The Salvation Army
2008/9 Schools Wikipedia Selection. Related subjects: Religious movements, traditions and organizations
The Salvation Army is a Christian charity and church that is internally organized like a military service. Its founders William and Catherine Booth sought to bring Christian salvation to the poor, destitute and hungry by meeting both their physical and spiritual needs.
The Army was founded in London's East End in the year 1865 by one-time Methodist minister William Booth. Originally, Booth named the organization the Christian Mission, but in 1878 Booth reorganized the mission along military lines when his son Bramwell objected to being called a volunteer and stated that he was a regular or nothing. The name then became The Salvation Army. .
The Salvation Army is both a charity and social services organization; and a part of the Christian church. One of its stated objectives is:
The advancement of the Christian religion as promulgated in the religious doctrines . . . which are professed, believed and taught by the 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 is located at 101 Queen Victoria Street, London, England, and The Army has thousands of churches (" corps," " halls" or " citadels") around the world. Nicknames include: "Sally Ann" in Canada, "Sally Army" in the United Kingdom and New Zealand (alternatively as the "Sallies"), and the "Salvos" in Australia and the United States.
The mission of The Salvation Army is to bring the whole world under the authority and rule 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 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 soldiers 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.
History of the Army
The Salvation Army operates in 113 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.
There are more than 17,000 active and more than 8,700 retired officers, 1 041 461 soldiers, around 100,000 other employees and more than 4.5 million volunteers. 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.
Grammy Award winner Kelly Clarkson performed live during the nationally televised halftime of the Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving Day game, which officially launched the 2007 Salvation Army Red Kettle Christmas campaign.
The Salvation Army has a quasi- military ranking structure. Officers are leaders within the movement.
|Cadet||One or two red stripes (representing training year) on a blue background|
|Lieutenant||One silver star on a red background|
|Captain||Two silver stars on a red background|
|Major||Silver crest on a red background|
|Lt. Colonel||Silver crest and silver edging on a red background|
|Colonel||Like Lt. Colonel, except lapel insignia is bordered with silver piping|
|Commissioner||Silver crest with oak leaves, silver piping, and dark red velvet background|
|Chief of Staff||Like Commissioner, with addition of a silver bar under the crest|
|General||Like commissioner, except gold with gold bar under the crest|
Cadet is the title given to those in training to be Salvation Army Officers. Lieutenant, Captain, and Major are the regular ranks for Salvation Army officers. A Cadet is commissioned to the rank of Lieutenant (as of March 2008), and after 5 years promoted to Captain, then after 15 years receives the rank of Major in recognition of service. Lieutenant-Colonel, Colonel, Commissioner and General are all special appointment ranks in that they are only given to officers in senior leadership positions.
There are those who serve as non commissioned officers in leadership roles and they are given the rank of Sergeant (USA South) or Envoy. These ranks are usually temporary and only for a period of about three years where they are either renewed or the person reverts back to the status of soldier if they no longer serve in a leadership role.
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, designed by General Catherine Booth, 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 term is still used and upheld by Salvationists.
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 Parramatta Citadel Band in Australia, Montclair Citadel Band in the USA and Maidenhead Citadel Band in the UK.
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.
The Salvation Army in the United Kingdom publishes The Salvationist newspaper every week. Founded in 1878 it usually consists of 24 pages covering events and issues in the army within a given area. It also publishes The War Cry. The USA Western, Central, Southern, and Eastern territories publish "A New Frontier," "The Central Connection," "The Southern Spirit," and "The Good News," respectively.
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 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.
Thrift 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 rehabilition 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 play/sing Christmas carols, or ring bells to inspire passers by to place donations of cash and checks inside red kettles. 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 two major fund raising campaigns (the other being Christmas) of The Salvation Army in most communities. Annually, there is either a mail appeal or a door-to-door campaign. Hundreds of thousands of volunteers give of their time to carry out the doorknock drive, usually done over a one or two day period. Each year, several million dollars are raised in each territory alone.
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.
