William Booth

William Booth

Lived 1829 - 1912

William Booth was the founder and first General (1878-1912) of The Salvation Army.

In 1865, Booth and his wife Catherine opened The Christian Revival Society in the East End of London, where they held meetings every evening and on Sundays, to offer repentance and salvation to the poorest and most needy, including alcoholics, criminals and prostitutes.

He and his followers practised what they preached. They performed self-sacrificing Christian and social work, such as opening “Food for the Million” shops (soup kitchens), not caring if they were scoffed at or derided for their Christian ministry work.

In 1878 the name of the organization was changed to The Salvation Army, with its own flag and its own music, often with Christian words to popular tunes sung in the pubs. He and the other soldiers in God’s Army would wear the Army’s own uniform, ‘putting on the armour’, for meetings and ministry work. He became the General and his other ministers were given appropriate ranks as officers.

In his later years, he was received in audience by kings, emperors and presidents, who were among his ardent admirers.

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