A brief history of The Salvation Army
In 1865 William Booth, a young British minister, left the "Methodist New Connection" in order to begin a mission in the poverty-ridden London East End. With his wife, Catherine, he "reached for the worst," rather than cultivate the comfortable middle class.
In 1878, by a fortunate inspiration, the name was changed from the "Christian Mission," to "The Salvation Army." Immediately, the movement captured the public imagination.
Incorporating paramilitary ranks and uniforms, the movement spread throughout the British Isles.
In 1880 the first missionary, George Scott Railton, was sent to New York. With the aid of seven untutored "lassies," The Salvation Army was soon on its way along the east coast of America.
William Booth's ministry recognized the interdependence of material, emotional and spiritual needs. In addition to preaching the Gospel, Booth became involved in providing food and shelter for the hungry, homeless and alcohol rehabilitation for the addicted.
The basic social services developed by William Booth have remained an outward visible expression of the Army's strong religious principles.
In addition, new programs that address contemporary needs have been established. Among these are disaster relief services, child care centers, summer camps, holiday assistance, services for seniors, hospitals and medical facilities, AIDS care and counseling facilities, shelters for battered wives and children, family and career counseling, vocational training, correctional services and drug rehabilitation.
Today, The Salvation Army ministers in more than 111 countries worldwide. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is preached by its officers in 114 languages.
Additional historical information can be found on The Salvation Army's International, National and Southern Territory web sites. See below the links to each site.
USA Southern Territory