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 Sunbeam And Guarding And Legion Activities (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.
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.
Based at the Pioneer corps in the Kensington neighbourhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Philadelphia Pioneer is the longest surviving Salvation Army corps in the United States. GodRock/Generationext corps was started in 1999 by then-Lt. Helen Duperree, 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.
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."
Hype! New Zealand
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-ministries regular 'church' style weekly meeting - unique in that all members who attend are given an opportunity to share their thoughts on the weekly message. Hype! also has fortnightly social events run under the Hype.massive name. Their official website can be found here:
Allegations of Controversy
The Salvation Army in the U.S. has come under scrutiny for being accused of legal discrimination in hiring and for placing behavioural standards on employees. The Army's employment policy is explained by them thus:
"It is the policy of The Salvation Army that it will provide equal opportunity for employment on the bases enumerated in the federal, state and local laws applicable to it, except where a prohibition on discrimination is inconsistent with the religious principles of The Salvation Army. Such equal opportunity for employment will apply to recruitment and hiring, training, promotion, salaries and other compensation, transfers and layoffs or termination.
As a religious organization, a branch of the Christian church, The Salvation Army reserves the right to make such employment decisions, adopt employment policies (including employee benefits) which are calculated to promote the religious and moral principles for which it is established and maintained, consistent with its rights to the free exercise of its religion guaranteed to it by the Constitution of the United States.
Without limiting the foregoing, by accepting employment with The Salvation Army, an individual acknowledges that The Salvation Army is a church, agrees to do nothing to undermine its religious mission, and acknowledges that conduct must not conflict with or undermine the religious programs of The Salvation Army, or its religious and moral purposes."
The Army's position is that because it is a church, Section VII of the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964 explicitly guarantees its rights to be particular in its hiring. In addition, as a church, the Salvation Army is not required to file a Form 990 like other disaster relief organizations, a position sometimes criticized by charity watchdogs , although they do publish an annual report on its website.
From 1940 through the 1970s the Salvation Army in Australia sheltered approximately 30,000 children. The Australian Salvation Army issued an apology and has acknowledged that sexual abuse may have occurred during this time. The Army explicitly rejects the claim that there are as many as 500 out of 30,000 potential claimants.
In December 2001, a Moscow court ruled that the Salvation Army was a "paramilitary" organization subject to expulsion. This ruling was later changed when clarification was accepted by the Russian government. In October 2006, the European Court of Human Rights ruled this decision to be illegal.
Generals of The Salvation Army
- (1878 - 1912) William Booth
- (1912 - 1929) Bramwell Booth
- (1929 - 1934) Edward Higgins
- (1934 - 1939) Evangeline Booth
- (1939 - 1946) George Carpenter
- (1946 - 1954) Albert Orsborn
- (1954 - 1963) Wilfred Kitching
- (1963 - 1969) Frederick Coutts
- (1969 - 1974) Erik Wickberg
- (1974 - 1977) Clarence Wiseman
- (1977 - 1981) Arnold Brown
- (1981 - 1986) Jarl Wahlström
- (1986 - 1993) Eva Burrows
- (1993 - 1994) Bramwell Tillsley
- (1994 - 1999) Paul Rader
- (1999 - 2002) John Gowans
- (2002 - 2006) John Larsson
- (2006 - Present) Shaw Clifton
The Salvation Army in the Arts
The Salvation Army is the subject or is alluded to in many musical genres. American composer Charles Ives wrote a piece for vocalist and piano entitled "General William Booth Enters Into Heaven." Ives grew up in Connecticut, a neighbour of Booth's granddaughter. American composer William Himes wrote a piece for brass band and chorus entitled "General William Booth Enters Into Heaven." The narration is that of the poem by Vachel Lindsay. William Himes is the current Bandmaster of the Chicago Staff Band of The Salvation Army and USA Central Territory Music Secretary.
