Lt. Colonels Tom and Jackie Bowers visit a corps in India while leading the Salvation Army World Service Office.

Significant appointments and sophisticated style belie Lt. Colonels Thomas and Jacalyn Bowers’ tenant of officership— simply, serving Jesus. Everything flows from there. No matter the location or responsibility, challenge or opportunity, it’s all been about being faithful to serve the Lord to the best of their ability.

“Settle in your heart once and for all what ‘success’ really looks like,” advised Colonel Tom. “Let me make it easy for you: success equals faithfulness. Nothing else is more important. Be faithful to God, and He will take care of the rest.”

“I am simply a steward of what God has chosen to entrust to me,” he continued, explaining how each appointment stretched his God-given gifts and abilities, some more than others, and prepared him for future appointments, greater responsibilities, and ultimately his final appointment leading The Salvation Army World Service Office (SAWSO).

“I would have never guessed that I would be considered for National Secretary of SAWSO,” he remarked, saying tongue-in-cheek that on the surface it could have easily looked like a mistake since he had little understanding of what SAWSO entailed. He soon learned it’s one of the Army’s best kept secrets and that, indeed, his previous 37 years of officership had prepared him for the challenge.

Upon their move to Washington, Colonel Jackie joined him for four years in leading SAWSO and then was appointed to the program department at National Headquarters.

Serving in the programming arena, whether in corps, divisional, territorial or national headquarters, is where she has felt most content and has used her abilities best.

She has loved working with people, leading them to Christ, talking about hope of salvation and living by the power of the Holy Spirit, pressing home the need to daily study God’s Word and be in prayer despite demanding responsibilities and busy schedules. Hands down, her favorite times have been spent with young people no matter her role. “Seeing kids’ lives change and them growing in the Lord and becoming great leaders in the corps or Salvation Army officers made my heart happy,” Colonel Jackie reflected.

In fact, it was the example of her corps officers when she was a young girl in Moline, Ill., that God first used to draw her to this calling which led to a wonderfully fulfilling life. “I can say through all the years of service, amidst good and difficult times, I will never regret doing God’s will for my life,” she said.

Colonel Tom echoed that sentiment, “I just want to thank God for the privilege of serving others as a Salvation Army officer. It has been one of the greatest joys of my life.”

As the Bowers retire after 43 years of service, Colonel Tom concluded a life well lived is about knowing your purpose: to bring honor and glory to God. It’s as simple as that.

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