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The Salvation Army, an international movement, describes itself as an evangelical movement part of the Church. It has a quasi-military structure and was founded in 1865 in the United Kingdom as the East London Christian Mission by William and Catherine Booth. It is well known for its evangelical, social and charitable work. The Salvation Army seeks to bring salvation to the poor, destitute and hungry by meeting both their physical and spiritual needs, but its ministry extends to all, regardless of ages, sex, colour or creed.

The Salvation Army's stated objectives are:

The advancement of the Christian religion as promulgated in the religious doctrines—which are professed, believed and taught by the Army and, pursuant there to, the advancement of education, the relief of poverty, and other charitable objects beneficial to society or the community of mankind as a whole.

The International Headquarters (IHQ) of The Salvation Army is at 101 Queen Victoria Street, London, England. The Salvation Army works in 126 countries. It is sometimes colloquially referred to as the "Sally Ann" in Canada and the "Sally Army" in the United Kingdom and New Zealand. In Australia, the full name is rarely used, with the slang abbreviation "The Salvos" displayed even on shop fronts.

HistoryEdit

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The Salvation Army founder, William Booth

The Salvation Army was founded in London's East End in 1865 by one-time Methodist minister William Booth and his wife Catherine. Originally, Booth named the organization the East London Christian Mission, but in 1878 Booth reorganized it along military lines when his son Bramwell objected to being called a "volunteer" and stated that he was a "regular" or nothing. The name then became The Salvation Army.

When William Booth became known as the General, Catherine was known as the "Mother of The Salvation Army". William preached to the poor, and Catherine spoke to the wealthy, gaining financial support for their work. She also acted as a religious minister, which was unusual at the time; the Foundation Deed of the Christian Mission, stated that women had the same rights to preach as men. William Booth described the organization's approach: "The three ‘S's’ best expressed the way in which the Army administered to the 'down and outs': first, soup; second, soap; and finally, salvation."

In 1880, the Salvation Army started its work in three other countries: Australia, Ireland, and the United States. It was not always an official officer of the Salvation Army who started the Salvation Army in a new country; sometimes Salvationists emigrated to countries and started operating as "the Salvation Army" on their own authority. When the first official officers arrived in Australia and the United States, they found groups of Salvationists already waiting for them.

The Salvation Army's main converts were at first alcoholics, drug addicts, prostitutes and other "undesirables" unwelcomed into polite Christian society, which helped prompt the Booths to start their own church. The Booths did not include the use of sacraments (mainly baptism and Holy Communion) in the Army's form of worship, believing that many Christians had come to rely on the outward signs of spiritual grace rather than on grace itself. Other beliefs are that its members should completely refrain from drinking alcohol (Holy Communion is not practiced), smoking, taking illegal drugs, and gambling. Its soldiers wear a uniform tailored to the country they work in; the uniform can be white, grey, navy, fawn and are even styled like a sari in some areas. Any member of the public is welcome to attend their meetings.

Salvation Army, Washington, D.C. - circa 1920

Women's dormitories operated by The Salvation Army, Washington, D.C. c. 1920

As the Salvation Army grew rapidly in the late 1800s, it generated opposition in England. Opponents, grouped under the name of the Skeleton Army, disrupted Salvation Army meetings and gatherings, the usual tactics being the throwing of rocks, rats, and tar, and physical assaults on members of The Salvation Army. Much of this was led by publicans who were losing business due to the Army's opposition to alcohol and targeting of the frequenters of saloons and public houses.

The Salvation Army's reputation in the United States improved after it began disaster relief efforts after the Galveston Hurricane of 1900 and the San Francisco earthquake of 1906. The establishment of Victorian bell-ringers raising charity today "helps complete the American portrait of Christmas", with over 25,000 volunteers taking up kettles over the holiday period in the U.S. alone. The church remains a highly visible and sometimes controversial presence in many parts of the world.

