“Prayer at the centre of our mission and mission at the centre of our prayer.”– Salvation Army motto

The history of the Salvation Army began in 1865, in London, when Methodist minister William Booth decided to go out into the streets, bringing the message of the Gospel to the hungry and homeless. His small gesture gave rise to a far-reaching project, bringing together, over the years, Christian volunteers from over 100 countries, motivated by the desire to improve the living conditions of the disadvantaged. Since 1900, the Salvation Army has gradually expanded its activities, so that, worldwide, the organisation currently has 1.6 million members, 15,339 church units, about 1,000 schools and 250 hospitals and clinics. Along with the United Way, the Salvation Army is one of the leading charities in the US.

The Salvation Army provides help, food, and shelter to orphans, the elderly, disabled people, ex-convicts, drug addicts, and more. In addition to the material support offered, the Salvation Army tries to fulfil the soul and spiritual needs of the people. Their salvation mission is very well captured in phrases like “following Jesus” or “the imitation of Christ.”

“When God raised up the Salvation Army He knew precisely what He was doing. Few human eyes, however, would have foreseen all that would ensue for William Booth’s moment of youthful self-offering and abandonment to the will of God” (Shaw Clifton, former international leader of the Salvation Army [1]).

As the Salvation Army’s activity began to grow, various objections to its activity appeared. For example, there was the question of whether the members of this organisation were ridiculing Christianity through the methods used (hymns, uniforms, slogans, or brochures specific to a military organisation).

Despite the negative reactions, however, the Salvation Army established itself as a respectable presence in the front lines of promoting a practical Christianity. Moreover, the organisation has become one of the main activists who have taken a stand and fight against human trafficking and pornography, who are involved in finding missing persons, establishing rehabilitation centres for ex-convicts and consistently collaborating with the authorities in case of natural disasters.

[1]„Major John G. Merritt (edit.), Historical Dictionary of The Salvation Army, Lanham, Maryland, The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 2006, p. ix.”

„Major John G. Merritt (edit.), Historical Dictionary of The Salvation Army, Lanham, Maryland, The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 2006, p. ix.”