When Lieutenant Kyron Newbury was 13 and was playing tuba in his corps band in Bracebridge, Ont., his Salvation Army officer father was in the middle of a sermon when the youth pastor walked up to the stage.
“He brought me down to the altar and said, ‘I need to pray with you. God has told me you’re going to be an officer,’ ” Lieutenant Kyron remembers. “I didn’t want to be an officer. I was going to be a professional musician. That was the dream. But over the years and the walk with God, he kept putting me in situations where I was happy and content, and here I am, married to Emily. And we’re both officers!”
“I was a member of The Salvation Army nine months before I was born,” Lieutenant Kyron smiles. His parents attended the College for Officer Training in St. John’s, N.L., where he was born.
“My walk with God was an interesting one because I was your standard officers’ kid,” he continues. “I believed because my parents believed, but they told my brother, Grant, and me that we needed to decide if we wanted to have a walk with God, once we got old enough to have that conversation. They wanted us to experience a relationship with Christ on our own.”
“God didn’t leave. He still brought people into my life to walk alongside me.” LIEUTENANT KYRON NEWBURY
Lieutenant Kyron’s turning point came in his late teens when his father died. But whereas such a horrible situation might have pushed him away from the church, just the opposite happened.
“After my dad passed is when I saw the church be the church, taking care of our family, caring about us, praying for us,” says Lieutenant Kyron. “There were people all over the Salvation Army world praying for us every day. I had a community to be a part of during such a difficult time, with great and spiritual leaders around me, kind people who loved Jesus.”
Nevertheless, Lieutenant Kyron wrestled with the meaning of God in his early 20s.
“When your dad gets a cancer that should be curable and doesn’t get cured, there’s a lot of questions for a guy named the Great Physician, and I was working through that.”
Yet throughout, God was with Lieutenant Kyron every step of the way.
“He wasn’t with me because I was living a good life,” Lieutenant Kyron says. “I wasn’t. I was a professional musician and I was doing a lot of stuff that God is not a huge fan of. But he didn’t leave. The Holy Spirit still gently convicted. He still brought people into my life to walk alongside me.”
The band he was in was hugely successful, but Kyron was not happy. Though he was “living the dream,” he dropped out of the band and enrolled at Tyndale University in 2011.
“God didn’t change his mind on who I was. I was the one who changed my mind. But God was pointing me in a direction.”
Serving the Kingdom
That direction was officership.
Lieutenant Kyron passed his first-year courses at Tyndale and felt God was telling him that officership is where he wanted him, but he wanted to be certain.
“I was meeting with my corps officer for breakfast, so I prayed, ‘God, if you want me to be an officer, he’s going to look me right in the face and say it. That’s all I want. I don’t need anything else.’ ”
Ten minutes into the breakfast, the corps officer stopped and told him, “God is calling you to be an officer.”
“And I was like, ‘OK, we’re good. I’ve got my answer.’ ”
Lieutenant Kyron and his wife, Lieutenant Emily Newbury, trained as part of the Messengers of the Kingdom Session in 2018-2020 and are now the community ministries officers at The Salvation Army Miramichi Community Resource Centre in New Brunswick.
“Our move to Miramichi has been an excellent one,” says Lieutenant Kyron. “We are looking forward to exploring more of what God has for the Army in Miramichi and how we can be used for his kingdom.”