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Finding my way 'home'

New Salvation Army soldier James Brennan feels like he has found his spiritual home at Swan View Corps in Western Australia. 

After moving to a new city, James Brennan was longing for a spiritual home. Then God led him to the Swan View Salvos, and he felt called to something more – soldiership. He shares his story below.

In 2019, I moved to Perth from Bathurst, NSW. When I arrived, I tried to connect to churches in my area, but no matter how hard I tried or how many times I went, I just didn’t feel a connection.

But this year, things changed – I felt a call, a need to find a place where I could belong. That’s when I was told about a Salvation Army shop no more than 800 metres from my home! About 20 years ago, I had been part of the Salvos in Geraldton, so I was happy to hear of a shop near me, and I went searching.

James celebrates becoming a Salvation Army senior soldier during a Sunday service at Swan View Corps in September. From left: Major Jennifer Armstrong, adherent Anne Tonner, flagbearer Eric Smith, James, adherent Alice Go and Major Naava Brooks.

When I arrived, the shop was closed, but I met an amazing woman of God – Major Naava Brooks. As we talked, she mentioned that she, with Major Jenny Armstrong, were the majors of the Salvos church here. The moment there was mention of a church, I felt drawn to it and needed to go. When I walked through the doors on Sunday, I heard Naava say, “Here he is.” I felt welcome.

At first, it was very different – a lot of elderly and the service was very different to what I was used to, so I said I would come back the following week. The sermon was fantastic, I felt more connected, the music was still different to me, but the message was clear. I started to feel like this could become my new home. As I kept coming, I got to meet and become friends with some amazing people.

As the months went by, I grew more invested and connected, and I could feel God bringing me home. I wanted to offer myself in service, to really be part of my new spiritual home. So, I spoke with Naava to learn about how to become a member. I was given two options, adherent or soldier, and I knew immediately what and how I was to belong to this home ­­– this family of God. I wanted to fully surrender to him, to be the man of God he wanted me to be, so I gave him all of me.

Being a soldier of The Salvation Army means a complete surrender to God in every way, in every part of my life. I now live for him, and I have never been so happy. I feel fulfilled in God, stronger in him, and so grateful he accepts me. For all he has done for me, I could do nothing less in return.

It is in my heart to share the gospel – the Good News that Jesus saves. No matter who you are, Jesus is ready and waiting for you. His love, grace and mercy endure forever and ever. He loves you right where you’re at, and to share his love and word with those around me is just fantastic.


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