When William Booth first offered the gospel and basic social services to London’s underprivileged in the mid-1860s, he could not have conceived the global response to The Salvation Army. In 1881 it was Captain and
The Salvation Army's beginnings date back to July 2,
The ministry spread to places outside of London. The
Booth's wife, Catherine, was a brilliant preacher and played a leading role in determining The Salvation Army's direction and doctrines; she became known as The Army's Mother. From the beginning, Catherine Booth firmly established equality for women to be ordained ministers of the gospel and to hold leadership positions within The Salvation Army. She wrote a pamphlet in 1859, Female Ministry, which was truly ahead of her time. It gave Biblical reasons as to why women can have an equal ministry with men.
The Salvation Army is Born
In 1878 came another name change. William Booth was perusing a printer's proof which referred to the Christian Mission as a ' volunteer army'. Booth swept his pen through the word ' volunteer' and changed it to read Salvation Army. The name was adopted. Elijah Cadman, an enthusiastic believer, excitedly proclaimed in a meeting soon after, "God bless the Captains of The Salvation Army! I should like to wear a suit of clothes that would let everybody know I meant war to the teeth and salvation to the world".
A simple form of uniform was gradually adopted by its members. This, in 1880, was developed into a regulated uniform system. The full-time ordained ministers of the
After responding to a call from America in early 1880, The Salvation Army next answered calls to commence operations in Australia.
Gaining a Foothold in Australia
Several localities lay claim to having held the first Salvationist meetings in Australia. These pioneering meetings were conducted by various immigrants who had been converted by The Salvation Army back in Britain. It is Adelaide, however, that owns the right to claim the first official Salvation Army Corps in Australia.
John Gore and Edward Saunders were both converts of the early Christian Mission. They met unexpectedly in the colony of South Australia and decided to form a Salvation Army Corps in Adelaide.
Gore and Saunders held a street meeting in the Adelaide Botanic Gardens. Gore's parting invitation to those standing around listening, reflected Booth's philosophical bent towards Christian ministry: "If there is any man here who hasn't had a decent meal today, let him come home to tea with me."
Because there were no Salvation Army Officers in Australia, John Gore assumed temporary leadership in September 1880. Once established, the pair of pioneers appealed to General William Booth in London to send out an Officer.
Within three years, 32 Officers were commissioned and 12 corps formed, and on the third
In 1882, Major James Barker and his wife Alice were appointed by the General and sent from London to extend and establish The Salvation Army's work "in all the colonies of the Southern Seas".
Intending to disembark at the Port of Adelaide, a wharf-strike forced the Barkers on to Williamstown, Victoria. Friends of The Salvation Army met them and took them into Melbourne, where the Barkers were so impressed by the potential of Victoria that they determined to begin work there.
History of social work
From assisting discharged prisoners at the prison gates back in 1883 through to the network of life-changing social services we run today – our Australian story is one of empowering individuals and strengthening communities...
Serving the armed forces
The Salvation Army has shown an interest in the Armed Forces since its earliest days in England...
There are many notable Salvos who have contributed to the culture and values of this country...
How did the Red Shield Appeal start?
In 1965 the first trial Red Shield Appeal doorknock was conducted in Sydney...
Learn helpful historical insights from The Salvation Army Historical Society...