Salvation Army founded

Salvation Army founded

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In the East End of London, revivalist preacher William Booth and his wife Catherine establish the Christian Mission, later known as the Salvation Army. Determined to wage war against the evils of poverty and religious indifference with military efficiency, Booth modeled his Methodist sect after the British army, labeling uniformed ministers as “officers” and new members as “recruits.”

The Christian Mission, in which women were given ranks equal with men, launched “campaigns” into London’s most forsaken neighborhoods. Soup kitchens were the first in a long line of various projects designed to provide physical and spiritual assistance to the destitute. In the early years, many in Britain were critical of the Christian Mission and its tactics, and the members were often subjected to fines and imprisonment as breakers of the peace.

In 1878, the organization was renamed the Salvation Army, and two years later the first U.S. branch opened in Pennsylvania. During the Great Depression, the Salvation Army provided food and lodging for those in need, and during both world wars it distinguished itself through its work with the armed forces. By then, it had come to be appreciated as an important international charity organization.

Today, the Salvation Army, still based in London, has branches in more than 75 countries. The Army operates evangelical centers, hospitals, emergency and disaster services, alcohol and drug rehabilitation programs, community centers, social work centers, secondhand stores, and recreation facilities. Voluntary contributions and profits from the sale of its publications fund the organization.

The Story of the Salvation Army

The Salvation Army in London. Woodcut engraving after a drawing by Heinrich Egersdörfer (German painter, 1853 - 1915) from the book "Die Gartenlaube (The Garden Arbor)". Published by Ernst Keil, Leipzig, 1883 Image: Getty Images

Salvation Army founded - HISTORY

The history of the Salvation Army began in 1865, when William Booth established an evangelical and philanthropic organisation to preach salvation from sins and propagate purity of life among the poor and destitute people of London's East End. William Booth and his wife Catherine Mumford Booth, who grew up in the most turbulent time of the Industrial Revolution, believed that evangelical work among the poor must be accompanied by well-organised social relief work.

Theological Roots

The Salvation Army, founded by William and Catherine Booth, aimed to continue the tradition of socially committed evangelicalism which dated back to John Wesley's Methodism and American revivalism propagated by James Caughey. Booths' dogma was John Wesley's Arminian theology of &ldquofree salvation for all men and full salvation from all sin.&rdquo (Murdoch 2)

The Christian Mission (1865-1878)

In early 1865, William and Catherine Booth received invitations to preach in London. William began preaching outside the public house in Whitechapel Road called The Blind Beggar, trying to save the souls of people that were not particularly welcomed by the established churches. In late 1865, the Booths founded the Christian Revival Association, an independent religious association, which was soon renamed the East London Christian Mission. It was organised after the Wesleyan tradition. In 1867, the Christian Mission acquired the Eastern Star, a run-down beer shop, for 120 pounds, and turned it into its first headquarters known as the People's Mission Hall, which began to perform two functions: religious and social. It housed people for all-night prayer vigils, known as the Midnight Meeting movement, and also sold cheap food to the needy. (Rappaport 101-2)

Left: General William Booth . Right: Mrs. Catherine Booth both by George Edward Wade.

The East London Christian Mission, which operated as a charitable religious movement, was one of some 500 Christian missions established in the East London slum areas, but it soon began to distinguish itself by its unconventional social work, setting a number of mission stations across East London with the aim to spread the salvation message and to feed and shelter the destitute. In 1870, Catherine Booth started a social scheme called &ldquoFood for the Million&rdquo aimed at helping the poor and destitute. The Mission set up five outlets in East London, which were administered by Bramwell Booth and James Flawn. Hot soup was always available day and night and a modest dinner of three courses could be bought for sixpence, but due to insufficient funding this scheme had failed by 1874. (Inglis 197)

During its first years, the Christian Mission, restricted by a system of commissions and conferences, showed a slow progress in East London because it lacked funds, a firm doctrine, a stable organisational basis and devoted assistant evangelists, who could effectively address the unchurched working-class masses. When revivalist preaching produced a relatively little effect among the East End's, &ldquoheathens&rdquo as they were called by the Booths, a new strategy was devised. The Mission began to use new methods of approaching the attention of slum dwellers through militant language, uniforms, popular music, and a Victorian love of public spectacle.

Since theatres could not operate on Sundays, William Booth decided to hire one for the Mission's Sunday services. His first choice was the Oriental Theatre (Queen's Theatre) in Poplar, which offered music-hall entertainment and had a capacity of 800 people. Next Booth hired the Effingham Theatre, which was described as one of the &ldquodingiest and gloomiest places of amusement in London,&rdquo but it could accommodate 3000 people. Booth's Sunday services were announced by sensational advertisements like: &ldquoChange of performance, &rdquo or &ldquoWanted 3000 men to fill the Effingham Theatre. The Rev. William Booth will preach in this theatre on Sunday next evening.&rdquo (Bennett 22) Booth attracted an audience of 2000 which listened to his preaching with great interest. His strategy was to combine serious preaching with popular entertainment, like that in music-halls.

William Booth and his wife Catherine adhered to the idea of militant or aggressive Christianity, and they believed that autocratic leadership was more effective in spreading evangelisation to uneducated and unchurched working-class masses than traditional forms of pastoral care. In 1870, William Booth assumed the position General Superintendent of the Christian Mission and became &ldquothe undisputed leader of the organization.&rdquo (Bennett 45) The popularity of the Christian Mission was growing steadily, particularly outside London, in spite of difficulties and opposition, and by 1878 it had 30 stations and 36 missioners in various locations across the United Kingdom. As Pamela J. Walker has written,

The Christian Mission was part of a broad evangelical missionary effort to reach the urban working class. Its theology drew on Methodism, American revivalism, and the holiness movement. William Booth's open air preaching was similar to the work that had been done by evangelicals for decades. The Mission, however, differed from other home missions. The authority it granted women, its emphasis on holiness theology and revivalist methods, its growing independence, and its strict hierarchical structure were all features that sharply distinguished it from its contemporaries. The Christian Mission was created in the midst of the working-class communities it aimed to transform. It fashioned an evangelical practice from the geography and culture of the working-class communities it strived to convert. [42]

The Birth of the Salvation Army

In 1878, when William Booth was dictating a letter to his secretary George Scott Railton, he used a phrase &ldquoThe Christian Mission is a Volunteer Army.&rdquo His teenage son Bramwell heard it and said: &ldquo Volunteer, I’m not a volunteer, I’m a regular or nothing!” (Gariepy 9) This prompted William Booth to substitute the word &ldquoSalvation Army&rdquo for the &ldquoVolunteer Army,&rdquo which became the new name of the Christian Mission. The last of the Christian Mission conferences, held in August, 1878, adopted unanimously the new military programme of the Salvation Army.

