General of The Salvation Army

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General of The Salvation Army
Brian Peddle

since 3 August 2018
ResidenceLondon, United Kingdom
AppointerHigh Council
Elected by the High Council of The Salvation Army by secret ballot
Term lengthFive years, which may be extended up to a maximum of seven years
But must be under 68 years old
Inaugural holderWilliam Booth

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. Brian Peddle, the current General, assumed the position in August 2018 upon the retirement of Andre Cox. The organisation's founder, William Booth, was the first and longest serving general. There have been 21 generals as of 2018.

History and procedures for election[edit]

Usage of the term General began with the Founder of The Salvation Army, William Booth. His wife, Catherine Booth, became known as the "Mother" of The Salvation Army. General Booth passed on the command to his eldest son, Bramwell Booth, but all Generals after Bramwell Booth have been elected.

The office of General is not restricted by gender. Evangeline Booth, Booths's daughter, was elected the fourth General of the Army, and Australian Eva Burrows was elected the thirteenth General. On January 31, 2011 Commissioner Linda Bond, a Canadian national, was named General-Elect of The Salvation Army and assumed office on April 2, 2011 following the retirement of General Shaw Clifton.

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. Since The Salvation Army maintains a heriarchical, quasi-military structure, all appointments and regulations are issued under the General's authority. Since the results of the 1929 High Council, and with the passage of The Salvation Army Act in the British Parliament in 1931, a General must "retire" at age 68[1]. As of April 2018 there are 5 retired Generals still living.

The General is elected by the High Council when his predecessor is removed by the High Council, retires, or dies (known within the Salvation Army as being promoted to Glory). 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.

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).[2]

On 3 August 2013 the then-Commissioner Andre Cox was elected by the High Council of 2013 as the 20th General of The Salvation Army.[3] The High Council of 2018 selected Brian Peddle as Cox's successor in May 2018; he took office in August 2018. [4]


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 David Hudson, appointed by Cox, serves as the CEO of The Salvation Army of the United States. [5]

Generals of The Salvation Army[edit]

General Took office Left office Nationality Born Died
1st William Booth 1865 1912 United Kingdom 10 April 1829 20 August 1912
2nd Bramwell Booth, CH 1912 1929 United Kingdom 8 March 1856 16 June 1929
3rd Edward Higgins 1929 1934 United Kingdom 26 November 1864 14 December 1947
4th Evangeline Booth, OF 1934 1939 United Kingdom 25 December 1865 17 July 1950
5th George Carpenter 1939 1946 Australia 20 June 1872 9 April 1948
6th Albert Orsborn 1946 1954 United Kingdom 4 September 1886 4 February 1967
7th Wilfred Kitching, CBE 1954 1963 United Kingdom 22 August 1893 15 December 1977
8th Frederick Coutts, CBE 1963 1969 United Kingdom 21 September 1899 6 February 1986
9th Erik Wickberg 1969 1974 Sweden 6 July 1904 26 April 1996
10th Clarence Wiseman, OC 1974 1977 Canada 19 June 1907 4 May 1985
11th Arnold Brown, OC 1977 1981 Canada 13 December 1913 26 June 2002
12th Jarl Wahlström 1981 1986 Finland 9 July 1918 3 December 1999
13th Eva Burrows, AC 1986 1993 Australia 15 September 1929 20 March 2015
14th Bramwell Tillsley July 1993 May 1994 Canada 18 August 1931
15th Paul Rader August 1994 July 1999 United States 14 March 1934
16th John Gowans July 1999 September 2002 United Kingdom 13 November 1934 8 December 2012
17th John Larsson September 2002 April 2006 Sweden 2 April 1938
18th Shaw Clifton April 2006 April 2011 United Kingdom 21 September 1945
19th Linda Bond 2 April 2011 13 June 2013 Canada 22 June 1946
20th Andre Cox 3 August 2013 3 August 2018 United Kingdom Switzerland 12 July 1954
21st Brian Peddle 3 August 2018 Incumbent Canada 9 August 1957


  1. ^ Coutts, John (1977). The Salvationists. Oxford, England: A R Mowbray & Co Ltd. p. 27. ISBN 0-264-66071-4.
  2. ^ "Linda Bond Named General-Elect". New Frontier Online. New Frontier Publications. Retrieved 3 April 2012.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^

External links[edit]