After eight months of being unofficered, Hadleigh Temple Corps welcomed its new commanding officer, Major David Woodman.
Major Geoff Ashdown started worship on a positive note with the song ‘Greater Things’.
Still in keeping with the occasion, the Singing Company brought the wonderful deviotional song ‘All there is of me.’
The formal welcome on behalf of the corps was given by Songster Leader Paul Hillson. He said that it would be good to present Major David with a corps that had kept up and not slipped back during that difficult time. But that was not the case. Paying tribute to those who had taken on extra responsibility, he declared that the corps was in fine shape. It had not stood still and had indeed moved forward.
The major’s wife, Caroline, and son Matthew were in the meeting and were welcomed. Their other son Gareth was still away at university but was welcomed nonetheless. All four are important members of the corps family.
The induction of Major David was conducted by Major Geoff Ashdown. Major Geoff has been pastoral officer during the unofficered period and now takes on the title of Associate Officer, but remains part-time. After performing this duty Major Geoff is taking two weeks’ holiday.
To start the formal session of the meeting, Major Geoff quietened the mood by leading the song: ‘I Would Be Thy Holy Temple’. He then took the opportunity to highlight 1Thessalonians 5:12-23 which has advice to the congregation on how to be effective.
Under the Army flag, Major Geoff then formally requested Major David to serve as Hadleigh Temple’s commanding officer by seeking promises to tend the flock, seek the lost and be true to Christ and The Salvation Army.
After making his promises, Major David turned to Scripture. This time to 1 Corinthians, chapter 2, referring to how the apostle Paul felt about his ministry to those people:
“When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. 2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. 4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.”
Major David encouraged his new flock to look ahead referring to how inventions had helped progress and showed a newsreel of the Founder who, in his 70s, adopted the new invention of the motor car to spread the gospel.
With pertinent illustrations, Major David encouraged listeners not to try everything in their own strength, but to realise the support from God through others. He referred to a letter by Isaac Newton in 1676 where the phrase was first used in English and also to 12th Century John of Salisbury who used it in a Latin text. More up-to-date, the phrase is used on the edge of Britain’s two-pound coins. He also reminded Christians to be the giants to help others.