Born on April 10, 1829, William Booth along
with his wife Catherine, founded the Salvation Army.
Booth was born in Nottingham, England and spent his early years apprenticed to a pawnbroker, giving him the opportunity to see poverty firsthand. He was a convert to Methodism at age 15 and studied to become a Methodist lay preacher and evangelist.
At 23 he left the work of the pawnshop to become a full-time preacher at Binfield Chapel in Clapham. He married Catherine Mumford in June 1855. Over the next few years, he became a prominent Methodist evangelist but was regularly asked to serve in pastorates.
He requested that he be freed up for evangelistic work but the request was repeatedly denied and so he left the Methodist Church to become an independent evangelist.
In July 1865, he was invited to preach at a tent gathering near the Blind Beggar public house at Whitechapel. He preached a salvation message to all who would hear. Later that year he and Catherine began the Christian Revival Society in London – holding meetings nightly and on Sundays. The society was later renamed The Christian Mission and continued with this name until 1878, when renamed The Salvation Army.
During his lifetime, Booth established the work of the Salvation Army in 58 countries and colonies. He died (promoted to glory) on August 20, 1912. The Salvation Army considers it’s founding date July 2, 1865 – the date of Booth’s first preaching at Whitechapel.
The Stamps Library has a collection of books on the Salvation Army or written by it’s leaders. This is a research collection and is non-circulating. You can make arrangements to use this collection by appointment. The Salvation Army is affiliated with the Holiness Movement (another area of research collections) and has ties to Azusa Pacific University as an affiliate denomination.
While most of our resources are kept in this special collection, a few resources are available for general circulation and include:
Green, Roger Joseph
The Life and Ministry of William Booth:
The Founder of the Salvation Army
Abingdon Press, 2005.
Blood & Fire: William and Catherine Booth and their Salvation Army