“The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian church. Its message is based on the Bible, ministry is motivated by the love of God and its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.”
Each and every day across the globe, officers and staff members of The Salvation Army strive to meet the basic human needs with the priorities of food and shelter. At certain times, these needs extend to providing spiritual comfort and raising hope and esteem.
In Bradenton, we serve an average of 10,000 meals each and every day.
Our shelters provide a safe place to sleep for close to 200 people–men, women and children–each night.
Last Christmas, our Adopt-A-Family and Angel Tree programs provided gifts for more than 3,000 Manatee County children.
This spring, our Emergency Disaster Services team served more than 100 meals to first responders at a five-alarm fire in Bradenton.
The social services department assists families with eviction and utility shut-off notices, helping people stay in their homes.
William Booth knew he could get the message to the poor, the hungry, the homeless, and the destitute. His believed he could send converts to established churches of the day, but soon he realized that the poor did not feel comfortable or welcome in the pews of most churches and chapels in Victorian England. Regular churchgoers felt uncomfortable when these shabbily dressed, unwashed people came to join them in worship.
Booth founded a church especially for them – the East London Christian Mission. The mission grew slowly, but Booth’s faith in God remained undiminished.
In May of 1878, Booth summoned his son, Bramwell, and his good friend George Railton to read a proof of the Christian Mission’s annual report. At the top it read: THE CHRISTIAN MISSION is A VOLUNTEER ARMY. Bramwell strongly objected to this wording. He was not a volunteer: he was compelled to do God’s work. In a flash of inspiration, Booth crossed out “Volunteer” and wrote “Salvation.” The Salvation Army was born.
By the 1900’s, the Army spread to 36 countries, including the United States of America. This well-organized, yet flexible structure inspired a great many much-needed services: women’s social work, the first food depot, the first day nursery and the first Salvation Army missionary hospital. During World War II, The Salvation Army operated 3,000 service units for the armed forces, which led to the formation of the USO.
Today, The Salvation Army is stronger than ever. Now, in 126 nations around the world, The Salvation Army continues to work where the need is greatest, guided by faith in God and love for all people.