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Salvation Army

An organization founded in London's East End by William Booth, a former MNC minister, in 1865. It was known at first as 'the Christian Mission' (also the Christian Revival Association) and retained such Methodist features as circuits, itinerancy, local preachers, class leaders, class tickets, love-feasts, camp meetings and watchnights. Its government was a modified form of the MNC system. The name was changed to 'the Salvation Army' in 1878, reflecting its military organization and requirement of unquestioning obedience. In doctrinal matters it is evangelical, but without either of the sacraments. Its most conspicuous features are its open-air witness and wide-ranging social activities. Brass bands were first introduced in Salisbury, by the Methodist Fry family, to counteract violent hostility. It is now an international organization, operating in over a hundred countries. Queen Elizabeth II attended the International Centenary celebrations in 1965. The Salvation Army International Heritage Centre is based at William Booth College, Denmark Hill, London.

Following a suggestion from the floor at the World Methodist Conference in Brighton in 2001, informal discussions began in Australia, leading to formal Salvation Army-WMC dialogue in 2003 and 2005 and a report to the WMC in Seoul in 2006, with mission and evangelism as its main theme.

Sources

  • R. Sandall, A. Wiggins and F. Coutts, History of the Salvation Army (1947-86)
  • David W. Taylor, Like a Mighty Army? The Salvation Army, the Church, and the Churches (2015)
  • Nigel Bovey, Blood on the Flag (2015)
  • Methodist Recorder, 13 November 2015

Entry written by: JDB
Category: Denomination

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