Salvation Army
The Salvation Army is not a military (even though it's name sounds like it!), but an evangelical Christian organisation. In 1865 Methodist minister William Booth founded the Christian Mission in the East End of London. In 1878 the mission was renamed 'The Salvation Army' and restructured along military lines. Nevertheless, it is part of the mainstream Christian Church. It has always placed very high emphasis on charity and social service works. The Salvation Army enjoys the respect and recognition of just about every other Christian (indeed every other person) on earth. It is difficult to find a government hostile to it, even governments which espouse non-Christian belief.  It truly is a remarkable example of God's Grace in action.

It states as an objective: The advancement of the Christian religion as promulgated in the religious doctrines . . . which are professed, believed and taught by the (Salvation) Army and, pursuant thereto, the advancement of education, the relief of poverty, and other charitable objects beneficial to society or the community of mankind as a whole.

The international headquarters are located at 101 Queen Victoria Street, London, England, with thousands of  corps, halls or citadels (
"churches") around the world. It is widely and affectionately known as the "Sally Ann" in Canada, "Sally Army" in the United Kingdom and New Zealand, and the "Salvos" in Australia and the United States.

The mission of The Salvation Army is to bring the whole world under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. This mandate is based on the Army's interpretation of the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament. The Salvation Army believes (as stated in their first doctrinal statement) that only these scriptures "constitute the Divine rule of Christian faith and practice."

The beliefs of The Salvation Army rest upon these eleven doctrines:
We believe that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments were given by inspiration of God, and that they only constitute the Divine rule of Christian faith and practice.
We believe that there is only one God, who is infinitely perfect, the Creator, Preserver, and Governor of all things, and who is the only proper object of religious worship.
We believe that there are three persons in the Godhead - the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, undivided in essence and co-equal in power and glory.
We believe that in the person of Jesus Christ the Divine and human natures are united, so that He is truly and properly God and truly and properly man.
We believe that our first parents were created in a state of innocency, but by their disobedience they lost their purity and happiness, and that in consequence of their fall all men have become sinners, totally depraved and as such are justly exposed to the wrath of God.
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has by his suffering and death made an atonement for the whole world so that whosoever will may be saved.
We believe that repentance towards God, faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, and regeneration by the Holy Spirit, are necessary to salvation.
We believe that we are justified by grace through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and that he that believeth hath the witness in himself.
We believe that continuance in a state of salvation depends upon continued obedient faith in Christ.
We believe that it is the privilege of all believers to be wholly sanctified, and that their whole spirit and soul and body may be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We believe in the immortality of the soul; in the resurrection of the body; in the general judgment at the end of the world; in the eternal happiness of the righteous; and in the endless punishment of the wicked." 
The founders, William Booth and Catherine Booth, believed that many Christians had come to seek salvation through ritual rather than reliance on God. Accordingly they decided not to include the use of sacraments, (mainly baptism and Holy Communion) in the Army's form of worship. Other beliefs of The Salvation Army are that its members should completely refrain from drinking alcohol, smoking, taking illegal drugs, pornography, the occult, and gambling. Soldiers affirm that they will give "as large a proportion of [their] income as possible" to the Salvation Army.

The 'ordination' of women is permitted in the Salvation Army. Salvation Army officers were previously only allowed to marry other officers (this rule varies in different countries); but this rule has been relaxed in recent years.

The Salvation Army began with the efforts of two founders, William Booth and Catherine Booth, to bring salvation to the poor, the hungry, the homeless, and the destitute. In 1865, William Booth established The Christian Mission in London, England, which would later be called as The Salvation Army in 1878. The name was changed to The Salvation Army (apparently by the request of an initial member; the Christian Mission's mission-statement originally called the organization a 'volunteer army', and the speaker felt that he wasn't strictly a 'volunteer') and a quasi-military outlook was adopted.

When William Booth became known as the General, Catherine was known as the “Mother of The Salvation Army.” A statue of her is placed outside the London Headquarters. William preached to the poor, and Catherine spoke to the wealthy, gaining financial support for their demanding work. She also ministered, which was a revolutionary act at the time. From the beginning it was clearly stated in the Foundation Deed of the Christian Mission, that women had the same rights to preach as men. Together the Booths worked tirelessly to help others and brought a spiritual and practical message of rejuvenation and renewal. As William said, “The three ‘S's’ best expressed the way in which the Army administered to the 'down and outs': first, soup; second, soap; and finally, salvation.”