In 1994, the Chronicle of Philanthropy, an industry publication, released the results of the largest study of charitable and non-profit organization popularity and credibility conducted by Nye Lavalle & Associates. The study showed that the Salvation Army was ranked as the 4th "most popular charity/non-profit in America" of over 100 charities researched with 47% of Americans over the age of 12 choosing Love and Like A lot for the Salvation Army.

Worldwide expansion of the Salvation ArmyEdit

Salvation army world map

The worldwide expansion of the Salvation Army

The Salvation Army currently works in 128 different countries and has its main headquarters in London, England.

Current organization and expendituresEdit

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The Salvation Army International Headquarters, London.

The Salvation Army operates in 128 countries and provides services in 175 different languages. For administrative purposes, the organization divides itself geographically into Territories, which are then sub-divided into Divisions. In larger areas, Regional and Area Commands are also introduced as sub-divisions of Divisions. Each Territory has an administrative hub known as Territorial Headquarters (THQ). Likewise, each Division has a Divisional Headquarters (DHQ). For example, Japan is one territory, the United States is divided into four Territories: Eastern, Southern, Central, and Western while Germany & Lithuania together are one territory. Each of these Territories is led by a Territorial Commander who receives orders from the Salvation Army's International Headquarters in London. A Territory is normally led by an officer holding the rank of Colonel (for small Territories)or Commissioner.

In some countries, the work of The Salvation Army may be called a Command, led by a Command Commander. In the Germany, Poland and Lithuania Territory, for example, when the work of The Salvation Army becomes stronger in either Poland or Lithuania, may be granted the status of 'Command' as a step to becoming a Territories in their own right. A larger Command is typically led by an officer holding the rank of Colonel, however, the Italy Command is currently led by an officer with the rank of Major.

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 US alone. In addition to community centres and disaster relief, the organization does work in refugee camps, especially among displaced people in Africa. The Salvation Army has received an A- rating from the American Institute of Philanthropy.

Redshield
Its claimed membership includes more than 17,000 active and more than 8,700 retired officers, 1,041,461 soldiers, around 100,000 other employees and more than 4.5 million volunteers. Members of the Salvation Army are also the so-called adherents, who do not sign the document to become soldier but who do see the Salvation Army as their church and who do not wear uniform. The truth is that the membership is much smaller, since inactive soldiers are rarely removed from the rolls. It is led by General Shaw Clifton, who has held this position since April 2, 2006 after the 2006 High Council elected him as the next General January 28, 2006. According to the 2006 Salvation Army Year Book, in the United States there are 85,148 Senior Soldiers and 28,377 Junior Soldiers, 17,396 Adherents and around 60,000 employees.

In 2004, the Army in the United States received a $1.6 billion donation in the will of Joan B. Kroc, third wife of former McDonald's CEO Ray Kroc. This donation was among the largest individual philanthropic gifts ever given to a single organization. The donation came with certain restrictions that were met with some controversy.[1]

The Salvation Army is the second largest charity in the United States, with private donations of almost $2 billion for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2007.

BeliefsEdit

The beliefs of the Salvation Army rest upon these eleven doctrines:

"1. We believe that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments were given by inspiration of God, and that they only constitute the Divine rule of Christian faith and practice.
2. We believe that there is only one God, who is infinitely perfect, the Creator, Preserver, and Governor of all things, and who is the only proper object of religious worship.
3. We believe that there are three persons in the Godhead - the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, undivided in essence and co-equal in power and glory.
4. We believe that in the person of Jesus Christ the Divine and human natures are united, so that He is truly and properly God and truly and properly man.
5. We believe that our first parents were created in a state of innocency, but by their disobedience they lost their purity and happiness, and that in consequence of their fall all men have become sinners, totally depraved and as such are justly exposed to the wrath of God.
6. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has by his suffering and death made an atonement for the whole world so that whosoever will may be saved.
7. We believe that repentance towards God, faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, and regeneration by the Holy Spirit, are necessary to salvation.
8. We believe that we are justified by grace through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and that he that believeth hath the witness in himself.
9. We believe that continuance in a state of salvation depends upon continued obedient faith in Christ.
10. We believe that it is the privilege of all believers to be wholly sanctified, and that their whole spirit and soul and body may be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
11. We believe in the immortality of the soul; in the resurrection of the body; in the general judgment at the end of the world; in the eternal happiness of the righteous."