Uniforms, Flags and Tambourines

The Salvation Army developed its new image by emulating the structure and conduct of a military organisation. In the Christian Mission the male evangelists wore modest frock coats, tall hats and black ties. Women evangelists wore plain dresses, jackets and plain Quaker-type bonnets which protected them from being hit by a disrespectful mob that not infrequently threw at them cow manure, bad eggs, or stones. Women also wore brooches with an S letter. After the Mission became the Salvation Army, a type of uniform, modelled on Victorian military garb, was adopted.

In the 1880s, the Salvation Army, which resembled a quasi-military organisation, began to establish its mission stations all over Britain and also overseas. These mission stations were called &ldquocorps.&rdquo Their members wore distinctive quasi-military uniforms, had ranks ranging from &ldquo Cadet&rdquo (a candidate for ministry), through &ldquoLieutenant&rdquo and &ldquoCaptain&rdquo to the highest one &ldquo General&rdquo vested in William Booth. Rank-and-file members were called &ldquosoldiers&rdquo and new converts were &ldquocaptives.&rdquo

Salvationists used military vocabulary to describe their religious practices. For example, revival meetings were &ldquosieges,&rdquo places of worhip were &ldquocitadels&rdquo or &ldquooutposts,&rdquo daily Bible readings were called &ldquorations.&rdquo Birth was referred to as the &ldquoarrival of reinforcements, &rdquo and death was &ldquopromotion to glory&rdquo (Taiz 20). These military metaphors seemed to be more appealing to the masses than traditional preaching.

The first flag of the Salvation Army, designed by Catherine Booth, was presented to Coventry Corps in 1878. Initially, it was crimson with a navy-blue border, which symbolised holiness, and a yellow sun in the middle, which was later replaced by a star, that signified the fiery baptism with the Holy Ghost. The motto written on the star, 'Blood and Fire', stands for the blood of Christ and the Fire of the Holy Ghost. According to a contemporary estimate, at the close of the year 1878 the Salvation Army had 81 corps and 127 officers, of whom 101 had been converted at its own meetings. (Briggs 700)

Thanks to these transformations the Salvation Army became stronger, better organised and more effective. The Army's unconventional evangelistic and social activity, which was manifested by lively processions with banners, cornets and tambourines, appealed to the working-classes more than traditional preaching.

The Salvation Army was a neighborhood religion. It invented a battle plan that was especially suited to urban working-class geography and cultural life. Religious words were sung to music-hall tunes circus posters and theater announcements were copied so closely that observers often failed to distinguish them preachers imitated the idiom of street vendors and congregations were encouraged to shout out responses to the preacher, much as they might in the music halls. Salvationists culled techniques from contemporary advertising and revivalism. Their military language aptly expressed Salvationists' command to do battle with the enemy. The Army regarded pubs, music halls, sports, and betting as its principal rivals, yet its ability to use popular leisure activities as its inspiration was a major facet in its success. [Walker 2]

The Social Wing of the Salvation Army

According to Norman H. Murdoch, &ldquoby 1886 the Salvation Army's growth had come to a halt in England — much as the Christian Mission's growth had ceased in East London by 1874&rdquo (113) — mostly because William Booth primarily preached the need for salvation, i.e. redemption from sin and its effects, but overlooked social work among the poor and destitute.

In the mid 1880s, the Salvation Army developed new strategies which aimed to deal with the poverty and squalor of urban slums. Street preaching, home meetings, prayer groups and Bible study were supplemented by social action. Francis S. Smith, who was for some time a Salvation Army commissioner in the United States, and William Thomas Stead, one of the most distinguished Victorian journalists and a dedicated supporter of the Salvation Army (later a Titanic victim), contributed to the rise of the Social Wing of the Salvation Army. They argued convincingly that the Army should not concentrate on pure evangelism only, but must be involved more actively in social work in order to win converts from the lower classes. William Booth quickly understood these arguments and he endorsed the new strategy which was to involve the Salvation Army in Christian social reform.

Smith and Stead helped Booth to write In Darkest England and the Way Out (1890), an important manifesto, which proposed social and welfare schemes aimed to eradicate poverty, squalor and unemployment in congested urban areas through organised labour exchanges, food distribution networks, co-operative workshops and farms, and emigration of surplus labour to the British colonies.

The Salvation Army magazine, All the World from 1893, reported that in the period from November 1, 1892, to October 1st, 1893, the Social Wing of the Salvation Army provided 3,886,896 meals, 1,094,078 men were sheltered, 1,987 passed through Elevators (work establishments), 267 were provided with situation, 159 passed to Farm Colony and 180 men from Prison-Gate Home were sent to situations (477). Besides, the Salvation Army promoted job creation schemes by encouraging local authorities to employ unemployed people in roadwork and tree-planting on public roads.

In 1893, the Army also expressed 'great interest' in the formation of a Government Labour Department, which would gather statistics and information about vacant jobs. By 1900, the Salvation Army had opened its own labour exchange in London to help poor people find jobs. However, it was not until 1909 that Parliament passed a law which provided for the establishment of nationalised labour exchanges. The social ministry of the Salvation Army became one of its most valuable assets in the last decade of Victorian Britain.

In Darkest England

Booth's book, In Darkest England and the Way Out , made a shocking comparison between darkest Africa and contemporary England. The General pointed out that of the thirty-one million population of Great Britain, three million people lived in what he called &ldquodarkest England.&rdquo Next he described his ideas how to apply the Christian faith to an industrialised society. The book became an instant bestseller &ldquoselling roughly 115,000 copies within the first few months after its publication &rdquo (Robert Haggard 73). Almost immediately Booth received sympathetic responses not only from common readers but also from wealthy individuals, who promised to make substantial donations.

The title of Booth's book alludes to Henry Morton Stanley’s famous travel narrative, In Darkest Africa (1890). The general message of the book was that the subhumane living conditions in English urban slums were not different from those in Africa.

As there is a darkest Africa is there not also a darkest England? Civilization, which can breed its own barbarians, does it not also breed its own pygmies? May we not find a parallel at our own doors, and discover within a stone's throw of our cathedrals and palaces similar horrors to those which Stanley has found existing in the great Equatorial forest? [18]

Booth wanted the general public to fully realise that England was still a divided nation, and the divide between the rich and the poor threatened the spiritual and economic development of the nation.

