On August 20th 1912, General William Booth, Founder of The Salvation Army, was ‘Promoted to Glory’ after falling ill days prior to his passing. Since the General’s death, his legacy remains uncontested through the workings of his Army.
General Booth’s congregation of 15,875 officers and cadets worked in a total of 58 countries when he ‘laid down his sword’ in 1912. More than century later that number has grown to include 128 countries with over 1.5 million personnel worldwide working to meet needs and transform lives. Thus, this anniversary of the General’s passing is a cue for both remembrance and celebration; we choose not dwell on what has been lost, but rather rejoice in what has been accomplished.
Today, The Salvation Army continues to meet basic human needs and be a transformational influence in communities around the world. As the General wrote so long ago, we pledge that,
“While women weep, as they do now,
While little children go hungry, as they do now,
While men go to prison, in and out, in and out, as they do now,
While there is a drunkard left,
While there is a poor lost girl upon the streets,
While there remains one dark soul without the light of God,
I'll fight-I'll fight to the very end!”
Near the end of his life, General Booth was an invalid; his condition worsened and it was impossible for him to attend the Army’s annual convention. As funds were limited and telegrams charged by the word, General Booth decided to send a one word, missional message to the despairing soldiers at the convention. When the content of the telegram was revealed, it read others.
Today, we continue to honor the vision and ministry of William Booth and The Salvation Army by meeting basic human needs and being a transformational influence in the lives of people and their communities.