“Music was always in our home,” says Salvationist Abigail Morson, who grew up in The Salvation Army’s Mississauga Community Church, Ont. With both parents involved in Army music—her father in the Canadian Staff Band (CSB) and her mother in the Canadian Staff Songsters—it seemed only natural that she follow in their footsteps.

Abigail Morson holding a trombone
Morson is a music teacher, Salvationist and member of the Canadian Staff Band

“It runs in the family,” she smiles.

From Sunday school to participating in the young people’s band and singing company, Morson’s early years were filled with faith and music. Today, she plays in the senior band, teaches middle school Sunday school, leads the young people’s band, co-ordinates Mississauga Community Church’s music school and is a member of the CSB, which she joined in 2019.

Outside of church, Morson is a high school music and special education teacher, having studied trombone at university and earned a bachelor of music and bachelor of education. In the summertime, she co-directs junior music camp.

“I think everyone needs to find somewhere that they can serve,” says Morson, who chooses to serve through music and youth ministries. “For some of the kids I’m teaching in music school or at camp, that’ll be music, too. For others, it won’t be. But it’s so important to get involved in service. It keeps us connected to our corps and to our spiritual communities, which helps us maintain a strong faith and relationship with God.”


The idea for the music school came in 2014, when Mississauga Community Church set out to determine what needs were present in the community, and what skills and talents were within the corps that could be leveraged to meet those needs. With many musicians and music teachers in the congregation, the corps determined that a music school might be a good option.

“One of our strengths in The Salvation Army is music,” says Morson, who now assists with co-ordinating the program. “So, offering low-cost music lessons to families in the community was something we could do well.”

Morson (middle) teaches beginner brass players during a staff band trip to Chile and Argentina in 2023
Morson (middle) teaches beginner brass players during a staff band trip to Chile and Argentina in 2023

Today, more than 60 students are enrolled, from senior kindergarten to high school age. The music school includes a kid’s choir, worship team and four brass groups of varying levels. Students come from the community, and many are new to Canada and are learning English, making it a valuable outreach tool and a way to introduce new families to The Salvation Army.

“One boy began attending music school in the fall, and he didn’t speak any English because he had only been in Canada for a few weeks. He was very nervous, but his mom encouraged him to do it,” says Morson. “Within the first hour of him being at choir rehearsal, he’d already made a friend that was speaking to him in his own language, and he was so excited to be there.”

Through the music school, children and youth come into the church building, discover music and practise new skills. They learn theory and the lyrics to worship songs, and through that they are learning about God.

“Music has played such an important role in my life,” Morson reflects. “It’s a privilege to be able to give back and offer kids the same sort of rich musical experience that I had growing up.”


While in high school and university, Morson always spent her summers working at The Salvation Army’s Jackson’s Point and Newport camps in Ontario, and volunteering as faculty at senior music camp and Territorial Music School. In 2022, she began co-directing Ontario’s junior music camp with her husband, Roberto, and Courtney McLeod, children and youth ministries co-ordinator at Mountain Citadel in Hamilton, Ont.

“Camping ministry is so important—there are intentional, unique and beautiful opportunities that arise as campers come and stay overnight at our camps,” says Major Mark Dunstan, divisional children and youth secretary, Ontario Division, and executive director of Ontario Camping Ministries.

According to Major Dunstan, Army camps are not just another summer camp—the gospel message is central and shared. Hundreds of lives can be changed in a matter of only a few days at camp. Campers, along with the people who work there, step outside of their comfort zones as they experience Jesus and grow to be bold in their faith, and many go on to take on leadership opportunities at camp and within their own ministry settings at home.

“At Salvation Army camps, it is invaluable to have someone of Abigail’s personhood, gifts and passion in leadership roles,” says Major Dunstan. “She is gifted in music and leadership, but most importantly, she brings a life centred in Jesus, and a desire to make a difference in the lives of other people.”


Mississauga Community Church has plenty of young adults involved in ministry, and according to Morson, they become involved because they are supported and encouraged along the way by the people at the corps. “Not only have I been supported in my faith, but I’ve also been empowered to lead,” she says. “My voice and my perspectives have always been valued.”

The support of corps officers, divisional children and youth leaders, and spiritual and musical mentors have enabled Morson to take on leadership opportunities in her own life, and to find a ministry that suits her passions and skills.

“God has been faithful and has placed so many wonderful people in my life who have been supportive of my journey,” she says. “What I do isn’t on my own strength. It’s through God that I’m able to do everything that I do, with his support and the support of the people around me.”

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