After reading this brief history and overview, you will see that The Salvation Army, one of America’s most cherished charities, is truly on the path of “Doing the Most Good” for the kingdom of GOD!
Our 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.
How The Salvation Army got its Name…
The Salvation Army was founded in London’s East End in 1865 by one-time Methodist minister William Booth and his wife Catherine. Originally, Booth named the organization the East London Christian Mission. The name The Salvation Army developed from an incident on 19–20 May.William Booth was dictating a letter to his secretary George Scott Railton and said, “We are a volunteer army.” Bramwell Booth heard his father and said, “Volunteer! I’m no volunteer, I’m a regular!” Railton was instructed to cross out the word “volunteer” and substitute the word “salvation”. The Salvation Army was modeled after the military, with its own flag (or colours) and its own hymns, often with words set to popular and folkloric tunes sung in the pubs. Booth and the other soldiers in “God’s Army” would wear the Army’s own Uniform of The Salvation Army|uniform, for meetings and ministry work. He became the “General” and his other ministers were given appropriate ranks as “officers”. Other members became “soldiers”.
The Three ‘S’s’…
When William Booth became known as the General, Catherine was known as the “Mother of The Salvation Army”. William preached to the poor, and Catherine spoke to the wealthy, gaining financial support for their work. She also acted as a religious minister, which was unusual at the time; the Foundation Deed of the Christian Mission states that women had the same rights to preach as men. William Booth described the organization’s approach: “The three ‘S’s’ best expressed the way in which the Army administered to the ‘down and outs’: first, soup; second, soap; and finally, salvation.”
TSA begins Global movement…
In 1880, the Salvation Army started its work in three other countries: Australia, Ireland, and the United States. It was not always an official officer of the Salvation Army who started the Salvation Army in a new country; sometimes Salvationists emigrated to countries and started operating as “the Salvation Army” on their own authority.When the first official officers arrived in Australia and the United States, they found groups of Salvationists already waiting for them.
TSA’s work gains opposition…
The Salvation Army’s main converts were at first alcoholics, morphine addicts, prostitutes and other “undesirables” unwelcome in polite Christian society, which helped prompt the Booths to start their own church. The Booths did not include the use of sacraments (mainly baptism and Holy Communion) in the Army’s form of worship, believing that many Christians had come to rely on the outward signs of spiritual grace rather than on grace itself. Other beliefs are that its members should completely refrain from drinking alcohol (Holy Communion is not practiced), smoking, taking illegal drugs and gambling. Its soldiers wear a uniform tailored to the country in which they work; the uniform can be white, grey, navy, fawn and are even styled like a sari in some areas. Any member of the public is welcome to attend their meetings.
As the Salvation Army grew rapidly in the late 19th century, it generated opposition in England. Opponents, grouped under the name of the Skeleton Army, disrupted Salvation Army meetings and gatherings, with tactics such as throwing rocks, bones, rats, and tar as well as physical assaults on members of The Salvation Army. Much of this was led by pub owners who were losing business because of the Army’s opposition to alcohol and targeting of the frequenters of saloons and public houses.
TSA’s Reputation in America…
The Salvation Army’s reputation in the United States improved as a result of its disaster relief efforts following the Galveston Hurricane of 1900 and the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. The establishment of Victorian bell-ringers raising charity today “helps complete the American portrait of Christmas”, with over 25,000 volunteers taking up kettles over the holiday period in the U.S. alone. The church remains a highly visible and sometimes controversial presence in many parts of the world.
In 1994, the Chronicle of Philanthropy, an industry publication, released the results of the largest study of charitable and non-profit organization popularity and credibility. The study showed that The Salvation Army was ranked as the 4th “most popular charity/non-profit in America” of over 100 charities researched with 47% of Americans over the age of 12 choosing Love and Like A Lot for The Salvation Army. By 2007,The Salvation Army became the second largest charity in the United States, with private donations of almost $2 billion for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2007!
The Salvation Army was one of the first relief agencies on the scene of the 9/11 attacks in New York. They also provided prayer support for families of missing people.
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for 130 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. 82 cents of every dollar spent is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide.
For more details about the history of The Salvation Army, visit The Salvation Army International website or click here
The Salvation Army Believes the following…
The beliefs of the Salvation Army rest upon these eleven doctrines:
- We believe that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments were given by inspiration of God, and that only they constitute the Divine rule of Christian faith and practice.
- We believe that there is only one God, who is infinitely perfect, the Creator, Preserver, and Governor of all things, and who is the only proper object of religious worship.
- We believe that there are three persons in the Godhead – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, undivided in essence and co-equal in power and glory.
- We believe that in the person of Jesus Christ the divine and human natures are united, so that he is truly and properly God and truly and properly man.
- We believe that our first parents were created in a state of innocence, but by their disobedience they lost their purity and happiness, and that in consequence of their fall all men have become sinners, totally depraved and as such are justly exposed to the wrath of God.
- We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has by his suffering and death made an atonement for the whole world so that whosoever will may be saved.
- We believe that repentance towards God, faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, and regeneration by the Holy Spirit, are necessary to salvation.
- We believe that we are justified by grace through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and that he that believeth hath the witness in himself.
- We believe that continuance in a state of salvation depends upon continued obedient faith in Christ.
- We believe that it is the privilege of all believers to be wholly sanctified, and that their whole spirit and soul and body may be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
- We believe in the immortality of the soul; in the resurrection of the body; in the general judgment at the end of the world; in the eternal happiness of the righteous; and in the endless punishment of the wicked.