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The tent was tattered. Patches sewn onto it simply tore the rotten canvas even more. The ground on which it was pitched was a vacant Quaker graveyard. But the man who preached on this particular day, July 2, 1865, was confident in what he needed to say. Utilizing revival methods originated by Charles Finney, he pointed out sinners and also called them to repentance. When William Booth preached the first of nine sermons in that tattered old tent, he did so under the name of the East London Christian Mission; Thirteen years later, it became the Salvation Army.
The Salvation Army: every major city in the United States, as well as Britain, has a message, and also they are numerous in various other countries. Near Christmas, Salvation Army bells tinkle for contributions. Their work aids the poor as well as suffering any place they are discovered.
From his teen years, William had actually operated with objectives to conserve souls. In fact, he had a running skirmish with his particular group of Wesleyan Methodists as a result of his rashness to teach without proper qualifications and also his enthusiasm to bring people to church who left lice on the church benches. These Methodists did all they could to keep him from preaching, and also at one point, they took away his membership (course ticket) because he was suspected of being a “reformer” (a group that called for evangelization of the poor and castaways).
Later William signed up with the Reformed Methodists as well as preached around the English countryside. At about the very same time, he met his wife, Catherine Mumford, who was deeply moved by the initial sermon she heard him teach. She had to go home unwell from the meeting, and he escorted her. That was the beginning of their courtship. They wed in 1855 and also hardly ever has a man and his wife worked together to do so much good.
Standing in his patched tent, the misery of London’s millions struck home for William. Himself a youngster of poverty as well, and oftentimes at his wit’s end on exactly how to feed his very own family, he recognized just too well the desperate needs of the poor.
Catherine, understood the needs of the poor, as well. Of higher social standing and also better educated than her husband, she, nevertheless, had compassion for the metropolitan poor as well as had actually started a job among London’s prostitutes. A solid supporter of women’s ministry, she preached as well as William and also just as well, if not better. Usually, her speaking engagements were the major support for their growing family. Thanks to her insistence on permitting females to preach, the Salvation Army had a bulk of women ministers from the beginning.
William and Catherine realized they had to fulfill greater than spiritual needs: the physical demands were just too great. And that is what they did. Their strategy met with furious opposition in its early days, especially from tavern keepers who saw their trade drop off when clients were converted. Among the Army’s implacable foes were pastors who detested its bold methods. William Booth was repeatedly assaulted with tossed items. Some of his workers were slain. But the Salvation Army ended up being a force for good in England, America, and several other lands. Today it is a global institution.
- Booth-Tucker, F. de L. The Life of Catherine Booth the Mother of the Salvation Army. Revell, 1892. Source of the image.
- “Booth, William.” Dictionary of National Biography. Edited by Leslie Stephen and Sidney Lee. London: Oxford University Press, 1921-1996.
- Coutts, General Frederick. No Discharge in this War. New York: Salvation Army, 1974.
- Hattersley, Roy. Blood and Fire: William and Catherine Booth and their Salvation Army. New York: Doubleday, 1999.
- Petersen, William J. Martin Luther Had a Wife. Wheaton, Illinois: Tyndale, 1983.
- William and Catherine Booth.Christian History. Issue #26, 1990.
- Wintle, Justin. Makers of Nineteenth Century Culture, 1800-1914. London; Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1982
Accessed Christianity.com 01 June 2021.
ALSO ON THIS DAY
1636 – French Jesuit Isaac Jogues arrives in Quebec, where he was martyred.
1921 – At Zang Xien, China, Wang Ming-Dao preached his first public sermon, taking as his text, “Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand.” He became the “father” of China’s house church movement, rejecting assimilation into the official Communist-controlled Three-Self Patriotic Church system.
Accessed ChristianHistoryInstitute.org 01 July 2022.