Sixteen cadets of the Witnesses for Christ Session have been commissioned as Salvation Army officers with the rank of lieutenant. Salvationist.ca asked them to share their personal testimonies as they prepare to fulfil God’s mission in the world.
Lieutenant Danette Downtown
Since arriving at CFOT, God has been stretching and developing me into his type of leader. He has blessed me with ministry opportunities that I could never have dreamed of and friendships that will last forever. I look forward to what he has in store for my ministry. Whatever it is, I trust him to always be by my side.
Appointed: Charlottetown, Newfoundland and Labrador Division
Lieutenant Matt Sheils
God placed full-time ministry upon my heart at the age of 16. During the past two years I have been learning to trust that God can do amazing things with my strengths and especially my weaknesses. With this great assurance of God’s power and presence, I confidently look to the road of service awaiting me.
Lieutenant Rachel Sheils
Honestly, it was an intense training program, but how else could they teach all they needed to in only two years? I have learned so much in the classes, in field training and living in community. In my future ministry, I pray that I will live a life worthy enough to hear God say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
Appointed: Drumheller Community Church, Alta., Alberta and Northern Territories Division
Lieutenant Anne-Marie Dagenais
The College for Officer Training was challenging, but wonderful as I struggled to learn the English language. I grew a lot spiritually, developed more self-discipline and learned how to depend on God. My hope is that I will “rejoice always, pray continually [and] give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will … in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
Lieutenant Claude Dagenais
In training for officership, I am blessed to have had my session-mates and the CFOT staff. They have inspired me to be accountable for every aspect of my life, so that I will live up to the trust that people put in me. This training is much more than academics and serving the poor; it has strengthened my identity in Christ. I live to be a Salvation Army officer.
Appointed: Kirkland Lake Community Church/Timmins, Ontario Great Lakes Division
Lieutenant Hannah Jeffery
A journey that began four years ago at Halifax Citadel Community Church is truly a journey that has only just started. I felt strongly that God wanted me to join The Salvation Army and become an officer. During my time at CFOT, he has been molding and shaping me, and I have deepened my faith and increased my knowledge of God and his Word. My heart is on fire to serve people and fulfil the Army’s mission.
Lieutenant Robert Jeffery
At CFOT, I’ve learned what it means to serve God by serving others. I feel better equipped to minister as an Army officer and I am very excited to move into the mission field. I look forward to the many soldiers, adherents and soon-to-be believers that I will be able to journey with. What an adventure!
Appointed: Spryfield Community Church, N.S., Maritime Division
Lieutenant Amanda Robinson
I will forever treasure my years at CFOT. I have had the opportunity to travel the Army world and to meet many wonderful people. I have grown more deeply in love with God. He continues to confirm my calling. I take my first lieutenant’s steps confidently and boldly, knowing that I will be a witness for Christ to all whom God brings my way.
Lieutenant Peter Robinson
My time at CFOT has been a blessing and a period of immense spiritual growth. With my first appointment approaching, I am excited to be starting full-time ministry with my wife, Amanda. We will bring energy and passion to all that we do. We are particularly passionate about leading youth to the Lord and then discipling them as they mature in Christ.
Appointed: West End Community Church, Somerset, Bermuda Division (pending visa approval)
Lieutenant Mike Mailman
In these past two years I have acquired a practical knowledge of theology and a much deeper biblical understanding. I have also gained invaluable insight into grace, holiness and the Kingdom of God on earth. I look forward to continued learning and growth throughout the rest of my life and ministry.
Lieutenant Melissa Mailman
How thankful I am for my training at CFOT. My life has been marked by countless memories of the staff, whom I admire, and my session-mates, whom I love and appreciate. This place has fostered spiritual growth, self awareness and a greater passion for the Army’s mission. I am eager to meet and minister with people as my husband and I live out our mission together.
Appointed: Weyburn, Sask., Prairie Division
Lieutenant Rebecca Pretty
At CFOT I have been stretched, challenged, transformed and humbled. God has given me a passion to disciple and encourage people in their spiritual walk. My heart’s desire is to bring God and his love to all people, loving them wholeheartedly. I will disciple them so that they can grow closer to Jesus Christ and experience hope in him.
Appointed: Hazelton, British Columbia Division
Lieutenant Jon Savage
I feel blessed to have been a part of this training experience. God has repeatedly confirmed his calling upon my life and I am eager to apply all that I have learned to serve him in ministry. I thank God every day for the opportunities I have had to serve through training college and look forward to his plans for me in the future.
Lieutenant Tracy Savage
Through CFOT I have been blessed by a variety of ministry opportunities in Winnipeg, British Columbia and Ontario. I cherish the moments of community life, learning and spiritual formation. These experiences have challenged and shaped me to be the best I can be for God and the Army. I look forward to all that God has planned for our service as Salvation Army officers.
Appointed: Hanover, Ontario Great Lakes Division
Lieutenant Deanna Scott
My time at training college has not only been a wonderful experience of intense learning and growth, but also a treasured time of fellowship with others. In anticipating full-time ministry, I am excited about building relationships with people and helping them in their relationship with Christ.
Lieutenant Ian Scott
CFOT—What a journey! Over these last two years I have been constantly challenged to examine God’s work in my life and in the lives of those I meet. As I move out into full-time ministry, I look forward to the new experiences and challenges God has in store for me.
Appointed: Charlottetown, P.E.I., Maritime Division
Officer Training Residential Program
These 16 lieutenants participated in an intensive two-year residential program of studies at the College for Officer Training in Winnipeg. This program integrates learning in academic courses, field placements and spiritual formation experiences. Courses include biblical studies, Salvation Army theology, mission and history, human diversity, homiletics and other ministry-based courses. Field placements in Winnipeg form the heart of cadet ministries and include ministry opportunities in corps, Salvation Army social services and partnerships with other Christian organizations in the city. Cadets are also given leadership opportunities in other parts of the territory and, occasionally, even internationally. Complementing CFOT’s strong emphasis on personal disciplines and communal worship is the nurturing of small groups and mentoring relationships.
While the curriculum is primarily intended to meet requirements for commissioning as a Salvation Army officer, CFOT’s relationship with William and Catherine Booth College enables the program to be academically accredited. This means that a newly commissioned officer has completed a substantial portion of an undergraduate degree offered by Booth College. The ultimate goal of the training program is to produce officers who “know God, know themselves and know their mission.”