By Jameson Chauluka
President Lazarus Chakwera yesterday praised the Salvation Army for its role in national development initiatives.
Chakwera was speaking during the installation of the church’s first ever Malawian territorial leaders, colonels Alfred and Pamela Banda.
He said Salvation Army could not be separated from the country’s history.
“Today I have seen the passion with which the Salvation Army serves as the first Malawian national leaders are being installed. Colonel Alfred Banda Territorial Commander and Colonel Pamela Banda President of Women Ministry; I say congratulations,” he said.
Chakwera said the church played a key role in instilling mindset change in people which, in turn, spurs development. The two church leaders are the first Malawian territorial leaders since the church became independent of the administration in Zambia.
In his acceptance speech, Banda pledged to help in the fight against gender-based violence, saying this was a national problem that needed concerted efforts to address. He also said he intended to employ the servant leadership style in managing the church.
“I want to emulate your leadership your Excellency [Chakwera]. Even though you are in the highest office of the land, you said you don’t want to be a boss but a servant. That is what I want to do. I too will be a servant of the people of God,” he said.
In her sermon after being installed leader of Women Ministry in Malawi, Pamela Banda urged people to unite.
“Whether in good or bad [times], where there is unity there is always success. It is important that we, as a country, unite [so] that nobody is bribed,” she said.
Reverend Francis Mkandawire, General Secretary of Evangelical Association of Malawi, challenged the church to continue working with the government so that people’s living standards could improve.
According to https:// www.salvationarmyusa. org/usn/history-of-thesalvation-army/, William Booth set what is now called the Salvation Army in motion.
“Soon after beginning his ministerial career in England in 1852, William Booth abandoned the concept of the traditional church pulpit in favour of taking the gospel of Jesus Christ directly to the people. Walking the streets of London, he preached to the poor, the homeless, the hungry, and the destitute,” the church website indicates.