The Booths believed that many Christians had come to seek salvation through ritual rather than reliance on God. Accordingly they decided not to include the use of sacraments, (mainly baptism and Holy Communion) in the Army's form of worship. Other beliefs of The Salvation Army are that its members should completely refrain from drinking alcohol, smoking, taking recreational drugs, pornography, the occult, and gambling. Soldiers affirm that they will give "as large a proportion of my income as possible" to the Salvation Army.

The ordination of women is permitted in the Salvation Army. Salvation Army officers were previously only allowed to marry other officers (this rule varies in different countries); but this rule has been relaxed in recent years. Husbands and wives usually share the same rank and have the same or similar assignments — the major exception to this is the General's spouse, who is given the rank of Commissioner.

Officers are given 'Marching Orders' to change ministries within The Salvation Army. Usually, officers are given new Marching Orders every two to five years and reassigned to different posts, sometimes moving great distances.

Salvation Army SymbolsEdit

The FlagEdit

Standard of the Salvation Army.svg

Standard of The Salvation Army

Around the world, The Salvation Army flag is a symbol of the Army's war against sin and social evils. The red on the flag symbolizes the blood shed by Jesus Christ, the yellow for the fire of the Holy Spirit and the blue for the purity of God the Father.

The star contains the Salvation Army's war cry, 'Blood and Fire'. This describes the blood of Jesus shed on the cross to save all people, and the fire of the Holy Spirit which purifies believers.

The flag precedes outdoor activities such as a march of witness. It is used in ceremonies such as the dedication of children and the swearing-in of soldiers. It is sometimes placed on the coffin at the funeral of a Salvationist. The Salvation Army term used to describe the death of a Salvationist is that of the deceased being "promoted to glory". This is a term that is still used and upheld by Salvationists today.

The CrestEdit

Thecrest

The Salvation Army Crest

The oldest official emblem of The Salvation Army is the crest.

In 1878 the rename of the Christian Mission into the name The Salvation Army happened. Soon afterwards, Captain W.H. Ebdon suggested a crest and in 1879 it was to be found on the letterhead of the Salvation Army Headquarters. The captain's suggested design was changed only slightly and a crown was added.

The meaning of the crest:

The cross: The cross of the Lord Jesus Christ
The "S": Salvation from sin through Jesus
The ray on the outside of the circle: The Fire of the Holy Spirit
The dots: The Truth of the Gospel
The swords: The Salvation War*
"Blood and Fire": The Blood which was shed by Jesus for our sins and the Fire of the Holy Spirit

The Red ShieldEdit

The Red Shield has its origins in Salvation Army work during wartimes. At the end of the 19th Century, Staff-Captain Mary Murray was sent by William Booth to support British troops serving in the Boer War in South Africa. Then, in 1901, this same officer was given the task of establishing the Naval and Military League, the forerunner of the Red Shield Services.

Salvation Army officers serving in the Red Shield Services in wartime performed many functions. The Doughnut Girls of World War I are an early example, serving refreshments to troops in the trenches. They also provided first aid stations, ambulances, chaplaincy, social clubs, Christian worship and other frontline services.

This symbol is still used in Red Shield Services that serve the British Armed Forces, but is widely used as a simple, more readily identifiable, symbol in many Salvation Army settings. It is common to see the Red Shield used on casual Salvation Army uniform.