In the year 1880, The Salvation Army started its work in three other countries: Australia, Ireland and the U.S.A. It was not always an official officer of the Salvation Army who started the Salvation Army in a new country. Sometimes Salvationists emigrated to countries and started the Salvation Army in their new homeland.

In Australia Edward Saunders and John Gore started the work of the Salvation Army without waiting for official allowance. When the first official officers arrived in Australia, they found a group of Salvationists already waiting for them.

After Eliza Shirley and her parents had made some converts in Philadelphia, U.S.A. (W. Booth knew about her trying to start the work), William Booth, in March 1880, sent George Scott Railton, Captain Emma Westbrook, and six women soldiers to the Greater New York area to establish The Salvation Army officially. All the officers knelt on the dockside at Battery Park in New York City to give praise and thanks for their safe arrival.

The seven women who accompanied Railton are often referred to as the “seven hallelujah lassies.” A “lassie” was lancashire slang for a girl or a young woman who was unmarried. The seven soldiers included Captain Emma Westbrook, who began her work in Notting Hill Corps and was at North Shields, her first station, when she received the orders to go to New York. “Attaining the rank of major, she continued in the service until her promotion to Glory in 1933.”

The other six soldiers were Alice Coleman, Rachel Evans, Emma Elizabeth Florence Morris, Elizabeth Pearson, Clara Price, and Annie Shaw. These women are described as strong forces whose goal was to spread the gospel and the work of The Salvation Army. Because the training home for women officers wouldn’t open till the following May, “the training the valiant six had, was twenty-six days tossing on the tempestuous Atlantic Ocean.” The entire group progressed quickly with their desire for missionary work and began a Salvation Army in Newark, New Jersey in the United States.

In February 1881 it was Catherine Booth, the eldest daughter of the founder, who started together with Florence Soper and Adelaide Cox the work in France. From there it spread to Switzerland.

The Salvation Army's main converts were at first alcoholics, drug addicts, prostitutes and other "undesirables" of society. These "undesirables" were not welcomed into polite Christian society, which helped prompt the Booths to start their own church. As a result of Booth's pragmatic approach to ministry, they decided not to include the use of sacraments (mainly baptism and Holy Communion) in the Army's form of worship, believing that many Christians had come to rely on the outward signs of spiritual grace rather than on grace itself. William and his wife Catherine Booth felt that much of what passed for Christianity in their day was primarily an observance of outward ritual. Other beliefs of The Salvation Army are that its members should completely refrain from drinking alcohol (Holy Communion is not practiced), smoking, taking illegal drugs, and gambling. Its soldiers wear a uniform tailored to the country they work in; the uniform can be white, grey, navy, fawn and are even styled like a sari in some areas. Any member of the public is welcome to attend their church services.

As The Salvation Army grew rapidly in the late 1800s, it generated opposition in England. Opponents, grouped under the name of the Skeleton Army, disrupted Salvation Army meetings and gatherings, the usual tactics being the throwing of rocks, rats, and tar, and physical assaults on members of The Salvation Army. Much of this was led by publicans who were losing business due to the Army's opposition to alcohol and targeting of the frequenters of saloons and public houses.

The Salvation Army's reputation changed after it began disaster relief efforts after the Galveston Hurricane of 1900 and the San Francisco earthquake of 1906. From being a persecuted religious 'thorn in the flesh', it became a well loved institution.

