A huge Armyrenewal salute to Major Jo Norton who was promoted to Glory this afternoon after a short illness. Jo’s ministry was a mighty Kingdom ministry, she was a true woman of God and a mighty prayer warrior and leader. There are precious few like her.
Jo Norton has had a profound impact on my own life and ministry. As much as 12 years ago, when I was experiencing the Roots events for the first time, it was in Jo I saw a very different Salvation Army officer and a radically different Salvation Army in contrast to all that I had experienced.
I always remember her testifying that after becoming a Christian, she had two questions. She would read the book of Acts and ask ‘ok, when do we do that stuff?’ and she would read Salvation Army history and say ‘excellent, when do we get stuck in?’ Having gotten over the dismay that the reality was far from the records, she set her face towards seeking God and his Kingdom and indeed showed the Salvation Army something different.
Jo’s ministry had a profound impact on the direction of Pill Corps whilst we were appointed there. During our Aggressive Christianity Conference, Jo provided timely prophetic ministry which I know that many can look back to as being a decisive change in Pill.
Her influence through the 24/7 prayer movement and the Wandsworth Boiler Room in particular have had an influence on the Army that is simply immeasurable.
I have to be thoroughly honest. I don’t understand why God has taken her from us. Her death is devastating to me. She was a hero of mine. I look across the face of The Salvation Army in the UK and ask who will take her place, who will take up the mantle. God’s Kingdom is bigger than one person, of course it is. Her gain is now very much our loss.
I thank God for Jo Norton and pray blessing and peace on her husband, her children and the great team at Wandsworth SA boiler room.