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Getting to know our Secretary for Communications ...


The Australia Territory’s new Secretary for Communications, Colonel Rodney Walters.
BY GRACE ANDREWS

COLONEL RODNEY WALTERS is a fifth-generation Salvationist who has served in Australia, Eastern Europe, and Southeast Asia over more than three decades. Here, we get to know more about Rodney, his journey, and his new appointment as our Secretary for Communications.

 

What was your journey to The Salvation Army? Why did you decide to become an officer? Growing up with officer parents, I enjoyed my worship and service in The Salvation Army but wanted to work independently and support the Army with my tithes and donations. Through my devotions and commitment to know him more, God broke into my life, and even though my professional career was developing well, God was stirring within me something I couldn’t deny, and that was his calling to full-time service.

How many years have you been in officership and where have you served? I commenced training in 1983 and was commissioned and ordained in early 1985. My wife (Wendy) and I have served in five corps appointments over the years: Palm Beach, Marrickville, Macksville, Chatswood and Bundamba corps. I have also served as Divisional Youth and Candidates Secretary, Divisional Secretary and Divisional Commander, in the Sydney West Division, South Queensland Division and Central and North Queensland Division. From 1993, my wife and I held international appointments in the Russia/CIS Command, where we were responsible for North Russia, based in St Petersburg, and then Command Youth, Property and Transportation Secretary, based in Moscow but serving in Russia, Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova. From 2012, I was Chief Secretary to the Eastern Europe Territory (Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova and Romania), followed by Territorial Commander. Most recently (2018-22), I served as Territorial Commander for the Singapore, Malaysia and Myanmar Territory with Thailand [waiting for its registration], before returning to Australia late last year, where I was appointed as Secretary for Communications.


What has been the most memorable appointment or moment in your officership? Every appointment has been memorable, and I have appreciated the learning required and the engagements with people and communities. Of course, Wendy and I have been stretched when entering territories where English wasn’t the first language, but by God’s grace, we were able to adapt and learn. Prayer has been our daily strength and resource. God has provided protection, provision, grace, forgiveness, love, words, silence and wonderful people with us to share the journey.

For those that may not know, what does the Secretary for Communications spend their time doing? My role is to spearhead all matters relating to or incorporated in Communications, but not IT, on behalf of Territorial Leadership. In no set order, it relates to internal communications, public media in all its forms, public and government relations, fundraising and branding. I am also the Editor in Chief. My responsibilities are to enable, resource, empower, share critical information, and most importantly, make sure the representations made on behalf of The Salvation Army are in line with our values and mission.

What would people never guess you do in this appointment? I preach, when invited; attend meetings regarding management and mission, and have a strong passion to see our workplace reflect Christ-like living and engagement.

What is your favourite part about serving at The Salvation Army? I have loved engaging with people, listening to their stories, sharing their journey of life and walking alongside them in some little way during our appointments and beyond, where possible.

What excites you most about the future of the movement? God is in the work of renewal. I love that he renews me, strengthens me and recharges me with the Fire of the Holy Spirit so that I can be fully engaged in what he has for me. The Army has so many opportunities to embrace the future and I love the boldness being seen by many to step into that future with God.

What do you like to do in your spare time? I try, where possible, to give more than 100 per cent to what I am doing. So, when I get the opportunity for spare time, besides rest, I like driving, enjoying a good meal, a good movie, time with my wife, family and friends and, where possible, travelling.

You’re happiest when …? ​​​​​​​I think I am happiest when I am engaged with what I love, and that is my calling. Please don’t misunderstand me. My family are part of my calling, my friends and relatives are part of my calling, and my ministry and my service are all part of my calling because I gave my life to the Lord for him to use and bless. I am a happy man.


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