6,000 Salvationists Hold Milestone Family Conference

Salvationists from all over the Southern U.S. gathered for a “family conference” at the Gwinnett Center near Atlanta, Ga. Some 6,000 Salvationists, young and old, joined the Army’s general John Larsson and Commissioner Freda Larsson for the June 3-5 “weekend gala.”

According to the U.S. Salvation Army, the weekend was a “milestone in many ways.” One such milestone was the establishment of the Evangeline Booth College.

The Salvationist College will comprise of four schools: The School for Officer Training; The School for Continuing Education; The School for Urban Ministries; and The School for Leadership Development.

Throughout the weekend, attendees hear seminars led by family specialists and multicultural leaders. There were also music groups and plenary sessions for toddlers.

According to the International Salvation Army, each day had a different theme to emphasize the Southern Territory’s mission statement: 'Salvationists of the USA Southern Territory are answering God’s call to make radical followers of Jesus Christ who love inclusively, serve helpfully and disciple effectively in the communities where they live.'

On Friday, the theme – “The Door is Open Wide!” – emphasized the importance of inclusive love. Following that theme, Larsson challenged the Salvationists to love everyone without exception.

“We are all brothers and sisters in the family of God. Thank God for the gift of family love and the Christ-centered family life,” he said.

On Saturday, the sessions emphasized serving “helpfully” and welcoming others to the family.

Sunday’s session closed the family conference with a call to disciple “effectively.”

In his last message, Larsson called on the army to move forward with the Holy Spirit.

'If we’re open to him, the Lord will show us the way he wants us to go,” he said. “And by the Holy Spirit’s strength – make the mission of Jesus the mission of our own lives.”