The Equatorial Forest traversed by Stanley resembles that Darkest England of which I have to speak, alike in its vast extent – both stretch, in Stanley's phrase, &ldquoas far as from Plymouth to Peterhead&rdquo its monotonous darkness, its malaria and its gloom, its dwarfish de-humanized inhabitants, the slavery to which they are subjected, their privations and their misery. That which sickens the stoutest heart, and causes many of our bravest and best to fold their hands in despair, is the apparent impossibility of doing more than merely to peck at the outside of the endless tangle of monotonous undergrowth to let light into it, to make a road clear through it, that shall not be immediately choked up by the ooze of the morass and the luxuriant parasitical growth of the forest &mdash who dare hope for that? At present, alas, it would seem as though no one dares even to hope! It is the great Slough of Despond of our time. [19 ]

The book provided shocking facts and statistics about England's poor, the majority of whom were homeless, jobless and starving. Booth estimated that one tenth of Britain's population, which he called the 'submerged tenth', lived in abject poverty and destitution. Shocked by the ugliness, misery and the grinding deprivation of slum dwellers, under the influence of his wife and collaborators William Booth devised a social relief programme to remedy the moral, spiritual and physical destitution of the poor. It was expressed succinctly by the slogan &ldquosoup, soap and salvation,&rdquo which served as the ideological basis of the Salvation Army.

Booth's social engineering scheme had some affinity with that proposed earlier by Thomas Carlyle. Both of these Victorian sages were concerned with the moral and material conditions in England. Booth included extracts from Carlyle's Past and Present in Darkest England . In writing his book Booth also drew on the social ideas of Cobbett, Disraeli, Ruskin, Morris, among others. Booth's treatise was aimed at revealing the economic, social, and moral problems of poverty, squalor, homelessness and unemployment in England at the end of the Victorian era. He then presented a number of proposals for a great reconstruction of the nation by eliminating squalor, poverty, destitution and vice from congested slum districts.

His welfare scheme proposed the establishment of homes for orphaned children, rescue centres for women and girls who were affected by prostitution and sex trafficking, rehabilitation centres for alcoholics and ex-prisoners. Besides, he planned to organise a Poor Man's Banker Service, which would make small loans to labourers who wanted to buy tools or start a trade, and a Poor Man's Lawyer Service, as well as establishments for industrial labour of unemployed, co-operative farms, and oversea colonies for people who could not find steady employment in England. Booth's programme was founded on both evangelical philanthropy and imperial ideology. His intention was to revitalise England's redundant labour within Britain's imperial expansion.

Booth drew attention to the Salvation Army by advocating a rather simple proposal. If private donors agreed to contribute L100,000, he would establish a number of city workshops and farm colonies to elevate the moral and material condition of the London poor. Within the workshops and colonies, the poor would be required to submit to strict discipline and moral supervision. They were also expected to take their work seriously. Those who graduated from one of the city workshops would be transferred to a farm colony in England later, after they had proven themselves as farm laborers, they would be allowed to migrate overseas, either to a Salvation Army farm colony in Canada or Australia or to a homestead of their own. Pursuant to these goals, the Salvation Army purchased a one-thousand-acre estate in Essex for mixed farming and brick manufacture in 1891. By 1893, the Salvation Army had organized five city colonies in London providing work for 2,700 people &mdash a match factory, a creche-knitting factory, a book-binding factory, a laundry, and a text-making and needlework factory the Salvation Army also sponsored eighteen labor bureaux and a registry office for unemployed domestic servants. Although seemingly quite expensive, many people believed that Booth's program would be cost effective over time, particularly in comparison with the Poor Law. [Haggard 72]

In Darkest England provoked a relatively positive response. &ldquoFew books upon their first appearance have received so much attention, &rdquo wrote an enthusiastic donor in the Contemporary Review , who himself gave 1,500 pounds for the Social Wing schemes (Inglis 204) After the publication of Booth's book the number of individual philanthropists, who aided the General with money and moral support, grew considerably. Many of Booth's ideas were implemented during his life, others were put into action in the 20th century when the state welfare system began to operate.

Rescue Shelters

The Salvation Army ran different types of shelters for men and women in London and other locations in Britain as well as overseas. The cheapest one was the penny sit-up shelter. Its inmates were allowed to sit on a bench in a heated spacious hall all night long. However, they could not lie down and sleep on the bench. If an inmate could spare another penny, he could get a rope put across the bench and was allowed to sleep hanging over the rope. The inmates were woken up abruptly early at daybreak because the rope was cut, and they had to leave the shelter which was then cleaned and ventilated. Another type of shelter, which cost four-penny, was called a 'coffin house' because homeless people could sleep in wooden boxes which looked like coffins. The package included hot breakfast in the morning. In some shelters soup and bread were also on offer.

In the 1890s the Salvation Army started again the soup for the poor scheme. In 1896, the Salvation Army distributed 3.2 million meals, provided lodgings for 1.3 million, and found employment for 12,000 men. By 1890, it had provided a substantial amount of charitable relief through its twelve food depots, sixteen night shelters, thirteen refuges for women, and numerous soup kitchens. The Salvation Army also held annual clothing and blanket drives, sold life insurance, and owned a savings bank during the 1880s. [Henry R. Haggard 72]

The first night shelter for men was opened in 1888 at 21 West India Dock Road in Limehouse. Next shelters were opened at 61A St John's Square, Clerkenwell 272 Whitechapel Road, Whitechapel and at 83 Horseferry Road, Westminster. Some of the shelter occupants could hope to get employment in factories, which Salvationists called, Elevators, because they were to elevate the moral character and the self-respect and capacity of the destitute people. They were trained in carpentering, brushmaking firewood, baskets, paper sorting, tinwork, shoemaking, matchmaking. Others could be sent to the large farm at Hadleigh, where they were trained in agricultural jobs. The farm at Hadleigh-on-Thames, which contained 1,500 acres, trained men in agriculture, joinery, and making of bricks and shoes. About 1,200 men served as colonists during a year. Of these more than 300 were discharged because they were unwilling to work or were irreformable drunkers. (Briggs 709) The Salvation Army also made efforts to secure occupation for them in the British Dominions.

Rehabilitation of Prostitutes

In 1881, a Whitechapel Salvationist Elizabeth Cottrill began to take to her home at 1 Christmas Street women who had fallen into prostitution, or who were homeless, destitute and vulnerable. Her house soon became overcrowded and another house was rented in nearby Hanbury Street for the fallen women. Each woman who entered the Hanbury Street Shelter had to put a penny through a little hatchway to receive in return a mugful of hot, strong, well-sweetened tea, with a slice of bread spread with dripping. Women ate and drank, sewed, knitted, talked, and waited for the evening service in the big hall. They could wash their dirty clothes in the wash-house. For threepence, they could get supper, bed and breakfast. At nine they had to go to bed. Their bedsteads were wooden boxes, placed close side by side. Bedding consisted of seaweed and a large leather sheet with a strap round the neck to prevent its slipping off. The rule of the Shelter was: bed at nine, rise at six, and all out by eight. Attached to the woman's Shelter was a place for mothers and their babies.

