Leeroy Gotami – Promoted to Glory

Members of the midlands Salvation Army community are mourning the loss of Leeroy Gotami, who died suddenly at the weekend. Originally from Zimbabwe, Leeroy lived with his family in Birmingham. Having studied Music Technology at The Sixth Form College in Solihull, Leeroy was studying Audio and Recording Technology at De Montford University, Leicester. A keen musician, he worshipped with the Salvation Army’s Leicester South Citadel while at University and at its Birmingham Citadel when at home. Major Adrian Allman, leader of the Birmingham Citadel, said, ‘This is a devastating loss to us all and is quite unexpected. To have such a talented young man taken away from us at such an early age is such a loss; he will be greatly missed.’

In addition to his involvement in the Birmingham and Leicester South Citadels, Leeroy was the youth representative on the Salvation Army’s Territorial (i.e. national) Ecumenical Council and a member of the Territorial Music and Creative Arts group. In March 2022, he had been the youngest member of the Salvation Army delegation at the Churches Together in England triennial Forum, where he, along with other young Salvationists, was an inspiration to leaders from many Churches. Territorial Ecumenical Officer Major David Evans said of Leeroy, ‘I was deeply impressed by his warmth and bubbliness, as well as his love of life, his Lord and the Salvation Army. I know that I speak on behalf of all in the Ecumenical Unit and the Ecumenical Council when I say that we too will greatly miss his fellowship, his spirituality and his enthusiasm.’

Birmingham-based Bishop Mike Royal, General Secretary of Churches Together in England, said, ‘It is with deepest sadness we receive the news of the passing of Leeroy Gotami. It was a joy to meet him at the Churches Together in England Forum and to see the active part he took both in the worship, but also the overall Forum programme. It was wonderful to see him playing full part in such a vibrant group of emerging young leaders from the Salvation Army.’

It is on public record that, on the day Leeroy became a Salvation Army soldier, he sang a song he had composed, which included the words, ‘With Jesus by your side, you’re not alone.’ As Leeroy is (to quote the Salvation Army phrase) ‘Promoted to Glory,’ it is our prayer that Leeroy’s family members Langton, Pamela and Lynn, along with all who feel Leeroy’s loss, will be conscious of the presence of Jesus at this sad time.

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