For immediate release
Tuesday, 11 November, 2008
Issued on the Authority of Commissioner Garth McKenzie (Territorial Commander)
The Salvation Army, New Zealand Fiji &Tonga Territory
New head of Salvation Army appointed
Two United States Salvation Army officers have been appointed as the new leaders of The Salvation Army of New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga, effective from March next year.
Lieut-Colonels Don and Debi Bell are officers of the USA Western Territory who have served as Chief Secretary (second-in-command) and Territorial Secretary for Women's Ministries in the New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga Territory since 1 July this year.
Their promotions follow the retirement of Commissioners Garth and Mel McKenzie on 28 February 2009. The Bells take up their new responsibilities, with promotion to the rank of commissioner, on 1 March 2009.
"Since coming to New Zealand in July we have come to appreciate the enthusiasm of Salvationists and the respect with which The Salvation Army is held here," said Lieut-Colonel Bell.
"We look forward to the years ahead and are committed to working towards the eradication of poverty and building a streamlined, mission-focused Army that is a force for God and for good in New Zealand and the islands of Fiji and Tonga."
The Bells have served for over 30 years in ministerial and administrative positions within The Salvation Army USA Western Territory, which covers the 13 western states of the United States and the Pacific Islands of Guam, the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia.
Lieut-Colonel Bell is a graduate of the University of California at Davis, with a double major in Economics and History, and Gonzaga University School of Law in Spokane, Washington, with a Juris Doctorate. He is a member of the California Bar Association, the Christian Management Association and the Christian Legal Society.
New Zealanders Lieut-Colonels Graeme and Wynne Reddish will succeed Lieut-Colonels Don and Debi Bell. The Reddishes are currently working out of London as The Salvation Army's Chief International Auditor and Assistant Chief International Auditor.
Other senior role changes include Majors Ross and Annette Gower, currently responsible for overseeing Salvation Army church activities within the New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga Territory, who have been appointed to the Indonesia Territory. The two will take up the roles of Chief Secretary and Territorial Secretary for Women's Ministries respectively on 1 February 2009.