and a wonderful story to tell. These are challenging and exciting days of opportunity for us as the people of God.” 

 

Major Paul Hateley (SA/NT) says he is observing the green shoots of growth that are appearing throughout the South Australia/Northern Territory Division after the dormancy that COVID brought. “I see people coming along to corps who have first connected with a social program. I see people coming to faith through the ministry of our corps, our chaplains and our social program staff. I see various Salvation Army corps, centres, stores and programs, which are placed together in a geographical area, hold hands in mission and work together for the greater good.” 

 

Major Tracy Briggs (Tas) began her role as Tasmania Divisional Commander in March 2023 and says it was a steep learning curve. “There is an amazing team here in Tasmania throughout all Salvation Army expressions, and I am really excited to be working with them in 2024. I’m incredibly grateful to God for each of them and continue to pray for them as we build an even stronger connection as we seek God’s guidance and serve together to see lives transformed with the love of Jesus through being Jesus-centred, Spirit-led and seeing hope revealed across Tasmania in 2024. On a personal note, our second grandbaby is due in March, and I cannot wait!”

 

Colonel Kelvin Merrett (Vic) is looking forward to continuing the momentum of ‘Recasting The Net’ in the Victoria Division. “This is a journey that is now 18 months old, and it’s great to see the traction taking place as our local corps reimagine the vision of what it looks like to be The Salvation Army in 2024 and beyond. Some exciting things are being planned, and we have a great opportunity to refocus The Salvation Army.” 

 

Major Brad Potter (WA) says the Western Australia Division reflects The Salvation Army’s belief in the intrinsic value of every person as it serves the community with the love of Jesus. He is proud of the Army’s relationship with the community and is looking forward to continuing this partnership.  He says, “I am aware of the overwhelming generosity of the WA community who underpin and build our capacity to provide hope to those in greatest need. We (as a division) remain as committed as ever together with our friends and partners to work with great speed and determination in delivering hope, dignity, justice, compassion and a sense of community.”


Five of the six divisional commanders at the Pastoral Council in January 2024. Missing from the photo is Major Brad (WA Division). 
 

What is your focus in 2024?

Mark (Qld) says his focus for this first year will be observing, listening and understanding. “Our creator God has been present and active in this state, and I would thank Majors Gavin and Wendy for all they have done. It’s that learning curve for me in 2024.”

 

Kim (NSW/ACT) says it is to listen to the Spirit of God and do what he says. As a member of the National Leadership, her focus is on leading the NSW/ACT Divisional Team and continuing to work on implementing the National Strategy through Local Mission Delivery and our Divisional Plan. “This includes supporting our frontline, especially corps and faith mission expressions, as well as progressing exciting projects that position us to best serve our communities and those in need across NSW/ACT. My focus is on the spiritual leadership of this division, plus collaborative oversight across all aspects of our mission delivery.”

 

Paul (SA/NT) says his focus this year will be twofold. “Continue to strengthen the understanding of what being Jesus-centred, Spirit-led and revealers of hope looks like in Salvos as individuals and as a collective of God’s people. And to encourage sustainable models of ministry that will bring about growth for God’s Kingdom.”

 

Tracy (Tas) has three focus points for 2024: 

1.     Personal prayer, Scripture, Sabbaths and Retreat days

2.     Raising the Spiritual temperature in Tasmania through prayers, training, conversations and relationships 

3.     Intentional Discipleship

 

Kelvin (Vic) says his focus this year is a continued emphasis on ‘Recasting the Net’. “This is vital to the future of The Salvation Army in Victoria. It has been so encouraging as I have shared this ‘picture’ in 30 different engagements in Victoria over the past 18 months, and to see the enthusiasm of officers and corps personnel as they engage in the opportunity of recasting what the future for The Salvation Army will be in their local area.  My focus is to keep that momentum going.” 

 

What is your inspiration for the new year? 

 

Mark (Qld): The whole reason the DC’s role exists – at least in my present understanding – is to ensure The Salvation Army’s frontline is understanding and fulfilling God’s calling for our movement. To spiritually, strategically and practically support the frontline is central to any form of headquarters in this Army. My inspiration is my Saviour’s example:“Though he was God, He did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, He humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honour and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Phillippians 2)  

 

Kim (NSW/ACT): Over Christmas, I was inspired and blown away by reading about the life of Rees Howells*.  Rees was an incredible intercessor for the Lord, who accomplished a great deal in his earthly life.  He was part of the Welsh Revival of the early 1900s. His obedience and Holy Spirit-filled commitment to the Lord was breathtaking.  The dedication of his life to the mission of God meant that he was used mightily by the Lord for his purposes. My desire is that the Lord would find in me, and in our people, the same heart, willingness and dedication. My prayer is that the Lord will continue to do incredible things through us to change lives, communities and our country! 

 

Paul (SA/NT): God created us for community; therefore, we lead out of relationship, not out of a command and control transaction. 

 

Tracy (Tas): To live in the moment and encounter the present. Not to look back to the past or to the future with such a deep longing that I miss what God is saying and doing right now today! A favourite Scripture verse of mine is found in Revelation chapter 7, I love the whole chapter, but the last verse never fails to stir my heart when I picture it: “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” I find these words a powerful imagery of our Heavenly Father coming with compassion and love, gently wiping away my tears and those of countless others. If you can, for a moment, just imagine all the tears you have shed for many different reasons over the years and then think of all those who are crying today and picture the most gentle kind hand wiping them away until every face is shining with the most brilliant smile, oh wow that precious image spurs me on and encourages me to be His hands and feet today! 

 

Kelvin (Vic): My catch verse has always been Philippians 4-13: “I can do all of this through him who gives me strength”. This is a consistent reminder that everything we do needs to be in the strength of our Lord. How important it is that we bring him along the journey – or more importantly, it is his journey that we are on!

 

 

 

 

 

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