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Drs. Holz awarded Order of the Founder

“They have touched not hundreds, but thousands of lives,” said Commissioner David Jeffrey, national commander, as he presented Drs. Ronald W. and Beatrice Holz with the Order of the Founder (O.F.), the highest award that can be given to a Salvationist. The Holzes made history as the only husband–and–wife team in the United States to receive simultaneous O.F. awards.

“And in doing so, they’ve proved themselves to be humble servants of Jesus Christ and sterling examples of Salvationism,” Jeffrey said. This was the crowning moment of a stellar evening honoring the Holzes for their twofold ministry as Salvation Army local officers and as outstanding faculty members of Asbury University.

For three decades, their finely honed skills as musical technicians and sterling credentials as educators—married to the highest standards of Christian belief and practice—made them an integral part of both the university and The Salvation Army.

Distinguished among only a handful of Salvationists, they occupied unique positions, Ron as bandmaster of the Salvation Army Student Fellowship (SASF) Brass Band of Asbury University as well as professor of music literature and instrumental music. Bea served as professor of music education and voice and director of the Women’s Vocal Ensemble and the SASF’s Songster leader. The Holzes also served locally at the Lexington, Ky., Corps.

In 1981, Ron and Bea moved to Wilmore, Ky., to take positions on the Asbury faculty. As they had throughout their lives together, they immersed themselves in Salvation Army service, focusing that service at both the SASF and at Asbury and the Lexington, Ky., Corps.

After their long and faithful service, the Holzes felt it was time to retire from their positions at Asbury University. Also, because they were leaving Wilmore, the time had come to retire as well from their unique ministry with the SASF.

“And in doing so, they’ve proved themselves to be humble servants of Jesus Christ and sterling examples of Salvationism,” Jeffrey said.
To commemorate their retirement, a farewell concert was held at the Lexington Corps that allowed one last exercise of their considerable talents.

The concert featured the SASF Student and Alumni Band as well as the SASF Vocal Ensemble and Women’s Vocal Ensemble supplemented by alumni. Special music included a vocal duet featuring S/L Bea Holz and sister–in–law Commissioner Keitha Needham; virtuoso trumpet/cornet numbers by Salvationist Mark Ridenour of the Chicago Symphony; and pianist Cliff Jackson of Asbury University. The night was co–chaired by Dr. Edward McKinley and Dr. David Rightmire, Salvationists and Asbury University colleagues.

Special words of farewell and tribute covered the Holzes’ length and breadth of service. Representing students of the past was Corps Sergeant–Major (CSM) Nancy Holmes Turley, followed by words from Edgar George III, who represented the current SASF. Speaking on behalf of the family with humor and heartfelt insight was Robert J. Holz.

As the evening progressed, the Holzes were further honored by a series of special awards and gifts. Among them was the Great Commission Award, presented by Bandmaster Ronald Waiksnoris from the Eastern Territory. Professor Emeritus James Curnow presented a tribute in music with a special arrangement of “In the Cross.”

Commissioners William and Marilyn Francis, longtime friends, conducted the retirement ceremony. He also presented the Holzes their retirement certificates on behalf of Commissioner Jeffrey.

General Paul A. and Commissioner Kay F. Rader then pinned O.F. medals on the Holzes. The audience responded with a standing ovation.

In retirement, the Holzes will live in Atlanta.

by Major Allen Satterlee

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