History of the Salvation Army's expansion
The worldwide expansion of the Salvation Army
1865 - England
1874 - Wales
1879 - Jersey, Scotland
1880 - Australia, Ireland, United States of America
1881 - France
1882 - Alderney, Canada, Guernsey, India, Sweden, Switzerland
1883 - Isle of Man, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka
1884 - St Helena
1886 - Germany, Newfoundland
1887 - Denmark, Italy, Jamaica, Netherlands
1888 - Norway
1889 - Belgium, Finland
1890 - Argentina, Uruguay
1891 - Zimbabwe, Zululand
1894 - Åland (until 1950), Hawaii, Indonesia
1895 - Gibraltar (until 1968), Guyana, Iceland, Japan
1896 - Bermuda, Malta (until 1972)
1898 - Alaska, Barbados
1901 - Trinidad & Tobago
1902 - Grenada, Saint Lucia
1903 - Antigua and Barbuda, St Vincent & the Grenadines
1904 - Panamá
1907 - Costa Rica
1908 - Korea
1909 - Chile
1910 - Paraguay, Perú
1913 - Russia (until 1923)
1915 - Belize, Myanmar
1916 - China (until 1951), Mozambique, St Kitts
1917 - U.S. Virgin Islands
1918 - Cuba
1919 - Czechoslovakia (until 1950)
1920 - Bolivia, Nigeria
1921 - Kenya
1922 - Brazil, Ghana, Zambia
1923 - Latvia (until 1939)
1924 - Faroe Islands, Hungary (until 1949)
1926 - Suriname
1927 - Austria, Estonia (until 1940), Curaçao (until 1980)
1930 - Hong Kong
1931 - Bahamas, Uganda
1933 - French Guiana (until 1952), Tanzania, Yugoslavia (until 1948)
1934 - Algeria (until 1970), Congo (Kinshasa), Manchukuo (until 1945)
1935 - Singapore
1936 - Egypt (until 1949)
1937 - Congo (Brazzaville), México, Philippines
1938 - Malaysia
1950 - Haïti
1956 - Papua New Guinea
1960 - Swaziland
1962 - Puerto Rico
1965 - Taiwan
1967 - Malaŵi
1969 - Lesotho
1970 - Bangladesh
1971 - Portugal, Spain
1972 - Venezuela
1973 - Fiji
1976 - Guatemala
1978 - Canary Islands
1980 - French Guiana (recommenced)
1985 - Angola, Colombia, Ecuador, Marshall Islands
1986 - Tonga
1988 - Liberia
1989 - El Salvador, Thailand (until 1993)
1990 - Czech Republic (recommenced), Hungary (recommenced), Latvia (recommenced)
1991 - Russia (recommenced)
1992 - Belarus (until 1996), Somalia (until 1995)
1993 - Georgia, Ukraine
1994 - Guam, Federated States of Micronesia, Moldova
1995 - Dominican Republic, Estonia (recommenced)
1996 - Rwanda
1997 - Botswana
1999 - St Maarten
2000 - Macau
2004 - Lithuania, Romania
2005 - Falkland Islands, Poland

Salvation Army: Present day
The Salvation Army operates in 111 countries and provides services in 175 different languages. For administrative purposes, the organization divides itself geographically into Territories, which are then sub-divided into Divisions. Each Territory has an administrative hub known as Territorial Headquarters (THQ). Likewise, each Division has a Divisional Headquarters (DHQ). For example, Japan is one territory, the United States is divided into four Territories: Eastern, Southern, Central, and Western, while Germany and Lithuania together are one territory. Each of these Territories is led by a Territorial Commander who receives orders from The Salvation Army's International Headquarters in London.

The Salvation Army is one of the world's largest providers of social aid, with expenditures including operating costs of $2.6 billion in 2004, helping more than 32 million people in the US alone. In addition to community centers and disaster relief, the organization does work in refugee camps, especially among displaced people in Africa. The Salvation Army has received an A- rating from the American Institute of Philanthropy.

Its claimed membership includes more than 17,000 active and more than 8,700 retired officers, 1. 042 million soldiers, around 100,000 other employees and more than 4.5 million volunteers. Members of The Salvation Army are also the so-called adherents, who do not sign the document to become soldier but who do see The Salvation Army as their church and who do not wear uniform. The truth is that the membership is much smaller, since inactive soldiers are rarely removed from the rolls. It is led by General Shaw Clifton, who has held this position since April 2, 2006 after the 2006 High Council elected him as the next General January 28, 2006. According to the 2006 Salvation Army Year Book, in the United States there are 85,148 Senior Soldiers and 28,377 Junior Soldiers, 17,396 Adherents and around 60,000 employees.

In 2004, the Army in the United States received a $1.5 billion donation in the will of Joan B. Kroc, third wife of former McDonald's CEO Ray Kroc. This donation was among the largest individual philanthropic gifts ever given to a single organization. The donation came with certain restrictions that were met with some controversy.

The Flag
 Standard of the Salvation Army around the world, The Salvation Army flag is a symbol of the Army's war against sin and social evil. The red on the flag symbolizes the blood shed by Christ, the yellow for the fire of the Holy Spirit and the blue for the purity of God the Father. The star contains the Salvation Army's motto, 'Blood and Fire'. This describes the blood of Jesus shed on the cross to save all people, and the fire of the Holy Spirit which purifies believers.

The flag precedes outdoor activities such as a march of witness. It is used in ceremonies such as the dedication of children and the swearing-in of soldiers. It is sometimes placed on the coffin at the funeral of a Salvationist. The Salvation Army term used to describe the death of a Salvationist is that of the deceased being "promoted to glory". This is a term that is still used and upheld by Salvationists today.

