How did The Salvation Army begin?


How did The Salvation Army begin?

The Christian Mission

William Booth was a preacher in the Methodist Church when he realised that he had to do something about the terrible poverty that many people were living in. He left the Methodist Church and began preaching on the streets, only to find that the people who were becoming Christians were being turned away from other churches because they weren't clean and respectable.

In 1865, Booth was invited to preach at a large meeting that some Christians were holding in a tent in the East End of London. He went home and told Catherine that he had found his destiny and in time he became a part of a new movement called 'The Christian Mission'.

The Salvation Army is born

In 1878 The Christian Mission became 'The Salvation Army' when William Booth changed its name, and from then on it started growing quickly and many people became members.

As he was preaching on the streets, General Booth (as he was now known) realised that people would not listen to his message if they were hungry and cold. He opened food stores and shelters for people to stay in, and from then on The Salvation Army became known for its care of the poor and needy: social programmes began.

Helping those in need

In 1890, Booth published a book called In Darkest England and the Way Out which showed the terrible poverty many people were living in. He wrote about what needed to be done to change these poor conditions and as a result of this he rallied his members to put this into action. The Salvation Army helped people to find work, search for missing relatives, find shelter in a hostel or buy tools and set up a new trade with a small loan. Booth also worked tirelessly to improve the awful factory conditions that many young women were working in.

Within nine years of the book being published, The Salvation Army in the UK had: served 27 million cheap meals traced 7,000 missing people provided shelter for 11 million homeless people found jobs for 90,000 unemployed people