When General Clifton asked, "Who knows the Gariepys?" while calling them out of the vast Giant Center audience to join him at center stage, loud cheers erupted. The author of 26 books, Colonel Henry Gariepy has become known as the most prolific and versatile author in Salvation Army history.
"Some [Salvationists] are drawn into paths and opportunities of service that are very distinctive and often quite unique," said the General. "There is a thing called the Order of the Founder, which allows us to honor distinguished servants of God in The Salvation Army. And so, it is my great privilege this afternoon in the presence of you all to confer upon Colonel Henry Gariepy the Order of the Founder."
The General recognized Gariepy for giving sacrificially in a dedicated manner and for serving as an encourager and role model for other writers.
Time would not permit a response from Gariepy during the Appointment service, but he later shared the following statement with Good News!
"I am inexpressibly honored by such a sacred bestowal," Gariepy wrote. "A countless number have made their contribution to this award by their encouragement and influence, most of all my life partner, Marjorie, who has shared equally with me in every endeavor. I am further grateful for the recognition it gives to the ministry of writing, to encourage others whose gifts can contribute to our literary ministry and heritage. In the first morning after [receiving the award], I placed the Order on the altar as an offering to the Lord, that it may bring honor to Him and that I may be more worthy of it."
That evening, the Gariepys were further honored at a family reunion dinner. "Through a conspiracy between [Commissioner Lawrence R. Moretz, territorial commander] and our daughter [Priscilla], all our family was present, unknown to us until after the ceremony!" he said.