Summer at The Salvation Army brings with it a number of new beginnings as officers around the country transfer to new appointments. Here at the Maritime Division we have nine new officers starting in five locations. Here is our fourth in a six-part series introducing you to them.
Among the new faces in the region this summer are Majors Doug and Jean Hefford at Divisional Headquarters in Halifax. The Heffords relieved Majors Larry and Velma Martin as Divisional leaders last month. Prior to arriving in Halifax, the Heffords worked at Territorial Headquarters in Toronto. Originally from Newfoundland, the Heffords have been officers in The Army for 40 years, serving exclusively in Newfoundland and Ontario up to this appointment. They have served as Corps Officers in numerous locations, served as Divisional Youth Secretaries in both Newfoundland and Ontario and spent two years working at the College For Officer Training in Toronto. Today we speak with Major Doug Hefford, to see how he is settling into his new role at Divisional Headquarters (DHQ).
Tell us about your most recent posting.
Doug Hefford: My last posting was the Officer Personnel Secretary at Territorial Headquarters, a position I held for five years. I worked with an incredible group of people, employees and officers. I worked closely with the Secretary for Personnel and recognized the awesome responsibility she had and the complexity of the issues that she was dealing with. My role was to support her in whatever way I could. It was a happening place. Our department provided information to officers through DHQ on matters pertaining to policy, procedures and processes. Our goal was to serve DHQ staff and officers in the field. I had the privilege of working with fine colleagues and I’m proud of the work we accomplished together.
You’ve never been posted in the Maritimes. Do you have any personal experience with the region?
DH: My sister and her husband were stationed in Dartmouth a few years ago and they were also stationed in Saint John, NB, as well as Jean’s sister and her husband. We have holidayed in PEI as well, for a couple of weeks. So we’ve had an opportunity to see a bit of the country. It reminds me a lot of home, of Newfoundland. There’s a beauty about it, what I call postcard country. We’re looking forward to our travels in the Maritimes and to visit each Ministry Unit. So that will be a bonus, to see new things and experience new things and be part of the culture.
What are your first impressions?
DH: They say first impressions are lasting, so if that’s the case we’re in for a good time because our first impressions have been very positive, because of the people that have made us feel at home and affirmed our ministry. We’re just looking forward to working with people, and building relationships, because that’s what it’s all about really. I think of the officers, employees and advisory boards that have welcomed us, it’s like people we’ve known before and worked with before. It’s just been easy for us to move into a new place and right away call it home.
Even in these early days, what goals or hopes do you have for this appointment?
DH: First of all, my goal is to be responsive to the Holy Spirit and grow spiritually myself. And this appointment will stretch me, but every appointment I’ve ever had in 40 years in the Army has stretched me. So I depend upon God’s strength, grace and power to lead. I want to be a good follower, so I can be a more effective leader. We believe that the Lord has placed us here for purpose. He’s placed us here to be shepherds, for sure, so we take it seriously. Our flock now includes Ministry Units, officers and employees in New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia, and these people have been entrusted to us, and we want to lead by example. If I have a checklist, it’s: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Those are good qualities and I want those qualities to grow in me as I give leadership to this Division. I’m thankful for the team I have at DHQ and the wonderful way that the Division embraced us and encouraged us. We have fine men and women on our advisory boards and I want to know them better. They have much to offer from life experiences and their advice will be most helpful. Another goal would be getting close to officers and Ministry Units and coming alongside them to encourage, help and mentor and do whatever I need to do to make them succeed in ministry. I should say that I will challenge and correct as necessary, I’m not afraid to make tough decisions, if that’s what’s required, but I pray that my actions will always be tempered with grace, because I want to serve well. I thank my predecessor, the Martins, for the good work done during their tenure, and going forward I want to build upon that. I want to listen to the Spirit. I want to win people for Christ and make a difference in their lives. And I plan to work hard to grow the Kingdom of God in the Maritimes. This is God’s work, God bless The Salvation Army.