The UniformEdit

Salvation Army officers and soldiers often wear uniform. The uniform identifies the wearer as a salvationist and a Christian. It also symbolises availability to those in need. The uniform takes many forms internationally, but is characterised by the 'S' ingisnia for 'salvation, and carries the meaning 'Saved to Serve'. Other letters are substituted to conform with local language ('H' in Germany, 'C' in Russia, 'F' in Norway, for example).

TartanEdit

Salvation Army Dress Tartan

The Salvation Army Dress Tartan

Since 1983 there has been an official Salvation Army Tartan. It was designed by Jack Dalgety, for the Perth Citadel Corps Centenary commemoration. It is based upon the colours of the Salvation Army Flag, with which it shares the same symbolism. However, it is rarely seen outside Scotland.

The SaluteEdit

The Salvation Army has a unique form of salute which involves raising the right hand above shoulder-length with the index finger pointing upwards. It signifies recognition of a fellow-citizen of heaven, and a pledge to do everything possible to get others to heaven also. In the case of saluting in response to applause, in circumstances such as a musical festival or being applauded for a speech, it also signifies that the Salvationist wishes to give Glory to God and not themselves.

In some instances, the salute is accompanied with a shout of 'hallelujah!'

MusicEdit

As the popularity of the organization grew and Salvationists worked their way through the streets of London attempting to convert individuals, they were sometimes confronted with unruly crowds. A family of musicians (the Frys, from Alderbury, Wiltshire) began working with the Army as their "bodyguards" and played music to distract the crowds. They were also involved in union-busting actions: Salvation Army bands would show up at union actions and attempt to bring down the union activities with hymns and music.This in turn led the Industrial Workers of the World to create their own lyrics set to popular Salvation Army Band tunes, many of which remain in that union's "Little Red Songbook."

The tradition of having musicians available continued, and eventually grew into standard brass bands. These are still seen in public at Army campaigns, as well as at other festivals, parades and at Christmas. Across the world the brass band has been an integral part of the Army’s ministry and an immediately recognizable symbol to Salvationists and non-Salvationists alike. The Salvation Army also has choirs; these are known as Songster Brigades, normally comprising the traditional soprano, alto, tenor and bass singers. The premier Songster Brigade in the Salvation Army is the International Staff Songsters (ISS).

The standard of playing is high and the Army operates bands at the international level, such as the International Staff Band (a brass band) which is the equal of professional ensembles although it does not participate in the brass band contest scene. Some professional brass players and contesting brass band personnel have Salvation Army backgrounds. Many Salvation Army corps have brass bands that play at Salvation Army meetings, although not all.

The Army tradition in music is to use the popular idiom of the day to reach people for Jesus. The Army's Joy Strings were a hit pop group in the 1960s and early 1970s in the UK and beyond, reaching the charts and being featured on national television. Another popular band is The Insyderz, an American ska-core group in the 1990s and early 2000s. Current bands like New Zealand's Vatic, Chamberlin, Hypemusic and The Lads, England's Electralyte, Australia's Soteria Music Ministries and Escape and America's transMission, The Singing Company, HAB, and BurN, carry on this Salvation Army tradition.

Saytunes is a popular website designed to encourage and promote these contemporary Salvation Army bands and artists.

Disaster reliefEdit

The Salvation Army's first major forays into Disaster Relief resulted from the tragedies of the Galveston Hurricane of 1900 and the San Francisco earthquake of 1906. The Salvationists' nationwide appeals for financial and material donations yielded tremendous support, enabling the Army to provide assistance to thousands. General Evangeline Booth, when she offered the services of Salvationists to President Wilson during the First World War thrust Salvation Army social and relief work to newer heights. Today the Salvation Army is best known for its charitable efforts.

The Salvation Army is a prominent non-governmental relief agency and is usually among the first to arrive with help after natural or man-made disasters. They have worked to alleviate suffering and help people rebuild their lives. After the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004, they arrived immediately at some of the worst disaster sites to help retrieve and bury the dead. Since then they have helped rebuild homes and construct new boats for people to recover their livelihood. Members were prominent among relief organizations after Hurricane Hugo and Hurricane Andrew and other such natural disasters in the United States. In August 2005 they supplied drinking water to poor people affected by the heat wave in the United States. Later in 2005 they responded to hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Most recently they have helped the victims of the May 2006 Indonesian Earthquake.

