Commissioner Israel Gaither, National Commander of The Salvation Army in the United States, visited Indianapolis on Friday, May 16. The Commissioner spoke at Indianapolis Downtown Kiwanis Luncheon and also delivered the commencement address at Taylor University the following day.

In his speech, Commissioner Gaither stressed that we can no longer ignore that fact that our children are in danger from the negative influences and environments of this world. He stated that The Salvation Army, Kiwanis, and Taylor University all have the same responsibility: to positively change the lives of these children through our service and support.

The following day, Commissioner Gaither received an honorary degree during 2008 commencement exercises at Taylor University on Saturday. The degree, Doctor of Divinity, Honoris Causa, was one of two presented during the event. Gaither also served as the featured speaker for Taylor’s commencement:

Thank you for this honor to be here for this moment in the continuing life of this outstanding institution. I don’t think I will ever forget the images and emotion and meaning of this day. You have chosen to bless me with this privilege and I receive it as another signal from our Lord that I can do absolutely nothing less than to make this moment a moment of my recommitment of my life to His service for the cause of His kingdom. It must be understood that this is never about Israel Gaither. It is about the kingdom of our Lord. And I might say too that it is with pride that I too can say I know belong to Taylor University.

A total of 418 graduates received degrees during Taylor’s commencement. Taylor University is an interdenominational liberal arts university of evangelical faith located in Upland, Ind.

The event was part of a series of special events during National Salvation Army Week.