International leaders visit SoCal


General André and Commissioner Silvia Cox present retirement certificate to Commissioner James and Carolyn Knaggs at public farewell event.

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In his message, Commissioner James Knaggs told attendees that wherever you are, when you see a chair, let it be a reminder to kneel before God; to sit in the chair as a student, willing to learn the way forward; to stand back and teach the students sitting in the chairs by the way you talk and live; and to stand on the chair to let your life shine like a beacon on a hill. “Why would you want to stay on the ground?” Knaggs asked while standing on a chair on stage. “Wouldn’t you want to shine, to be evident to everybody?” His prayer for the crowd, he said, was that each person be filled with the Holy Spirit, so that their witness is stronger and their light can shine.

General André and Commissioner Silvia Cox traveled to the USA Western Territory for the public farewell and retirement ceremony of Territorial Leaders Commissioners James and Carolyn Knaggs Nov. 5 at the Cerritos Center for Performing Arts in Southern California.

Nearly 1,000 Salvationists of the Western Territory joined the international and territorial leaders to thank the Knaggses for more than 40 years of service as Salvation Army officers, including the past six in the West. The pair officially retire Dec. 31.

“We are grateful to God for leaders who have been willing to stand up for Christ, and who have been willing to challenge us to ‘show up to work,’ to stand in the gap for others, and to stand victoriously with those who have been saved,” said Colonel Colleen Riley, Territorial Secretary for Women’s Ministries.

The General presented the Knaggses with a certificate of honorable retirement and Commissioner Silvia Cox offered a prayer of blessing over them.

“It’s great to know great people. Not only have you been a great influence to your family, but a great influence on The Salvation Army as well,” the General said. “I thank God that there are leaders like you in The Salvation Army with vision, daring, and a ‘can do’ attitude—those who go boldly because Christ calls us to win the world for him.”

The international leaders spent Nov. 6 at the Pasadena Tabernacle Corps with Corps Officers Captains Terry and Rutendo Masango, participating in worship and an afternoon Thanksgiving Festival of Music presented by the Pasadena Tabernacle Band with the Pasadena Tabernacle Songsters.

“We are all but a work in progress. As we work, God wants to work in us as he is still in the process of making change in us,” the General said. “Because of Christ we can experience change and transformation.”

Read more about the impact Commissioners James and Carolyn Knaggs have had during their six years as leaders of the Western Territory at

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