|General of The Salvation Army|
|The Salvation Army|
|Type||Chief Executive Officer|
|Residence||London, United Kingdom|
but must be under 68 years old
|Term length||Five years,|
extendable up to a maximum of seven years
|Constituting instrument||The Salvation Army Acts of 1931 and 1980 via the Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Formation||2 July 1865|
|First holder||William Booth|
|Deputy||Chief of the Staff|
General is the title of the international leader and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Salvation Army, a Christian denomination with extensive charitable social services that gives quasi-military rank to its ministers (who are therefore known as officers). The General is elected by the High Council of The Salvation Army and serves a term of five years, which may be extended to seven years. According to the organisation, the General is purported to be appointed by God, and the council identifies that person. Lyndon Buckingham is the current general, who assumed office on 3 August 2023 upon the retirement of Brian Peddle. The organisation's founder, William Booth, was the first and longest-serving general. There have been 22 generals as of 2023.
History and procedures for election
Usage of the title "General" within the context of The Salvation Army, began with the founder of The Salvation Army, William Booth. His wife, Catherine Booth, the organisation's co-founder, became known as the "Mother" of The Salvation Army. General Booth served as General until his death in 1912; Booth selected his son, Bramwell Booth as his successor. It was William Booth's intention to have each General dictate their successor, but the Salvation Army Act of 1931 passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom requires that each General is selected by the High Council of The Salvation Army. Every General after Bramwell Booth has been selected by the High Council. In accordance with the Salvation Army Act of 1931, a General must retire at age 68 and may serve as long as seven years. The General is elected by the High Council when their predecessor retires or dies (known within the Salvation Army as being promoted to Glory). William Booth was the only general to die in office. The High Council is composed of the Chief of the Staff, all active commissioners, except the spouse of the incumbent General, and all territorial commanders. The High Council may also remove a General from office for violations of their "covenant to God", disability, or the inability to fulfill their duties, though this has never happened.
The officer of the Salvation Army who is elected general is the worldwide spiritual leader of the Salvation Army and the Chief Executive Officer of the organization. The General has a role that is similar to the Pope's role within the Catholic Church. Since The Salvation Army maintains a hierarchical, quasi-military structure, all appointments and regulations are issued under the General's authority.
On January 31, 2011, after 10 days of meetings which began on January 21, 2011, the 17th High Council elected Linda Bond as the 19th General of The Salvation Army. Bond was the third woman to hold the post and the fourth Canadian. This election was handled by the largest High Council in history and was especially significant due to the number of women delegates (57) outnumbering the number of men delegates (52).
On 3 August 2013 the then-Commissioner André Cox was elected by the High Council of 2013 as the 20th General of The Salvation Army. The High Council of 2018 selected Brian Peddle as Cox's successor in May 2018; he took office in August 2018.
On 26 May 2023 the High Council of 2023 elected Lyndon Buckingham as Peddle's successor.
In the event of vacancy, either by death or resignation, the Salvation Army Act of 1980 requires that the Chief of the Staff of The Salvation Army serve as acting general if a successor had not already been elected. The most recent instance of vacancy was in 2013 when Linda Bond retired unexpectedly; Andre Cox served as acting general.
List of living retired Generals
There are four retired generals living. The most recent general to die was Shaw Clifton on 29 May 2023.
The General serves as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of The Salvation Army at the international level, but the organization is divided into many subunits controlled by other individuals. For instance, Commissioner Kenneth Hodder, appointed by Peddle, serves as the National Commander of The Salvation Army of the United States.
Generals of The Salvation Army
|Term of office||Nationality||Chief of the Staff|
|Took office||Left office||Time in office|
|2 July 1865||20 August 1912 †||47 years, 49 days||Bramwell Booth|
|21 August 1912||13 February 1929||16 years, 176 days||T. Henry Howard|
|14 February 1929||11 November 1934||5 years, 270 days||Henry Mapp|
|4||Evangeline Booth OF
|11 November 1934||1 November 1939||4 years, 355 days|
|Alfred G. Cunningham|
|1 November 1939||21 June 1946||6 years, 232 days|
|21 June 1946||1 July 1954||8 years, 10 days||John Allan|
|1 July 1954||23 November 1963||9 years, 145 days|
|William J. Dray|
|Norman F. Duggins|
|23 November 1963||21 September 1969||5 years, 302 days|
|21 September 1969||6 July 1974||4 years, 288 days||Arnold Brown|
|6 July 1974||5 July 1977||2 years, 364 days||Arthur E. Carr|
|5 July 1977||14 December 1981||4 years, 162 days||W. Stanley Cottrill|
|14 December 1981||9 July 1986||4 years, 207 days|
|9 July 1986||9 July 1993||7 years, 0 days|
|9 July 1993||18 May 1994||313 days||Earle Maxwell|
|23 July 1994||23 July 1999||5 years, 0 days|
|23 July 1999||13 November 2002||3 years, 113 days||John Larsson|
|13 November 2002||2 April 2006||3 years, 140 days||Israel Gaither|
|2 April 2006||2 April 2011||5 years, 0 days||Robin Dunster|
|2 April 2011||13 June 2013||2 years, 72 days|
|3 August 2013||3 August 2018||5 years, 0 days||William A. Roberts|
|3 August 2018||3 August 2023||5 years, 0 days||Lyndon Buckingham|
|3 August 2023||Incumbent||125 days||Edward Hill|
Below is a timeline of Salvation Army Generals' terms in office.
- "2023 High Council: Day One". salvationarmy.org. 22 May 2023. Retrieved 22 May 2022.
- "The Salvation Army International - What is the High Council?". www.salvationarmy.org. Retrieved Dec 2, 2020.
- Coutts, John (1977). The Salvationists. Oxford, England: A R Mowbray & Co Ltd. p. 27. ISBN 0-264-66071-4.
- "Linda Bond Named General-Elect". Caring Magazine Online. Caring Magazine. Retrieved 28 May 2023.
- "The Salvation Army International - Commissioner André Cox elected 20th General of The Salvation Army". www.salvationarmy.org. Retrieved Dec 2, 2020.
- "IHQ Announces Retirement of General Linda Bond". salvationist.ca. The Salvation Army. Retrieved 30 May 2023.