In our community impact segment we gave a shout put to the Salvation Army.
The Salvation Army is a Protestant Christian movement and an international charitable organization structured in a quasi-military fashion. The organization reports a worldwide membership of over 1.5 million, consisting of soldiers, officers and adherents known as Salvationists. Its founders Catherine and William Booth sought to bring salvation to the poor, destitute and hungry by meeting both their “physical and spiritual needs”. It is present in 127 countries, running charity shops, operating shelters for the homeless and disaster relief and humanitarian aid to developing countries.
The Army was founded in 1865 in London by one-time Methodist circuit-preacher William Booth and his wife Catherine as the East London Christian Mission. In 1878 Booth reorganised the mission, becoming its first General and introducing the military structure which has been retained to the present day. The current world leader of The Salvation Army is General André Cox, who was elected by the High Council of The Salvation Army on 3 AugThe Salvation Army was founded in London’s East End in 1865 by one-time Methodist Reform Church minister William Booth and his wife Catherine as the East London Christian Mission. The name “The Salvation Army” developed from an incident on 19 and 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 modelled 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, for meetings and ministry work. He became the “General” and his other ministers were given appropriate ranks as “officers“. Other members became “soldiers“.ust 2013.
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 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 familiar use of bell ringers to solicit donations from passers-by “helps complete the American portrait of Christmas.”[according to whom?]
In the U.S. alone, over 25,000 volunteers with red kettles are stationed near retail stores during the weeks preceding Christmas for fundraising. The church remains a highly visible and sometimes controversial presence in many parts of the world.
As of 1 September 2015 the Salvation Army operates in 127 countries and provides services in 175 different languages
Its stated membership (as quoted from 2010 Year Book) includes 16,938 active and 9,190 retired officers, 1,122,326 soldiers, 189,176 Adherents, 39,071 Corps Cadets, 378,009 Junior Soldiers, around 104,977 other employees and more than 4.5 million volunteers.
The Salvation Army is one of the world’s largest providers of social aid, with expenditures including operating costs of $2.6 billion in 2004, helping more than 32 million people in the U.S. alone.