The Salvation Army Founder’s Day is observed on April 10 at all Salvation Army outposts around the world. The Salvation Army is an international charitable organization and part of the universal Christian Church. The Salvation Army offers various services worldwide, including emergency response and social work. One of its missions is to meet human needs without discrimination. Founded by William Booth in 1865, The Salvation Army has spread from London to many parts of the world and is now working in 132 countries with millions of members.
History of Salvation Army Founder's Day
William Booth was born on April 10, 1829, in Nottingham in the U.K. Due to poor circumstances, Booth was apprenticed to a pawnbroker by his father when he was 13. Two years later, Booth experienced a religious conversion. He started reading extensively and training himself in writing and speaking and became a Methodist local preacher.
Booth was unemployed when his apprenticeship ended in 1848, and a year later, he moved to London and found work with a pawnbroker. In 1851, Booth joined the Methodist Reform Church, and on his 23rd birthday, he quit pawnbroking and became a full-time preacher at their headquarters. In 1855, Booth married Catherine Mumford, a member of the Methodist Reform Church. Booth and Catherine started The Christian Revival Society in the East End of London in 1865, which was later renamed the Christian Mission. Their focus was on teaching people about the message of Jesus Christ in a way they could relate to, by meeting wherever they saw fit while addressing their material needs. They wanted to reach those rejected by the traditional churches, including those impoverished and disadvantaged.
In 1878, The Christian Mission got its present name, The Salvation Army. A year later, Salvationist Amos Shirley unofficially worked for The Salvation Army and traveled to Philadelphia in the U.S. After learning that, Booth decided to send a small group — George Scott Railton and seven others — to New York to formally begin The Salvation Army’s work in 1880. In the same year, The Salvation Army expanded to Australia. In 1881, the first meetings in Paris were held by Booth’s eldest daughter, Catherine Booth-Clibborn, also known as la Maréchale. International expansion was quick and continued to other countries. Booth’s method was to try and work alongside people in a culturally-appropriate way blending service with evangelism.
Salvation Army Founder's Day timeline
William Booth is born on April 10 in Nottingham, England.
The organization begins the mission known as The Christian Mission.
The Christian Mission is renamed The Salvation Army.
William Booth sends a small group of The Salvation Army to New York, U.S.
William Booth dies on August 20 in Hadley Wood, London.
Salvation Army Founder's Day FAQs
What did The Salvation Army do during the Great Depression?
The Salvation Army provided food and accommodation during the Great Depression.
Why was The Salvation Army called The Salvation Army?
While reading a printer’s proof of the 1878 annual report, Booth noticed the statement “The Christian Mission is a volunteer army.” He then crossed out the “volunteer army” and penned in “Salvation Army.”
Do you have to be religious to work for The Salvation Army?
One does not have to be a practicing Christian to work for The Salvation Army. They embrace employees of different faiths and orientations.
How to Observe Salvation Army Founder's Day
Help those in need
Whether you are a member of The Salvation Army or not, helping those in need is always a nice thing to do. On this day, try to offer help to people in need you meet on the street or wherever it is, with whatever you can give.
Volunteer for a shelter
Most shelters will welcome your aid and they often have members to cultivate volunteer relationships. You may want to volunteer for one event.
Donate clothes or money
Shelters are always in need of clothes and especially socks and hygiene items. Gather your gently used clothes, spend some of your money to buy hygiene items, and donate them to a shelter.
5 Interesting Facts About The Salvation Army
It started in a graveyard
In 1865, Booth was invited to preach and provided with a piece of land on which to preach. It happened to be situated in a graveyard but this did not deter him.
They adopted quasi-military
The Salvation Army adopted a quasi-military structure. Booth was its first ‘General’, his ministers were ‘officers’, and other members were ‘soldiers.’
It took part in the film industry
The Salvation Army’s Limelight Department became one of Australia’s first film production units, playing a leading role in the pioneering and development of the country’s film industry between 1892 and 1910.
They assist 365 days a year
The Salvation Army assists people every single day of the year.
They provide family tracing service
Since 1885, they’ve provided ‘Family Tracing Service,’ helping to reconcile family members who have lost contact with each other.
Why Salvation Army Founder's Day is Important
It makes the world a better place
The Salvation Army has spread throughout the world with millions of members. They meet the needs of people in more than 130 countries without discrimination.
The Salvation Army offers various services
They offer a wide variety of services around the world, such as addiction rehabilitation programs, hospitals, and clinics, as well as Family Tracing Services. More importantly, they take collective action to decrease modern slavery and human trafficking worldwide.
They care about education
There are more than 2,000 Salvation Army schools, educating more than 500,000 children. They emphasize social, emotional, cognitive, physical, and spiritual development while providing a safe and secure environment.
Salvation Army Founder's Day dates