 As the popularity of the organization grew and Salvationists worked their way through the streets of London attempting to convert individuals, they were sometimes confronted with unruly crowds. A family of musicians (the Frys, from Alderbury near Salisbury in Wiltshire, the home of the Salvation Army Band) began working with the Army as their "bodyguards" and played music to distract the crowds. They were also involved in union-busting actions: Salvation Army bands would show up at union actions and attempt to bring down the union activities with hymns and music. This in turn led the Industrial Workers of the World to create their own lyrics set to popular Salvation Army Band tunes, many of which remain in that union's "Little Red Songbook."

The tradition of having musicians available continued, and eventually grew into the creation of true bands. Their musical groups, usually a brass band or smaller collection of brass instruments, are seen in public at Army campaigns, as well as at other festivals, parades and at Christmas. Across the world the brass band has been an integral part of the Army’s ministry and an immediately recognizable symbol to Salvationists and non-Salvationists alike. The Salvation Army also has choirs; these are known as Songster Brigades, normally comprising the traditional soprano, alto, tenor and bass singers. The Premier Songster Brigade in the Salvation Army is the International Staff Songsters (ISS). The standard of playing is high and the Army operates bands at the international level, such as the International Staff Band (a brass band) which is the equal of professional ensembles although it does not participate in the brass band contest (see music competition) scene. Some professional brass players and contesting brass band personnel have come up through The Salvation Army.

Sometimes larger Salvation Army corps (churches) have brass bands that play at Sunday meetings or services. Examples include Maidenhead Citadel Band, and, in America, Montclair Citadel Band, Pasadena, Norridge, Oakbrook Terrace, Pittsburgh Temple, Royal Oak, Flint, Dearborn Heights, Spring Valley, Clearwater, Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, Pioneer, and many others. The Army tradition in music is to use the popular idiom of the day to reach people for Jesus. The Army's Joy Strings were a hit pop group in the 1960s and early 1970s in the UK and beyond, reaching the charts and being featured on national television. Another popular band is The Insyderz, an American ska-core group in the 1990s and early 2000s. Current bands like New Zealand's Vatic, Chamberlin, Hypemusic and The Lads, England's Electralyte, Australia's Soteria Music Ministries and Escape and America's transMission, The Singing Company, HAB, and BurN, carry on this Salvation Army tradition.

Disaster relief
 The Salvation Army's first major forays into Disaster Relief resulted from the tragedies of the Galveston Hurricane of 1900 and the San Francisco earthquake of 1906. The Salvationists' nationwide appeals for financial and material donations yielded tremendous support, enabling the Army to provide assistance to thousands. General Evangeline Booth, when she offered the services of Salvationists to President Wilson during the First World War thrust Salvation Army social and relief work to newer heights. Today the Salvation Army is best known for its charitable efforts.

The Salvation Army is a prominent non-governmental relief agency and is usually among the first to arrive with help after natural or man-made disasters. They have worked to alleviate suffering and help people rebuild their lives. After the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004, they arrived immediately at some of the worst disaster sites to help retrieve and bury the dead. Since then they have helped rebuild homes and construct new boats for people to recover their livelihood. Members were prominent among relief organizations after Hurricane Hugo and Hurricane Andrew and other such natural disasters in the United States. In August 2005 they supplied drinking water to poor people affected by the heat wave in the United States. Later in 2005 they responded to hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Most recently they have helped the victims of the May 2006 Indonesian Earthquake.

In the year after Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast, The Salvation Army allocated donations of more than $365 million to serve more than 1.7 million people in nearly every state. The Army’s immediate response to Hurricane Katrina included the mobilization of more than 178 canteen feeding units and eleven field kitchens which together served more than 5.7 million hot meals, 8.3 million sandwiches, snacks and drinks. Its SATERN network of amateur ham-radio operators helped locate more than 25,000 survivors. And, Salvation Army pastoral care counselors were on hand to care for the emotional and spiritual needs of 277,000 individuals. As part of the overall effort, Salvation Army officers, employees and volunteers have contributed more than 900,000 hours of service.

The Salvation Army was one of the first relief agencies on the scene of the 9/11 attacks in New York. They also provided prayer support for families of missing people.

The Salvation Army, along with the American National Red Cross, Southern Baptist Convention, and other disaster relief organizations, are national members of the (US) National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD). 