In more popular music, Joe Hill's song " The Preacher and the Slave" includes a reference to a group called the "Starvation Army", who perform music and solicit donations but offer the poor only promises of " pie in the sky when you die." The punk rock band Rancid has a song entitled "Salvation". The song shares the experience of Tim Armstrong's employment with The Salvation Army. The White Stripes song " Seven Nation Army" is named after Jack White's belief as a child that the Salvation Army was actually called "the Seven Nation Army." The Christmas song " Silver Bells," first sung by Bob Hope and Marilyn Maxwell in the movie The Lemon Drop Kid, was inspired by the imagery of Salvation Army bellringers standing outside department stores every Christmas season.
The Beatles song " Strawberry Fields Forever" was inspired by The Salvation Army's Strawberry Field Children's home in Liverpool, England. Strawberry Field closed in 2005 as a social centre and is now a new prayer and mission centre. English singer Cliff Richard wrote a song "Good on the Sally Army" about listening to a Salvation Army band holding an "open air" meeting. It also speaks of the message of God's love and hope that the Salvation Army proclaims.
The 1980s band The Dream Academy references the Salvation Army Band in the lyrics to their hit song " Life in a Northern Town." Simon and Garfunkel's song "Hazy Shade of Winter" references the Salvation Army Band. This song was also covered by The Bangles. Pink Floyd, in their song Jugband Blues, recruited an actual Salvation Army brass band. Syd Barrett wanted a Salvation Army band to play on the track. They were brought in, but when he stated that he wanted them to simply "play whatever they want" regardless of the rest of the group, Norman Smith insisted on recorded parts. Eventually both versions were recorded and used.
Bill Cosby recorded both a song and an album called "Hooray For the Salvation Army Band!" in 1968. The song is a mashup of " Purple Haze" by Jimi Hendrix and a traditional hymn, with new lyrics. The Canadian-American singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright (son of Loudon Wainwright III) has a song entitled "Sally Ann" in which, unsurprisingly, he makes mention of Sally Ann several times. The song appears on his self-titled 1998 debut. Singer-songwriter Phil Keaggy recorded "Salvation Army Band" on the True Believers CD. Singer-songwriter Kevin Brocksieck co-wrote " Second-Hand Soul" inspired by The Salvation Army's homeless shelter in Colorado Springs, CO.
Canadian rock band James McKenty & The Spades recorded and released "Salvation Army Love" on the album Burning on Fumes American country music artist Jimmy Wayne released his self-titled album in 2004 that included the single "Paper Angels". The song is about the Holiday Angel Tree Program the Salvation Army in the United States uses to distribute toys & other items to needy children.
In Bertolt Brecht's play Saint Joan of the Stockyards, Joan, the protagonist, is a Lieutenant of The Salvation Army. More well known is the George Bernard Shaw's play Major Barbara which centres around The Salvation Army. This play was also television in the 1950s.
Guys and Dolls, starring Frank Sinatra the musical features The Save A Soul Mission, which closely resembles The Salvation Army, a member of which becomes the love interest of a New York gambler. The musical depicts a female General of The Salvation Army which strongly coincides with the leadership of General Evangeline Booth
As well as many incidental appearances, some Salvation Army specific productions have been made for television. Hallelujah! was a British TV sitcom from 1981 set in a Salvation Army citadel starring Thora Hird and Patsy Rowlands In Christmas 2004 The Salvation Army was featured in a story about a converted drunk in the two part drama, " Promoted to Glory."
The character Harold Bishop in the long-running Australian soap series Neighbours is a member of The Salvation Army. An episode of The Goodies featured a spoof of The Salvation Army, which included recruitment films for it and the "Salvation Navy" and the "Salvation Airforce"
“ Hobson’s Choice,” an English ballet adaptation of Harold Brighouse's play of the same title with choreography by David Bintley and music by Paul Reade, and premiered on February 13, 1989 by Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet at Covent Garden, London, features an ensemble dance of Salvation Army soldiers in the second act. The choreography effectively evokes the stern dignity and religious fervor stereotypically associated with The Salvation Army. A video production of the ballet has been seen on television broadcasts, and released on DVD. Actor Colin Salmon was a member of The Salvation Army