In the mid 1880s, Bramwell Booth and his wife Florence Soper Booth, joined Josephine Butler, a social reformer and feminist, and the journalist Thomas Stead in their campaign against the white slave trade. Bramwell Booth, together with W.T. Stead, exposed trafficking of young girls for prostitution. In July 1885, the Pall Mall Gazette published a series of articles, &ldquoThe Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon, &rdquo which described how its editor, W. T. Stead, arranged for the purchase of thirteen-year old Eliza Armstrong for five pounds from her alcoholic mother, with the mother’s full consent that the girl would be put in a brothel. (Bartley 88) Although Stead's investigative journalism was controversial, the articles created a wide public outcry. Catherine and William Booth sent a petition to the House of Commons in support of the Criminal Law Amendment Act, which in the course of 17 days received 393,000 signatures. Ultimately, Parliament passed the Criminal Law Amendment Act in 1885, which raised the age of consent from 13 to 16. (Berwinkle 105)

In the same year, William Booth proposed in the Salvation Army weekly newspaper War Cry a &ldquoNew National Scheme for the Deliverance of Unprotected Girls and the Rescue of the Fallen.&rdquo &rdquo Bramwell and his wife established in London an office for women who were victims of sexual exploitation and formed volunteer Midnight Rescue Brigades to search for streetwalkers in &ldquoCellar, Gutter, and Garret,&rdquo offering them Army's homes of refuge.


William and Catherine Booth were committed to temperance throughout all their lives. They castigated excessive drinking and prostitution as the root of all evil. In 1853, Catherine Booth heard the American temperance crusader, John Bartolomew Gough (1818-1886) at Exeter Hall in London. She was inspired by his arguments and devised a temperance campaign of house-to-house visitation, which she later implemented within the framework of the Salvation Army's social rescue work. By the 1880s Catherine Booth made the Salvation Army &ldquothe world's largest abstinence society.&rdquo (Mumford 30)

The Salvation Army ran several homes for &ldquoinebriates,&rdquo this term referred to people addicted to alcohol, morphine and laudanum. Hillsborough House Inebriates' Home located on Rookwood Road, London, accommodated female patients, who were first admitted free of charge, but in the late 1890s they were expected to contribute 10s. per week towards the cost of their maintenance. Patients usually stayed in the Home for twelve months, or for a shorter period. When the cure was completed, they were returned to their husbands if they were married, and some unmarried patients were sent out to positions, such as servants or nurses, on condition that the authorities of the Home gave them a satisfactory opinion.

Match Girls Strike

Many workers (mostly women), who were employed in the matchmaking industry suffered from necrosis, or &ldquo phossy-jaw,&rdquo which affected workers who dipped the sticks into the phosphorus paste. Young women, who were carrying boxes of poisonous matches on their heads, were bald by age 15. In 1891, the Booths started a campaign against Bryant and May's match factory in London. William Booth bought a derelict factory in Old Ford, London and fitted it with machinery and employed workers to manufacture safety matches. Booth’s match boxes carried the inscription: &ldquoLights in Darkest England. &rdquo Soon his competitors decided to produce safety matches, which did not cause necrosis.

Labour Emigration

In Darkest England William Booth conceived the idea of overseas colonies for English surplus labour. The earliest recorded emigration occurred as early as 1882, when the Salvation Army participated in recruitment of women emigrants for Australia. Then, in 1885, a regular series of notices appeared in the Army's magazines advertising emigration to Australia, South Africa, and Canada. The first emigration ship sailed with 1,000 people from Liverpool for Canada in 1905. By the summer of 1908, more than 36,000 migrants had travelled to the British Dominions under the auspices of the Army.


At the outset, the Booths established an independent Christian organisation with virtually no money and no property. In the mid 1860s they began their missionary work with financial help from nondenominational evangelical societies. (Murdoch 170) The Christian Mission received some funding from the Evangelization Society and a few dedicated private donors. In 1867, Booth set up a Council of ten prominent philanthropists to assist him in the work of the Mission and conceived a more effective fundrising plan. By the early autumn 1869, he had raised 1,300 pounds, with another 1,600 pounds promised, 2,900 pounds altogether. (Bennett 37) This money was spent on the purchase of the People's Market, which was converted to the People's Mission Hall in 1870.

In the same year Booth dissolved the Council and set up a Conference, which consisted of the Booths themselves and evangelists in charge of various Mission stations. The financial situation of Booth's organisation was still bad and debts were not cleared until 1872. In April 1870, The Christian Mission Magazine called for donations and voluntary offerings to keep the Mission going. The Soup Kitchens, run by the Mission between 1870 and 1874, which offered cheap meals to the poor, did not bring substantial revenue to cover the debts of the Mission.

In order to carry his social ministry William Booth was completely dependent on the funds donated by the general public and organisations. The first balance sheet of the Salvation Army for the year ended 30th September 1879 shows total receipts of 7,194 pounds, of which 4,723 pounds (59%) was received from &ldquooutside sources.&rdquo (Irvine 14) During the next decade receipts of the Salvation Army exceeded 18,750,000 pounds. This was due, amongst others, to a more effective fundraising under the control of Bramwell Booth.

In September 1886, when the first &ldquoSelf-Denying Week&rdquo was organised, the Salvation Army started a programme of a systematic small financial contributions as well as large donations, gifts and legacies. Additionally, William Booth decided that each corps must be responsible for raising their own funds. At the end of 1888, Booth requested the Home Secretary to provide funds for the Salvation Army in the annual amount of 15,000 pounds to improve the inhumane conditions of the &ldquo vast numbers of men and women&rdquo in East London slums. The request was rejected, but Booth managed to raise 102,559 pounds from individual philanthropists to start implementing this scheme. (Irvine 17) By the end of the Victorian era, the Salvation Army had been widely recognised as an important Christian social relief organisation and developed effective fundraising techniques which helped it extend its social work in Britain and overseas. All donations collected from individuals and the amount donated were publicised in the annual reports.

Oversea Activity

Confession of an Indian . [Click on image to enlarge it and to obtain more imformation.]

In 1880, the Salvation Army opened its missions in the United States, in the following year in Australia in 1882 in Canada in 1887 in Jamaica in 1898 in Barbados and in 1901 in Trinidad. By the end of the century, the Salvation Army established its posts in several European countries, India, South Africa, and South America. In the 1890s, the Salvation Army had some 45,00 officers in Britain and 10,000 worldwide.

