William Booth was born on April 10, 1829, in Sneinton, Nottingham, England.
At age thirteen, when his father could no longer pay for his education, he was apprenticed to a pawnbroker and, a year later, his father passed away.
At age fifteen, he became a Christian and began attending a local chapel.
He wanted to minister to the poor, whose poverty and suffering he saw on a daily basis through his apprenticeship.
On June 16, 1855, he married Catherine Mumford, and they decide to start a ministry called “The Christian Mission” to help the poor, drunk, outcast, and wretched of London’s East End slums.
Together, they fought to help rescue young girls out of sex trafficking and set up 117 homes for these girls to escape to.
William Booth said, “While women weep, as they do now, I’ll fight; while little children go hungry, as they do now, I’ll fight; while men go to prison, in and out, in and out, as they do now, I’ll fight; 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!”
In 1878, “The Christian Mission” was renamed “The Salvation Army” and, by 1879, it had grown to 81 mission stations, staffed by 127 full-time evangelists, with over 1,900 voluntary speakers holding 75,000 meetings a year!
In 1880, they opened work in the United States, followed by missions in over 100 other countries, and, on March 28, 1885, The Salvation Army was officially organized in the United States.