Salvation Army Founder-Gone for 100 Years
On this day 100 years ago, General William Booth, Founder of The Salvation Army passed away. In the 47 years from when he started The Salvation Army in 1865, Booth’s dedication to providing “soup, soap and salvation” to those in need helped establish the Army’s services to the poor and marginalized in 58 countries. “Soup” meant meeting the material needs of the poor: shelters, soup kitchens, job training and work programs. The second step, “soap”, acknowledged one’s need for good clothing and cleanliness, the essentials for good self-esteem, confidence and dignity. The vital last step is salvation. Booth famously said, “No one gets a blessing if they have cold feet and nobody ever got saved while they had toothache!”.
Booth’s passing stirred a rush of tributes from around the globe. President Howard Taft wrote that the Founder’s “long life and great talents were dedicated to the noble work of helping the poor and weak and giving them another chance to attain success and happiness”.
The Salvation Army uses the expression “Promoted to Glory” when referring to the death of a Salvationist, a phrase originally coined by William Booth’s son, Herbert Booth, that epitomizes the church’s optimistic view of death.
The Salvation Army is now in 124 countries and continues the service to those in need without discrimination.