Opposition and Recognition

The unconventional activity of the Salvation Army began to provoke opposition. Many denominations, including the om1.html Church, regarded William Booth's open-air evangelism with suspicion because it allowed women to preach. The politician Lord Shaftesbury condemned the activities of the Salvation Army and described William Booth as the &ldquoAntichrist. &rdquo (Gariepy 31) The magazine Punch called him &ldquoField Marshal Von Booth. &rdquo (Benge 164) Apart from that, the Army &ldquosoldiers&rdquo were initially often persecuted by authorities and mobs.

From the outset the activity of the Salvation Army stirred controversy and resentment in some circles. Critics described Booth's social schemes as totally utopian and impractical. They also put into question the honesty of the General and his family and accused him of authoritarianism. Thomas Huxley, natural scientist and agnostic, wrote twelve letters to The Times in which he tried to discourage people from giving Booth money for his scheme. He described Booth's venture as &ldquoautocratic socialism masked by its theological exterior. &rdquo (7) Charles Bradlaugh, a political activist and atheist, is said to have died muttering: &ldquoGeneral Booth's accounts, General Booth's accounts.&rdquo (Inglis 208)

Many people did not like the Salvation Army parades with loud singing and shouting. Brewers feared that the temperance actions would diminish alcohol consumption. Owners of drink stores organised gangs of thugs, who called themselves the Skeleton Army to disrupt the activities of the Salvation Army. They followed Salvationists' processions carrying skull and crossbones banners and dirty dishcloths on broom handles. Their intention was to mock the practices of The Salvation Army. Meetings were also disrupted by loud jeering, stone and rat throwing. The most violent disturbances against the Salvation Army occurred in 1882, when 56 buildings were attacked and 669 Salvationists were brutally assaulted in provincial towns such as Honiton, Frome, Salisbury and Chester. (Swift 186, 193) However, in spite of violence and persecution, some 500,000 people were on and off under the ministry of the Salvation Army in Britain in the last quarter of the 19th century.

However, the Salvation Army began to gain powerful supporters too. Winston Churchill, who was then the Undersecretary of State, agreed with Booth's social ideas. Cardinal Manning, the Head of the Catholic Church in Britain, wrote a letter to General Booth sympathising with him in his efforts to ameliorate the condition of the London poor. (The Mercury , Nov. 7, 1890 ) Charles Spurgeon, a Particular Baptist preacher, known as the 'Prince of Preachers', also expressed his support for the General. He wrote: &ldquoFive thousand extra policemen could not fill [the Salvation Army's] place in the repression of crime and disorder. &rdquo (Benge 165)

Gradually, the Salvation Army began to earn respect from both the lower and upper strata of society. Although Queen Victoria never gave her official patronage to the activities of the Salvation Army, she sent Catherine Booth the following message in 1882: &ldquoHer Majesty learns with much satisfaction that you have, with other members of your Society, been successful in your efforts to win many thousands to the ways of temperance, virtue, and religion. &rdquo (Walsh 185) Towards the end of the Victorian era the Salvation Army became widely recognised as the champion of the poor and destitute.

By the end of the Victorian Era the social work of the Salvation Army had become officially recognised. In 1902, Booth was invited to attend the coronation of King Edward VII, and in 1907 he received an honorary doctorate from Oxford University. A number of religious leaders expressed support to the social work of the Salvation Army, and Robert William Dale, a Congregationalist church leader, said that &ldquothe Salvation Army was a new instrument for social and moral reform. &rdquo (Inglis 205)


The Salvation Army grew from an obscure Christian Mission, established in East London in 1865, into an effective international organisation with numerous and varied social programmes. By the end of the Victorian era it had become one of the most successful Christian social relief organisations which was not only engaged in street preaching but also in a variety of social services for the poor, destitute and homeless. Its programmes, such as rescue homes for sexually-abused women and rehabilitation centres for alcoholics, drug addicts, juvenile delinquents, and ex-prisoners, anticipated similar welfare programmes in the twentieth century. Although the Salvation Army generally revealed conservative attitudes towards a liberal society, and its members often lived in self-imposed cultural isolation, it nevertheless supported first-wave Christian feminism by allowing women to preach and carry out social work. The spiritual and social ministry of the Salvation Army stirred the social conscience of many Victorians and contributed significantly to a number of welfare reforms in Britain and elsewhere.


In 1938, the first-ever National Donut Day was celebrated in Chicago, and the history of The Salvation Army’s Donut Lassies was officially immortalized. The Donut Lassies were sent to France in 1917 where they established field bases near the front lines. These huts served as locations where soldiers could stock up on essential goods and snag a treat or two provided by the lassies. When it became apparent that baking was going to be difficult to continue during war time, two volunteers – Ensign Margaret Sheldon and Adjutant Helen Purviance – began frying donuts in soldiers’ helmets. Their work brought a light of hope and happiness to the battlefield – a much-needed boost for soldiers who had been there for ages.

The “Donut Lassies” are now often credited with popularizing the donut in the United States when the troops (commonly known as “doughboys”) came back from fighting in Europe. Over a hundred years later, The Salvation Army is still serving on the front lines, now through a wide range of social services for the most vulnerable Americans.

Read the press release to see how we are celebrating National Donut Day this year.

Current organization

The Salvation Army operates in 113 countries and provides services in 175 different languages. For administrative purposes, the organization divides itself geographically into Territories, which are then sub-divided into Divisions. Each Territory has an administrative hub known as Territorial Headquarters (THQ). Likewise, each Division has a Divisional Headquarters (DHQ). For example, Japan is one territory, the United States is divided into four Territories: Eastern, Southern, Central, and Western, while Germany and Lithuania together are one territory. Each of these Territories is led by a Territorial Commander who receives orders from The Salvation Army's International Headquarters in London.

The Salvation Army is one of the world's largest providers of social aid, with expenditures including operating costs of $2.6 billion in 2004, helping more than 32 million people in the US alone. In addition to community centers and disaster relief, the organization does work in refugee camps, especially among displaced people in Africa. The Salvation Army has received an A- rating from the American Institute of Philanthropy.

There are more than 17,000 active and more than 8,700 retired officers, 1 041 461 soldiers, around 100,000 other employees and more than 4.5 million volunteers. It is led by General Shaw Clifton, who has held this position since April 2, 2006 after the 2006 High Council elected him as the next General January 28, 2006.

Current events

Grammy Award winner Kelly Clarkson performed live during the nationally televised halftime of the Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving Day game, which officially launched the 2007 Salvation Army Red Kettle Christmas campaign. [4]


The Salvation Army has a quasi-military ranking structure. Officers are leaders within the movement.

