The Salvation Army By: Brendan McGrath, Liam Hill, and Chris Caliouri

History of the Church

The Salvation Army was founded in 1865 by William Booth and his wife Catherine in London, England. Booth began his ministerial career in 1852, when he started to preach the Bible to the poor, sick, and needy. In 1865, Booth was invited to hold many evangelistic meetings in eastern London. His services were an immediate success, and this marked the end of his wandering as an independent evangelist. His popularity spread throughout London, and attracted many men and women followers who were dedicated to fight for all souls.

The Church's Membership

Within the Salvation Army, there are a little more than a million members, and over 25,000 ministers. Additionally, there are approximately 15,000 congregations in the world.

Theology

The Salvation Army believes in both the Old and New Testament, and that they are both inspired by God. Additionally, this church is similar to the Catholic Church in that they are monotheistic. However, the Salvation Army believes that worshipping God is the is the only proper way of worship. This means that the Salvation Army does not believe to praying to religious icons. Furthermore, instead of the Holy Spirit, the Salvation Army calls it the "Holy Ghost". This church also allowed abortion if the baby was made by incest or rape. Other than those circumstances, the Salvation Army is pro-life. Lastly, the Salvation Army does not believe in Baptism, Holy Communion, and Marriage as holy sacraments.

Social Action

The Salvation Army strives to serve millions of people a year by helping many seeking basic necessities such as food, shelter, and warmth. The Salvation Army provides lots of support for adults in need. This includes: rehabilitation, Veterans affairs services, prison ministries, elderly services, combating human trafficking, and missing persons support. They also provide support for many children and families in need. This includes: hunger relief, housing and homeless services, Christmas Assistance, youth camps and recreation, and Kroc centers. Aside from all of this, the Salvation Army also has many charity shops and emergency disaster relief services. During the Christmas season, you can see members of the Salvation Army who stand outside of businesses signing Christmas carols to collect donations.

Congregations Near By

There are many Salvation Army congregations near by. In fact, there are 9 Salvation Centers on Long Island alone. The mission statement of the Salvation Army is "The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination." The red kettle that this church is often associated with, originated in San Francisco in 1891.

Sacraments?

The Salvation Army does not administer any of the sacraments. The religion is not against the sacraments, nor do they deny that sacraments can help people reach salvation. The reason why they do not believe in the sacraments is because they believe that it is possible to reach salvation without physical sacraments, therefore they should not be regarded as an essential part of the faith. They hold weekly "worship services" that involve hymn singing, bible readings, and general discussion.

Leadership

In the Salvation Army, you start at the bottom rank as a soldier. A soldier is a lay member of The Salvation Army 14 years of age or over who subscribes to the doctrines and practices of The Salvation Army and has signed the Soldier’s Covenant. There are many specific officer positions between the soldier and the general. The General is the title of the international leader of The Salvation Army. The Salvation Army is currently led by General André Cox. All positions follow military ranks.

Global Connections

The Salvation Army is active in one hundred twenty seven countries around the globe. They provide relief and do charity work in all of these countries. There are over one million members in the Salvation Army. Most of these countries have their own individual Salvation Army website.

Symbols

There are many symbols associated with The Salvation Army. The most recognized symbol is the Red Shield. The Red Shield is a symbol of Salvation Army service to those in need. It represents a shield provided to people in need of help, wether it be spiritually, physically, financially, or emotionally. The next symbol is The Salvation Army's crest. The crest is a meaningful symbol of The Salvation Army's beliefs. Each part of the crest has a meaning. The crown speaks of God's reward for his faithful people, the sun represents the light and fire of the Holy Spirit, the 'S'stands for salvation from sin, the cross of Jesus stands at the center of the crest and the Salvationist's faith, the swords represent the fight against sin, the dots stand for the truths of the Gospel, and the 'Blood and fire' is the motto of The Salvation Army.

Relationship With The Catholic Church

Generally speaking, there is a healthy relationship between the Catholic Church and The Salvation Army. The Catholic Pope has recognized in the past that The Salvation Army and the Catholic Church should always be working together to offer a common witness to Christ and the Gospel. Pope Francis has stated, "It is my hope that our shared faith in Jesus Christ the Savior, the one mediator between God and man, will become evermore the firm foundation of friendship and cooperation between us." Aside from all of this, the fact that the Salvation Army believes in abortion due to rape and does not believe in the sacraments always causes tension with the Catholic Church. This is because the Catholic Church does not believe in any abortion and believes that salvation cannot be reached without the sacraments.

Interesting Facts

The Salvation Army is a very unique faith that holds many interesting facts. The Salvation Army was actually founded in London, England in 1865, and did not reach America until 1880. In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower declared National Salvation Army week. This week is a reminder of all Americans to give freely. The very well-known Red Kettle Christmas fundraiser that people see every year actually began when a Salvation Army captain set up a crab pot and began collecting money for the poor on Christmas. The Salvation Army is often credited with popularizing the donut in the United States. Salvation Army “donut girl” volunteers cooked donuts in battle helmets and served them to troops on the front lines of World War 1. The 1966 Beatles song “Strawberry Fields Forever” is John Lennon’s nostalgic reference to a Salvation Army orphanage called Strawberry Field in Woolton, England. The Salvation Army in over 140 films including A Christmas Story and Titanic.

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