General Eva Burrows Remembered
On March 20, General Eva Burrows (Ret.), one of the most beloved leaders in the history of The Salvation Army, was promoted to Glory. Born in Australia, she served as the Army’s international leader from 1986–1993 and led its return to Europe after the fall of the Soviet Union.
General André Cox wrote: “I join Salvationists around the world giving thanks to God for the life, inspiration, and leadership of General Eva Burrows. Her life has influenced the lives of countless individuals and helped to shape The Salvation Army. I salute a true servant of God!”
Commissioner William Roberts, Chief of the Staff and second in command of the international Army, released a thoughtful tribute, recalling her as “The People’s General.”
“People were Eva Burrows’ passion,” Roberts wrote. “Her interest in people at every level of society was not a professional skill that she had developed. It was an integral part of her nature. Having met a person, she had no difficulty in recalling the name, the face, the family situation, many years later.”
Roberts said General Burrows’ passion in her public utterances was to preach Christ.
“This came out of her own personal experience of Him, which she described thus: ‘The focus and dynamic of my life is Jesus Christ. I will lift up Christ and would challenge all Salvationists to a commitment to Christ which makes them a powerful witness for Him in the world today.’ And on another occasion, she declared: ‘I do not preach Christianity; I preach Christ, as a living Savior.’ ”
Roberts also recalled the words of the famed evangelist Billy Graham about Burrows: “General Eva Burrows is unquestionably one of the most respected and influential Christian leaders of our time. She is also an individual of great warmth, selfless compassion, unusual vision, and profound spiritual commitment. She embodies the spiritual commitment and dedication that led to the founding of The Salvation Army by William and Catherine Booth over 100 years ago.”
The words of Colonel Henry Gariepy, her official biographer, were also quoted by Roberts: “General Burrows, you transcend your generation as one of the greatest leaders of Salvation Army history, a leader of vision who took the Army where it had not dared to go before.”
The New York Times said of Burrows, “To many people, The Salvation Army evokes bell–ringing and red kettles for contributions at Christmas and vans that provide disaster relief. But during her seven–year tenure, General Burrows rekindled the 150–year–old organization’s original goal of evangelism, while insisting, ‘We don’t use social services as a bait to fish for converts.’ ”