Officer ranks, lowest first [5] [6]
Rank Insignia
Cadet One or two red stripes (representing training year) on a blue background
Lieutenant One silver star on a red background
Captain Two silver stars on a red background
Major Silver crest on a red background
Lt. Colonel Silver crest and silver edging on a red background
Colonel Like Lt. Colonel, except lapel insignia is bordered with silver piping
Commissioner Silver crest with oak leaves, silver piping, and dark red velvet background
Chief of Staff Like Commissioner, with addition of a silver bar under the crest
General Like commissioner, except gold with gold bar under the crest

Cadet is the title given to those in training to be Salvation Army Officers. Lieutenant, Captain, and Major are the regular ranks for Salvation Army officers. A Cadet is commissioned to the rank of Lieutenant (as of March 2008), and after 5 years promoted to Captain, then after 15 years receives the rank of Major in recognition of service. Lieutenant-Colonel, Colonel, Commissioner and General are all special appointment ranks in that they are only given to officers in senior leadership positions.

There are those who serve as non commissioned officers in leadership roles and they are given the rank of Sergeant (USA South) or Envoy. These ranks are usually temporary and only for a period of about three years where they are either renewed or the person reverts back to the status of soldier if they no longer serve in a leadership role.

The Flag

Around the world, The Salvation Army flag is a symbol of the Army's war against sin and social evil. The red on the flag symbolizes the blood shed by Christ, the yellow for the fire of the Holy Spirit and the blue for the purity of God the Father. The star contains the Salvation Army's motto, 'Blood and Fire'. This describes the blood of Jesus shed on the cross to save all people, and the fire of the Holy Spirit which purifies believers.

The flag, designed by General Catherine Booth, precedes outdoor activities such as a march of witness. It is used in ceremonies such as the dedication of children and the swearing-in of soldiers. It is sometimes placed on the coffin at the funeral of a Salvationist. The Salvation Army term used to describe the death of a Salvationist is that of the deceased being "promoted to Glory". This term is still used and upheld by Salvationists.


As the popularity of the organization grew and Salvationists worked their way through the streets of London attempting to convert individuals, they were sometimes confronted with unruly crowds. A family of musicians (the Frys, from Alderbury near Salisbury in Wiltshire, the home of the Salvation Army Band) began working with the Army as their "bodyguards" and played music to distract the crowds. [7] They were also involved in union-busting actions: Salvation Army bands would show up at union actions and attempt to bring down the union activities with hymns and music. [citation needed] This in turn led the Industrial Workers of the World to create their own lyrics set to popular Salvation Army Band tunes, many of which remain in that union's "Little Red Songbook." [citation needed]

The tradition of having musicians available continued, and eventually grew into the creation of true bands. Their musical groups, usually a brass band or smaller collection of brass instruments, are seen in public at Army campaigns, as well as at other festivals, parades and at Christmas. Across the world the brass band has been an integral part of the Army’s ministry and an immediately recognizable symbol to Salvationists and non-Salvationists alike. The Salvation Army also has choirs these are known as Songster Brigades, normally comprising the traditional soprano, alto, tenor and bass singers. The Premier Songster Brigade in the Salvation Army is the International Staff Songsters (ISS).

The standard of playing is high and the Army operates bands at the international level, such as the International Staff Band (a brass band) which is the equal of professional ensembles although it does not participate in the brass band contest (see music competition) scene. Some professional brass players and contesting brass band personnel have come up through The Salvation Army.

Sometimes larger Salvation Army corps (churches) have brass bands that play at Sunday meetings or services. Examples include Parramatta Citadel Band in Australia, Montclair Citadel Band in the USA and Maidenhead Citadel Band in the UK.

The Army tradition in music is to use the popular idiom of the day to reach people for Jesus. The Army's Joy Strings were a hit pop group in the 1960s and early 1970s in the UK and beyond, reaching the charts and being featured on national television. Another popular band is The Insyderz, an American ska-core group in the 1990s and early 2000s. Current bands like New Zealand's Vatic, Chamberlin, Hypemusic and The Lads, England's Electralyte, Australia's Soteria Music Ministries and Escape and America's transMission, The Singing Company, HAB, and BurN, carry on this Salvation Army tradition.

The Salvation Army Florida

William Booth embarked upon his ministerial career in 1852. His crusade was to win the lost multitudes of London to Christ. He went into the streets of London to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to the poor, the homeless, the hungry and the destitute.

Booth abandoned the conventional concept of a church and a pulpit and took his message to the people. His fervor led to disagreement with the leaders of the church in London. They preferred traditional measures. As a result, he withdrew from the church and traveled throughout England conducting evangelistic meetings. His wife, Catherine, was a major force in The Salvation Army movement.

In 1865, William Booth was invited to hold a series of evangelistic meetings in the east end of London. He set up a tent in a Quaker graveyard and his services became an instant success. This proved to be the end of his wanderings as an independent traveling evangelist. His renown as a religious leader spread throughout London. His followers were a vigorous group dedicated to fight for the souls of men and women.

Thieves, prostitutes, gamblers and drunkards were among Booth’s first converts to Christianity. His congregations were desperately poor. He preached hope and salvation. His aim was to lead them to Christ and to link them to a church for further spiritual guidance. Even though they were converted, churches did not accept Booth’s followers because of what they had been. Booth gave their lives direction in a spiritual manner and put them to work to save others who were like themselves. They too preached and sang in the streets as a living testimony to the power of God.

In 1867, Booth had only 10 full-time workers. By 1874, the numbers had grown to 1,000 volunteers and 42 evangelists. They served under the name “The Christian Mission.” Booth assumed the title of a General Superintendent. His followers called him “General.” Known as the “Hallelujah Army,'” the converts spread out of the east end of London into neighboring areas and then to other cities.

Booth was reading a printer’s proof of the 1878 Annual Report when the noticed the statement, ‘”The Christian Mission under the Superintendent’s of the Rev. William Booth is a volunteer army. He crossed out the words “Volunteer Army'” and penned in “Salvation Army'” From those words came the basis of the foundation deed of The Salvation Army which was adopted in August of that same year.

Converts became soldiers of Christ and are known as Salvationists. They launched an offensive throughout the British Isles. In some instances there were real battles as organized gangs mocked and attacked soldiers as they went about their work. In spite of the violence and persecution, some 250,000 persons were converted under the ministry of the Salvationists between 1881 and 1885.

Meanwhile, the Army was gaining a foothold in the United States. Lieutenant Eliza Shirley had left England to join her parents who had migrated to America earlier in search of work. She held the first meeting of The Salvation Army in America in Philadelphia in 1879. The Salvationists were received enthusiastically. Shirley wrote to General Booth begging for reinforcements. None were available at first. Glowing reports of the work in Philadelphia convinced Booth to send an official group to pioneer the work in America in 1880.