Also among the disaster relief capabilities is the Red Shield Defence Services, often called the SallyMan for short. The effort that they put in is similar to that of a chaplain, and reaches many more, offering cold drinks, hot drinks, and some biscuits and lollies for the soldiers of the military to have, though, if a SallyMan is on deployment, the locals are offered a share in the produce. The RSDS is generally unnoticed because it only works in disaster relief and military actions, not general welfare opportunities.

Second-hand shops and charity
 The Salvation Army is well-known for its network of thrift stores or charity shops, which raise money for its charitable and religious activities by selling donated (generally used) items such as clothing, housewares and toys. The Salvation Army has a history of free rehabilitation from alcohol and drug abuse. Thrift stores provide the revenue to run the Adult Rehabilitation Centers known as ARCs. The ARCs, found in many global locations, are work and Bible based and are usually long term residential facilities.

In many countries The Salvation Army is most recognized during the Christmas season with its volunteers who stand outside of businesses and playing and singing Christmas carols, or ring bells to inspire passers by to make donations of cash. A tradition has developed in the United States in which, in some places, gold coins are anonymously inserted into the kettles that the bell ringers collect donations in. This was first recorded in 1982, in Crystal Lake, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago.

Red Shield Appeal
The Red Shield Appeal is one of the Salvation Army's ways of raising money. Each year, hundreds of thousands of people take to the streets worldwide to participate in the house to house doorknock weekend. Each year, many millions are raised in this way.

Family Tracing Service
One programme for which The Salvation Army is internationally renowned is its Family Tracing Service (sometimes known as the Missing Persons Service). This was first formally established in 1885, and the service is now available in most of the countries where The Salvation Army is represented. The objective is to restore (or to sustain) family relationships where contact has been lost for some reason, whether recently or in the distant past. Thousands of people are traced every year on behalf of their families. A world record was attained in 1988 when a brother and sister were reunited after a separation of 81 years.

Youth groups
The Salvation Army includes multiple youth groups, which primarily consist of its Sunday schools and the Scout and Guide pack. Also some schools volunteer to get a group of kids to help. Some territories have Salvation Army Guards and Legions Association (SAGALA). In the United States these internal youth groups that are specifically for females are known as Girl Guards (older females) and Sunbeams (younger females). Adventure Corps serves boys who are enrolled in school for first through eighth grade.

The Refuge
Another youth group that has emerged in The Salvation Army is The Refuge, meaning REviving FUture GEnerations. The Refuge was established in The Salvation Army division of Pendel which is in the Eastern Territory of The United States. The Refuge was created and founded by a group of friends and salvationists. It began when this group recognized the need for this type of ministry in their area. The Refuge began in the Spring of 2005. With the aid of dedicated musicians and administrative staff, the Refuge has been a success and continues to be a safe place for worship, fellowship, food, and fun.

GodRock (GeneratioNext)
Based at the Pioneer corps in the Kensington district of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, which is the longest surviving corps in the United States. GodRock began in the late 90s with a group of teens from greater Philadelphia. GodRock now meets every Sunday evening, providing an opportunity for contemporary worship, testimonies, and food. GodRock has expanded from what was once primarily Salvation Army teens to a group of teens (and young adults), not only from the Salvation Army, but from area churches as well.

Alove UK
In the new millennium, The Salvation Army in the United Kingdom created a sub-brand of itself for the youth, called Alove, the Salvation Army for a new generation. Its purpose is to free the youth of the church and their communities to express themselves and their faith in their own ways. Its mission statement is "Calling a generation to dynamic faith, radical lifestyle, adventurous mission and a fight for justice.", and it emphasizes worship, discipleship, missions, and social action.

Based at the Johnsonville Salvation Army in Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, Hype! has around 80 members who regularly attend a range of events. Hype! church is the youth-ministry's regular 'church' style weekly meeting - unique in that all members who attend are given an opportunity to share their thoughts on the weekly topic. Hype! also has fortnightly social events run under the Hype.massive name. Their official website can be found here: 

2Love, is a sub-brand of The Salvation Army, and will be used to help to engage the youth across the territory in a new way. They say "We are desperate to see our youth once again become passionate about God and our movement, and we pray that God will help us to have a radical edge as we move forward".

Salvation Army International HQ
Red Shield - a searchable directory of the Salvation Army worldwide.
Salvation Army USA
Salvation Army UK & Ireland
Salvation Army Canada
Salvation Army New Zealand
Salvation Army Community