Behind the Scenes at High Council | Women

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Behind the Scenes at High Council

Ever wondered what really happens at High Council?
Posted July 10, 2023

Whenever a Salvation Army general retires, leaders from The Salvation Army world gather together to elect the new General. Commissioners Julie and Mark Campbell were there representing the New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga and Samoa Territory. We asked Julie what the experience was really like ...

Fascinating Facts about High Council ...

  • General William Booth's intention was the leadership of the Salvation Army would be chosen by the current General. However, this only happened once: When William chose his son Bramwell Booth as his successor.
  • The High Council, created in 1904, was originally intended only as a safeguard in case the general was not able to choose their successor. But this happened with the very next leader, when General Bramwell refused to step down during a long illness. This created a crisis in the Army world when Bramwell took the High Council to Court. 
  • The High Council won the court battle, which led to the passing of The Salvation Army Act of the British Parliament, in 1931. This meant the general could no longer choose their successor, they were required to retire at age 70, and Army assets were held by a trustee company - instead of being the sole stewardship of the General.
  • Even today, the gathering of the High Council is a legal process. Members are made up of Territorial leaders around the world, who gather together to elect a new General.
  • Only since 1980 is a nominee for General required to be a Salvation Army officer.
  • Out of 22 generals, only 3 have been women.
  • Our current General, elected in 2023, is General Lyndon Buckingham - who is from New Zealand!