On March 10, 1880, Commissioner George Scott Railton and seven women officers knelt on the dockside at Battery Park in New York City to give thanks for their safe arrival. This was to be their first official street meeting held in the United States. These pioneers were to be met with similar unfriendly actions, as was the case in Great Britain. They were ridiculed, arrested and attacked. Several officers and soldiers even gave their lives.

Three years later, Railton and the seven “Hallelujah Lassies”‘ had expanded their operation into California, Connecticut, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

President Grover Cleveland received a delegation of Salvation Army officers in 1886 and gave the organization a warm personal endorsement. This was the first recognition from the White House that was to be followed by similar receptions from succeeding presidents of the United States.

Termed as the “invasion of the United States,” The Salvation Army movement expanded rapidly to Canada, Australia, France, Switzerland, India, South Africa, Iceland and Germany. Currently in the United States, there are more than 10,000 local neighborhood units, and The Salvation Army is active in virtually every corner of the world.

A Brief History of the USA Southern Territory

The opening salvos of the Salvation War were fired in Baltimore, Maryland when the Shirley family arrived there in 1881. Early successes followed throughout Maryland and from there the work spread further through the South.

The South was the focus of attention during the Spanish-American War, as Florida became the launching point for American forces before sailing for Cuba. The first work in America among the military took place here among the troops.

The Salvation Army in the South found its fortunes bound to a farm economy that was dominated by Cotton and tobacco. As prices rose and fell, corps experienced both boom times and bust. The work was difficult to establish but finally it was felt that the region was strong enough to become its own command.

In April 1927, the National Commander Evangeline Booth came to Atlanta to proclaim the opening of the Southern Territory. Appointed to head the new command were Commissioner and Mrs. William McIntyre, native Canadians but whose service was almost entirely in the United States. The opening was not a smooth one as two years later the Great Depression fell on the world.

As the economy improved and as the South tackled the problems created by years of racial segregation, the Army found more fertile fields for growth. It pragmatic approach to social issues and its simple, but heartfelt proclamation of the Christian Gospel has allowed it to grow at a continuing accelerated pace. Currently one of the fastest growing territories in the world the Southern Territory is now experiencing growth in new areas such as ethnic ministries with Hispanic and Asian corps.

Innovative social programs have continued to keep the Army’s work relevant through the transition caused by welfare reform The vitality of its Christian message is witnessed by new corps openings, larger numbers of cadets, larger attendance in its meeting and the optimism that comes with a forward march.

Our History

William Booth embarked upon his ministerial career in 1852, desiring to win the lost multitudes of England to Christ. He walked the streets of London to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to the poor, the homeless, the hungry, and the destitute.

Booth abandoned the conventional concept of a church and a pulpit, instead taking his message to the people. His fervor led to disagreement with church leaders in London, who preferred traditional methods. As a result, he withdrew from the church and traveled throughout England, conducting evangelistic meetings. His wife, Catherine, could accurately be called a cofounder of The Salvation Army.

In 1865, William Booth was invited to hold a series of evangelistic meetings in the East End of London. He set up a tent in a Quaker graveyard, and his services became an instant success. This proved to be the end of his wanderings as an indepedent traveling evangelist. His renown as a religious leader spread thoughout London, and he attracted followers who were dedicated to fight for the souls of men and women.

Thieves, prostitutes, gamblers, and drunkards were among Booth's first converts to Christianity. To congregations who were desperately poor, he preached hope and salvation. His aim was to lead people to Christ and link them to a church for further spiritual guidance.

Many churches, however, did not accept Booth's followers because of their past. So Booth continued giving his new converts spiritual direction, challenging them to save others like themselves. Soon, they too were preaching and singing in the streets as a living testimony to the power of God.

In 1867, Booth had only 10 full-time workers, but by 1874, the number had grown to 1,000 volunteers and 42 evangelists, all serving under the name "The Christian Mission." Booth assumed the title of general superintendent, with his followers calling him "General." Known as the "Hallelujah Army," the converts spread out of the East End of London into neighboring areas and then to other cities.

Booth was reading a printer's proof of the 1878 annual report when he noticed the statement "The Christian Mission is a volunteer army." Crossing out the words "volunteer army," he penned in "Salvation Army." From those words came the basis of the foundation deed of The Salvation Army.

From that point, converts became soldiers of Christ and were known then, as now, as Salvationists. They launched an offensive throughout the British Isles, in some cases facing real battles as organized gangs mocked and attacked them. In spite of violence and persecution, some 250,000 people were converted under the ministry of The Salvation Army between 1881 and 1885.

Meanwhile, the Army was gaining a foothold in the United States. Lieutenant Eliza Shirley had left England to join her parents, who had migrated to America earlier in search for work. In 1879, she held the first meeting of The Salvation Army in America, in Philadelphia. The Salvationists were received enthusiastically. Shirley wrote to General Booth, begging for reinforcements. None were available at first. Glowing reports of the work in Philadelphia, however, eventually convinced Booth, in 1880, to send an official group to pioneer the work in America.

On March 10, 1880, Commissioner George Scott Raiton and seven women officers knelt on the dockside at Battery Park in New York City to give thanks for their safe arrival. At their first official street meeting, these pioneers were met with unfriendly actions, as had happened in Great Britain. They were ridiculed, arrested, and attacked. Several officers and soldiers even gave their lives.Three years later, Railton and other Salvationists had expanded their operation into California, Connecticut, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. President Grover Cleveland received a delegation of Salvation Army officers in 1886 and gave the organization a warm personal endorsement. This was the first recognition from the White House and would be followed by similar receptions from succeeding presidents.

The Salvation Army movement expanded rapidly to Canada, Australia, France, Switzerland, India, South Africa, Iceland, and local neighborhood units. The Salvation Army is active in virtually every corner of the world.

General Booth's death in 1912 was a great loss to The Salvation Army. However, he had laid a firm foundation' even his death could not deter the ministry's onward march. His eldest son, Bramwell Booth, succeeded him.

The Salvation Army Mission Statement

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.

Salvation Army founded - HISTORY

William Booth: Salvation Army Founder, Freemason

To those who claim there is no proof that William Booth founder of the Salvation Army was a Freemason I present the following evidence. Throughout his life we can plainly see that Mr. Booth would put his hand (usually the right) inside his jacket. Why does this matter? In Freemasonry this is called the "hidden hand of Jahbulon" (AKA sign of the master of the second veil) gesture and was done in order to clandestinely show his brother Masons that he was part of their fraternity. The phrase refers to how Freemasons consider themselves to be the hidden hand that shapes world history.

When looking at all the world leaders who have participated in this conspiracy I see no reason to disagree. Jah-bul-on is the combination of the trinity of gods of Freemasonry: Jah (Yah - Yahweh), Bul (Baal) and On (Osiris -worshiped in Egypt as the god On).

