William Booth was a young Methodist Minister in London who left the church to begin a ministry to the poor of London’s East End. On July 2, 1965 at an outdoor meeting in Whitechapel, Booth preached for the first time to the poor. Booth preached this sermon in a torn tent set up in an unused Quaker cemetary.

Booth would later begin “The Christian Mission” which would change its name to “The Salvation Army” in 1878.

Booth developed the motto, “Soup, Soap and Salvation,” with a recognition that the physical needs must be met as well as the spiritual needs.

The “Army” developed ranks and uniforms and spread as a ministry across the British Isles. In 1880 General Booth determined that it was the right time for the ministry to move to the United States.

William Booth was known as the General, and his wife Katherine was known as the “Mother of The Salvation Army.”

The first among the converts in the Salvation Army were addicts, alcoholics, prostitutes and others who were unfortunately not welcomed in “polite” Christian society.

In their theology, which remained largely Wesleyan, the Booths did not use the sacraments of baptism and Communion as they believed that many Christians only relied on these as an outward sign of spiritual grace.

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