The earliest record of a Salvation Army worship service is found in the publications of William and Catherine Booth’s London East End ministry that began in the late 1860s.
The Salvation Army, founded in London in 1865 by William and Catherine Booth, is an international, evangelical part of the universal Christian church. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and meet human needs in his name without discrimination. Salvation Army officers (ordained leaders) and soldiers (lay members) operate corps community centers, schools, hospitals, shelters, feeding sites, and other programs in ninety-six countries around the world.
Worship in the Salvation Army does not include sacraments or observance of the traditional church year. Salvationists regard these practices as unnecessary to the life of consecration to God, experienced through the inward power of the Holy Spirit. They do, however, believe in the importance of ceremonies such as child dedication, enrollment of soldiers (members), and commissioning of officers (clergy), events that recognize and celebrate decisive moments in an individual’s spiritual life.
The Salvation Army, whose long-time commitment to music is particularly well-known given the visibility of its performers, is not restricting itself to its traditional musical repertoire. Rather, for the past ten years, it has been introducing new music in its services and its public appearances, including nearly every style of contemporary music.
Catherine died of cancer but not before she had worked tirelessly to secure the passage of laws that improved the lives of women and children. William lived another two decades and saw his organization spread to 55 countries. During his lifetime he traveled over five million miles and preached about 60,000 sermons. The Salvation Army continues to thrive and provide help for those in need, in Christ’s name, throughout the world.
Henry Allan (“Harry”) Ironside (1878-1951) was born in Toronto, Canada. He moved with his family in 1886 to Los Angeles and there accepted Christ at the age of 14.
William and Catherine Booth (1829-1912 & 1829-1890) were the founders of the Salvation Army.
The Salvation Army, founded in London in 1865 by William and Catherine Booth, is an international, evangelical part of the universal Christian church.