This year, The Salvation Army celebrates 150 years of mission and ministry. The World Methodist Council extends its congratulations on the anniversary of this movement begun by pioneers William and Catherine Booth in London in 1865. William Booth, then a British Methodist preacher, and his wife Catherine answered God’s call to help the homeless and destitute, giving up the ordinary life to truly make a difference. Abandoning the conventional way of doing church, the Booths took “church” to the people on the streets of London. Though it was begun over a century ago, The Salvation Army’s philosophy and mission is still the same today.
To commemorate this 150th anniversary, The Salvation Army held an international conference this July in London. The “Boundless” Congress sought to commemorate the past, celebrate the present, and innovate for the future. Dr. Timothy Tennent, President of Asbury Seminary in the U.S. attended the congress and shared on his blog:
“The Salvation Army is truly the holiness movement at its finest. It is global, it is fully evangelical and it is engaged in reaching the poor and disenfranchised. The “march of the nations” was like watching the opening night of the Olympics, except that it was all so clearly centered on the global worship of Jesus Christ and their common heart to serve the poor. General Andre Cox (The Zimbabwe born General of The Salvation Army) was gracious enough to invite Sandra Gray (President of Asbury University) and myself to a quiet dinner with his chief staff members. I was singularly impressed by their earnest zeal for Christ and their hope for the next 150 years.”
You can explore more on the history of The Salvation Army and watch video from the Boundless Congress at salvationarmy.org.uk.