Founder of the Salvation Armyby Rit Nosotro First Published:: 2003
The Salvation Army is known for their ringing bells and red kettles at Christmas and their many thrift stores. The bells are held by "soldiers" of the Salvation Army who are collecting money for people in need. The story of the Salvation Army is one of hope, passion, and commitment. The Salvation Army has spread from one man's ministry in London, England to a full blown world- wide organization committed to spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ. A quick overview includes the founding of the Salvation Army, the Salvation Army's mission and some of its doctrines, and finally the spread of the ministry into America.
William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army was born in Nottingham, United Kingdom in 1829. At age 13, William took an apprenticeship working in a pawnbrokers shop. While working there he became very aware of the poverty people were living in, he also saw that they had no hope or faith in anything. After becoming a Christian as a teenager, William spent large amounts of time persuading people to become Christians themselves. Once his apprenticeship ended, William married and became a traveling Methodist minister. After several years of service, he felt God calling him to minister to the people in London, England. William moved his family to London and began preaching in the streets. Some missioners overheard his preaching and offered him the opportunity to preach in a tent they had in London. Their ministry became known as The Christian Mission. Eventually the Booth's held meetings in a warehouse of their own. When reading a printing proof of the 1878 Christian Mission annual report, William read the words "the Christian Mission under the (sic) Superintendent's of the Rev. William Booth is a volunteer army." 1 He then crossed out the words "Volunteer Army" and wrote "Salvation Army". Thus, the Army began.
The mission statement of the Salvation Army states, "The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination." 2 The ministry holds many doctrines, some of which are "that our first parents were created in a state of innocence, but by their disobedience, they lost their purity and happiness, and that in consequence of their fall, all men have become sinners, totally depraved, and as such are justly exposed to the wrath of God" 2 Also, "that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments were given by inspiration of God, and that they only constitute the Divine rule of Christian faith and practice" 2
The ministry of the Salvation Army exploded in the British Isles, when Lieutenant Eliza Shirley came to live with her parents in America. She requested that William send reinforcements to her so she could begin spreading the Army into the West. In 1879, the first Salvation Army meeting was held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. On March 10th, 1880, the first missionaries were sent to America. Commissioner George Scott Railton arrived in New York City with seven other untrained women. In 1886, President Grover Cleveland gave the ministry a personal endorsement and received a delegation of Salvation Army officers. This was the first recognition of the Army by the White House. The Salvation Army was well on its way into America. With the coming of the twentieth century, the Army spread into, Australia, France, Switzerland, India, South Africa, Iceland, and many more nations. People may be reminded of the Bible verse "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit". 3
The God-given passions of William Booth lead to hundreds of thousands being converted to Christianity. The Salvation Army has always been there to help with basic needs including shelter, food, a bath, and a hope in eternal security. Many will hear the bells ringing at Christmas time.the bells of the Salvation Army.
Where was William Booth born?
a. Nottingham, England
b. Nottingham, United Kingdom
c. London, England
Who offered for William Booth to speak in a tent they own in London?
a. A bartender
b. Some Missioners
c. A drunkard
What was the Salvation Army first was named?
a. The Christian Army
b. The Christian Mission
c. The Salvation Mission
Where was the first American Salvation Army Meeting held?
a. New York City, New York
b. Washington DC, Virginia
c. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania