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About The Salvation Army

In 1865 William Booth, a London minister, began The Salvation Army. Booth left the pulpit determined to reach out to the poor, the homeless, and the hungry. Booth found that before he could meet spiritual needs he first needed to meet the basic needs of life.

When he first started out he was focused on sending converts to the churches that were already established, but he soon realized that these converts did not feel welcomed in most of those established churches. Many churchgoers viewed the converts with disdain and were put off by their unkempt dress and appearance. Because of this Booth founded the East London Christian Mission, especially for them.

Slowly the mission grew, but Booth remained faithful.

The Salvation Army was born in the May of 1878. Both Booth’s son, Bramwell, and his friend George Railton were asked to read a proof of the Christian Mission’s annual report. The title read ‘The Christian Mission Is A Volunteer Army’. Booth’s son objected to the wording. He felt strongly that he was not a volunteer but rather that he was compelled to do the work of God. Booth replaced the word ‘Volunteer’ with the word ‘Salvation’ and The Salvation Army was born.

The Salvation Army spread around the world by the 1900’s.

Today, The Salvation Army is stronger and more powerful 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.