Williamboothcollege

The William Booth Memorial Training College, Denmark Hill, London: The College for Officer Training of The Salvation Army in the UK

In the year since Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast, The Salvation Army has allocated donations of more than $365 million to serve more than 1.7 million people in nearly every state. The Army’s immediate response to Hurricane Katrina included the mobilization of more than 178 canteen feeding units and 11 field kitchens which together have served more than 5.7 million hot meals, 8.3 million sandwiches, snacks & drinks. Its SATERN network of amateur ham-radio operators picked up where modern communications left off to help locate more than 25,000 survivors. And, Salvation Army pastoral care counselors were on hand to comfort the emotional and spiritual needs of 277,000 individuals. As part of the overall effort, Salvation Army officers, employees and volunteers have contributed more than 900,000 hours of service.

The Salvation Army was one of the first relief agencies on the scene of the 9/11 attacks in New York. They also provided prayer support for families of missing people.

The Salvation Army, along with the American National Red Cross, Southern Baptist Convention, and other disaster relief organizations, are national members of the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD). [2]

Also among the disaster relief capabilities is the Red Shield Defence Services, often called the SallyMan for short. The effort that they put in is similar to that of a chaplain, and reaches many more, offering cold drinks, hot drinks, and some biscuits and lollies for the soldiers of the military to have, though, if a SallyMan is on deployment, the locals are offered a share in the produce. Despite this generosity, the RSDS is generally unnoticed because it only works in disaster relief and military actions, not general welfare opportunities.

Thrift shops and charityEdit

Armee-de-salut-Negative0-06-4A(1)

Salvation Army in Lausanne

The Salvation Army is well-known for its network of thrift stores or Charity Shops, which raise money for its charitable and religious activities by selling donated used items such as clothing, housewares and toys. The Salvation Army has a history of free rehabilitation from alcohol and drug abuse. Thrift stores provide the revenue to run the Adult Rehabilitation Centres known as ARCs. The ARCs, found in many global locations, are work and Bible-based and are usually long term residential facilities.

In many countries The Salvation Army is most recognized during the Christmas season with its volunteers who stand outside of businesses and play/sing Christmas carols, or ring bells to inspire passersby to place donations of cash and checks inside red kettles. A tradition has developed in the United States in which, in some places, gold coins are anonymously inserted into the kettles that the bell ringers collect donations in. This was first recorded in 1982, in Crystal Lake, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago.

Red Shield AppealEdit

The Red Shield Appeal is an annual fundraising campaign in some territories, such as the UK and Australia. Each year, officers, soldiers, employees and volunteers take to the streets worldwide to participate in door to door or street collections. The money raised is specifically channelled towards The Salvation Army's social work in each respective territory.

Family Tracing ServiceEdit

One programme for which The Salvation Army is internationally renowned is its Family Tracing Service (sometimes known as the Missing Persons Service). Established in 1885, the service is now available in most of the countries where The Salvation Army operates. The Tracing Service's objective is to restore (or to sustain) family relationships where contact has been lost, whether recently or in the distant past. Thousands of people are traced every year on behalf of their relatives. A world record was attained in 1988 when a brother and sister were reunited after a separation of 81 years.

Youth groupsEdit

The Salvation Army includes multiple youth groups, which primarily consist of its Sunday schools and the Scout and Guide packs that are sometimes set up. The Scout and Guide packs are not Salvation Army but are sometimes set up by members of the Salvation Army and are open to anyone. Also some schools volunteer to get a group of kids to help. Some territories have Salvation Army Guards and Legions Association (SAGALA). In the United States these internal youth groups that are specifically for females are known as Girl Guards (older females) and Sunbeams (younger females). Adventure Corps serves boys who are enrolled in school for first through eighth grade.