If you look closely at the photographs you can see one in which William Booth is wearing a T shirt with the original Salvation Army logo. It depicts the sun wearing a crown which makes sense since Yahweh, Baal and Osiris are all connected to sun worship. It also features a very snake like 'S' seemingly wrapped around the cross of Christ. The snake wrapped around a T-shaped (tau) cross is called an ankh and is also occult in origin.

Below you will find many more examples of Booth making this Masonic gesture the preponderance of which completely rules out the possibility it was accidental. Some have attempted to suggest that Booth did this because he had constant 'tummy aches'. Interestingly, this exact same excuse was used to explain Napoleon's constant usage of this hidden hand gesture in most of his known portraits.

Perhaps the most persuasive evidence of all is the fact that Mr. Booth is listed at the Masonic Ezekiel Grand Lodge of New Jersey's website amongst the famous religious leaders who were also Masons. [Update: He has subsequently been removed!] There are other Masonic websites that also claim William Booth as one of their own and I see no reason to disagree.

Many world leaders throughout history (particularly in the 18th and 19th centuries) have been photographed and immortalized in art whilst making this Masonic gesture, perhaps the most well known of which is Napoleon. What was not understood until recent history was the significance of the gesture. I urge you to do your own research and confirm the truth for yourselves brothers and sisters.

Fair warning to the Freemason apologists, lots of people with bad tummy aches below!

Others Who Used This Masonic Gesture

American Presidents

President James Garfield

President Franklin Pierce

President Andrew Johnson

President John Adams

President Rutherford B. Hayes

President Martin Van Buren

Here we see two men with President Lincoln visiting the troops. Notice Lincoln is not making the gesture? He was surrounded by his enemies. But look who is! There seems to be no limit to the amount of civil war soldier photographs that depict them making this Freemason gesture. One was even featured on the popular "Pawn Stars" TV show.

One should note that from day one black slavery was a Masonic scheme fomented to create racial hostility in America, an enemy within. Eventually this will lead to the race wars that will destroy her. Lincoln abolition of slavery went against their timetable and led to his eventual assassination.

This is John Wilkes Booth, Lincoln's assassin showing us that his true allegiance was to the Masons first, country second. Could he possibly be related to William Booth?

This is Solomon Rothschild of the Jewish banking family. By the way, did you know that 'Rothschild' means "red shield"? According to this video featuring Mark Cleminson, the Rothschild family financed both William Booth and the Salvation Army!

Joseph Stalin and George Washington

Master of the Second Veil - Give them.

Principal Sojourner - Shem, Ham and Japhet [Give the sign by casting down a cane and taking it up by the end, as before explained]

Master of Second Veil - They are right. You have my permission to enter the Second Veil. The candidates, led by the Principal Sojourner, pass in.

Master of the Second Veil - Three Most Excellent Masters you must have been, or thus far you could not have come but further you cannot go without my words, sign and word of exhortation. My words are Shem, Japhet and Adoniram my sign is this, [thrusting his hand in his bosom] it is in imitation of one given by God to Moses, when He commanded him to thrust his hand into his bosom, and taking it out it became as leprous as snow. My word of exhortation is explanatory of this sign, and is found in the writings of Moses VI: fourth chapter of Exodus:

And the Lord said unto Moses, put now thy hand into thy bosom and he put his hand in his bosom and when he took it out, behold his hand was as leprous as snow.
Exodus 4:6 (KJV)

Something that this Masonic ritual rather aptly demonstrates is Satan's propensity for taking God's word and twisting it to suit his own agenda. Time and again we see him doing this, Satan is a great imitator, as well as a thief. Even down to co-opting the rainbow and using it to promote his wicked sexual deviancy.

The Salvation Army’s commitment to Memphis – three major campuses on 33 acres with $150 million in capital investment – makes this one of the only cities in the U.S. to have all three signature programs in one location, working together throughout the year to stabilize lives for the children of tomorrow.

Because of Memphis’ long-term and interrelated problems of poverty, homelessness, addiction and violence, The Salvation Army has committed its resources to Heal Memphis with long-term solutions:

Purdue Center Of Hope

Services were provided in donated space until the 1970s, when Abe Plough chaired a capital campaign to repurpose a building for dormitory space at 200 Monroe. When that was sold to make room for AutoZone Park, the Kemmons Wilson family led the campaign to build the first specially designed Purdue Center of Hope at 696 Jackson.

Opened in 2000, with three shelters housing 122 people each night, today it is the largest provider of shelter and services to homeless women and children in Memphis. Addiction recovery, job placement and permanent housing are just some of the outcomes. Additionally, the Angel Tree program brings Christmas joy to thousands of children and seniors in need each Christmas, often preventing eviction or utility cutoff — and our Canteen Ministry and disaster relief continues to bring caring assistance to the front lines.

Adult Rehabilitation Center

A residential work therapy program, the Mid-South Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC) opened in 2009 at 2649 Kirby Whitten.

Family stores provide meaningful job training, and proceeds keep the ARC self-supporting, as 140 men and women work toward sobriety and rehabilitation.

Combined with Renewal Place and an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) at the Purdue Center of Hope, The Salvation Army is the largest provider of alcohol and drug recovery programs in Memphis. With spiraling addiction rates crippling the city’s resources and families, The Salvation Army is again at the point of critical need.

Kroc Center

Finally in 2013, maximizing the Joan Kroc bequest with a capital campaign chaired by Meg and Scott Crosby, The Salvation Army opened the doors of the Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center at 800 East Parkway South.

Here, on 15 acres in the heart of the city, in 100,000 square feet of innovative space, the Kroc Center provides arts, education, recreation and worship to people of all ages and backgrounds – including 10,000 members and 260,000 guests each year.

This proactive schedule builds individuals, families and neighborhoods, and ultimately, a more positive city — lessening the needs for critical services downstream.

Preaching the Gospel

All Salvationists accept a disciplined and compassionate life of high moral standards which includes abstinence from alcohol and tobacco. From its earliest days the Army has accorded women equal opportunities, every rank and service being open to them and from childhood the young are encouraged to love and serve God.Raised to evangelise, the Army spontaneously embarked on schemes for the social betterment of the poor. Such concerns have since developed, wherever the Army operates, in practical, skilled and cost-effective ways. Evolving social services meet endemic needs and specific crises worldwide. Modern facilities and highly-trained staff are employed.

Modern facilities and longer-term development is under continual review. Increasingly the Army’s policy and its indigenous membership allow it to cooperate with international relief agencies and governments alike.

The movement’s partnership with both private and public philanthropy will continue to bring comfort to the needy, while the proclamation of God’s redemptive love offers individuals and communities the opportunity to enjoy a better life on earth and a place in Christ’s everlasting Kingdom.

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