Honoring the Howards, Richardsons and Websters

The Howards

Love God. Love people. Love life. It’s that simple. Yet, it encompasses everything. That’s what Colonels Janice and Steven Howard will tell you about their life and service.

The Howards’ exceptional 41-year journey as officers has taken them from the streets of Brooklyn, N.Y., to the coast of Maine, the highlands of Kenya, cosmopolitan London and the plains of the Midwest.

While their officership has included ubiquitous appointments like being corps officers, it’s also been sprinkled with unique ones like serving on the staff of the of the International College for Officers and being Chief Secretary and Territorial Leader for Women’s Ministries in Kenya East. After helping to lead the USA Eastern Territory, they landed in the Central Territory seven years ago for their final appointments; they retire from the positions of Chief Secretary and Territorial Leader for Leader Development.

Wherever they’ve served, their authentic faith has stood out. And while their hard work and humor have been appreciated, their effort to connect with and minister to people has been cherished. Their ministry has remained personal. At the office, many people had tea with the Chief, and at their home Bible studies and barbeques were hosted. They’ve even been known to go to a baseball game or two with employees. (Go Cubs!)

“Colonel Janice is a woman of deep compassion who genuinely values people and relationships,” said Lt. Colonel Renea Smith. “Her desire to see people grow deeper in their relationships with Christ, experiencing the fullness of spiritual life through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, has impacted all of us.”

Among the many significant ways the Howards have had a lasting influence on the territory are a focused plan for the development of future leaders that includes 360° evaluations for Territorial Executive Council members including mentorships and executive coaching, the start of a Hispanic Training Program at the College for Officer Training, and a comprehensive employee engagement effort to change the culture and to increase morale and involvement in mission.

“Colonel Steven Howard’s even temper, analytical mind, and personal loyalty to Jesus as a spiritual leader made him an invaluable team member,” said Commissioner Barry Swanson, who’s known the Chief for 14 years and served with him in three appointments. “The phrase that comes to mind as I look back on what I know of his officer career is ‘conscientious integrity,’ that is deliberately choosing to do the right thing in every situation, no matter the cost. Whether dealing with matters of personnel, business, finance or mission/program, he could be depended upon to respectfully speak his conscience.

“Now, for the past seven years we have been friends and fellow soldiers at the Norridge Corps. Despite a heavy workload and extensive travel schedule, I have watched Steve volunteer at Christmas, participate in discipleship training, and faithfully attend Sunday services whenever possible. As he and Janice relocate in retirement, they will be missed by the Central Territory, the Norridge Corps, and by me.”

The Richardsons

Over the course of more than 40 years, Lt. Colonels Lonneal and Patty Richardson have served in more than half the territory’s divisions, leading corps, city commands and three of its largest divisions. From their earliest appointments, they considered it a privilege to serve in urban areas, recognizing that because of The Salvation Army’s uniqueness it could address problems that plague communities. They’ve wanted to be used by God not only to help redeem people but broken systems. Among their notable achievements is the Ferguson Community Empowerment Center, an unprecedented partnership between The Salvation Army and the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis.

In 2020 the Richardsons were appointed as the first Racial Diversity and Inclusion Secretaries for the Central Territory—and the nation. This groundbreaking appointment also made them the first African-American members of the Central’s Territorial Cabinet. They retire from their current roles of Assistant Chief Secretary (Lt. Colonel Lonneal) and Territorial Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Secretaries.

“Your gift of advocacy and support, especially for the marginalized, are not only a hallmark of how God made you but have been an absolute inspiration to those of us who have had the privilege of walking, sometimes marching, alongside you on behalf of others,” said Commissioner Brad Bailey to Lt. Colonel Lonneal at their retirement ceremony.

He continued, “You have demonstrated spiritual courage and tenacity by allowing the Holy Spirit to move you deeply and use you to transform ordinary moments into extraordinary opportunities for men
and women to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior.”

Commissioner Heidi Bailey commended Lt. Colonel Patty, “You have been a faithful officer through trials and joys and have quietly but passionately helped trailblaze justice and inclusion within The Salvation Army, while living the challenges of those realities daily…Your search for perfection, your musical giftedness, your out-of-the-box thinking and love for Jesus have consistently been evident in your ministry, and, consequently, have formed you into a grounded, focused, committed spiritual leader.”

The Websters

Lt. Colonels Bob and Collette Webster are well known throughout the territory. For good reason—they’ve been corps officers, divisional and territorial youth secretaries, divisional leaders and retire from the position of Territorial Program Secretaries. Two of their substantial contributions during 34 years of service include opening and leading the South Bend, Ind., Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center and Colonel Bob ministering after 9/11 at Ground Zero. In any appointment and circumstance, their ministry has been relational.

Lt. Colonel Bob knows first-hand the difference personal outreach can make. He was saved by a youth pastor playing basketball on the streets. That relationship changed the trajectory of his life, setting him on a course to love and serve God fulltime. He has poured his big heart into ministry and, naturally, has been exceptionally passionate about community centers and camps, but also emergency disaster services.

“Bob makes friends easily and naturally. I’d say his ‘I’ve never known a stranger’ ability is one of his best gifts,” said Colonel Jeff Smith. “He builds on those friendships to influence people for Christ, to influence people to give to support Christ’s work through the Army, and by his kindness and thoughtfulness to enrich their lives along the way.”

Complementing Bob’s visionary style has been Lt. Collette’s eagle eye for detail and drive for excellence, not only in her work but in helping people reach the next level in how they serve the Lord. Her sincere desire to see people love Christ and grow in Him has been seen in her love of Bible studies and small groups.

“I have witnessed Collette’s love for God and how that has extended to her love for people. In her appointments through the years, she has made deep and long-lasting relationships because of her response to personal/family/social needs,” said Lt. Colonel Christine Merritt who’s known her for 31 years.

She continued, “Collette is very discerning regarding what concerns a person the most. She is always available to celebrate with anyone the triumphs and expressions of God’s goodness. If I can apply one word to Collette’s ministry, it is ‘steadfast,’ as found in 1 Corinthians 15:58. This is how she practices her relationship with Jesus as her firm foundation regardless of circumstances and how she perceives her faithful God.”




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