The Refuge Edit

Another youth group that has emerged in The Salvation Army is The Refuge, meaning REviving FUture GEnerations. The Refuge was established in The Salvation Army division of Pendel which is in the Eastern Territory of The United States. The Refuge was created and founded by a group of friends and salvationists. It began when this group recognized the need for this type of ministry in their area. The Refuge began in the Spring of 2005. With the aid of dedicated musicians and administrative staff, the Refuge has been a success and continues to be a safe place for worship, fellowship, food, and fun.

GodRock (GeneratioNext) Edit

Based at the Pioneer Corps in the Kensington district of Philadelphia, which is the longest surviving corps in the United States. GodRock began in the late 90s with a group of teens from greater Philadelphia. GodRock now meets every Sunday evening, providing an opportunity for contemporary worship, testimonies, and food. GodRock has expanded from what was once primarily Salvation Army teens to a group of teens (and young adults), not only from the Salvation Army, but from area churches as well.

Alove UK Edit

In the new millennium, The Salvation Army in the United Kingdom created a sub-brand of itself for the youth, called Alove, the Salvation Army for a new generation. Its purpose is to free the youth of the church and their communities to express themselves and their faith in their own ways. Its mission statement is "Calling a generation to dynamic faith, radical lifestyle, adventurous mission and a fight for justice.", and it emphasizes worship, discipleship, missions, and social action. Alove is a member of The National Council for Voluntary Youth Services.

Hype! Edit

Based at Johnsonville in Wellington, Hype! has around 80 members who regularly attend a range of events. Hype.Tuesdays is the youth-groups regular 'church' style weekly meeting, it is unique in that all members who attend are given an opportunity to share their thoughts on the weekly topic making it different from a 'Youth-church' style meeting. Hype! also has fornightly social events run under the Hype.massive name. Their official website can be found here [3]

Cultural referencesEdit

FilmEdit

Main article: Salvation Army filmography
  • The Limelight Department of the Salvation Army was the first film studio in Australia (from 1898).
  • In the play and film adaptations of Guys and Dolls, an organization similar to the Salvation Army attempts to lure city dwellers to services and away from their sinful ways.

MusicEdit

PlaysEdit

  • In Bertolt Brecht's play Saint Joan of the Stockyards, Joan, the protagonist, is a Lieutenant of the Salvation Army.
  • George Bernard Shaw's play Major Barbara centres around the Salvation Army.
  • The musical Guys and Dolls features the Save-a-Soul Mission, a Salvation Army-like organization. The female lead Sarah Brown is a sergeant in Save-a-Soul.
  • In Denman Thompson's 19th century play, "The Old Homestead," the protagonist, Josh Whitcomb, encounters the Salvation Army on the streets of New York City. Having spent his entire life in a rural area, he has no idea what to make of them.

TelevisionEdit

See alsoEdit

Other miscellaneous articlesEdit

ReferencesEdit

  • Eason, Andrew Mark. Women in God's Army: Gender and Equality in the Early Salvation Army. Waterloo, Ontario, Canada: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2003. ISBN 0-88920-418-7
  • A Hundred Years’ War:The Salvation Army 1865 – 1965 (Watson Bernard)
  • The History of the Salvation Army Vol. I (Sandall Robert)
  • The General next to God (Collier Richard)
  • God's Army: The Story of the Salvation Army (Brook Stephen)
  • Marching to Glory: The History of the Salvation Army in the United States, 1880-1992 (McKinley E.H)
  • Hallelujah Lads and Lasses: Remaking the Salvation Army in America, 1880-1930 (Taiz Lillian)
  • Pulling the Devil's Kingdom Down: The Salvation Army in Victorian Britain (Walker Pamela J)
  • Red-Hot and Righteous: The Urban Religion of the Salvation Army (Winston Diane)

External linksEdit

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=The+Salvation+Army&action=history view authors)].

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