Known for its uniforms, brass bands, and programs for the poor, the Salvation Army began its work in Georgia on October 19, 1890. Its "grand opening" in the state was a small
By the end of the twentieth century, the Salvation Army operated 136 facilities in Georgia. More than 70 officers are based in the state, and almost 400 employees, aided by approximately 24,000 volunteers, carry on the work of the army.
In 1865 a Methodist pastor named William Booth, aided by his wife, Catherine, founded the Christian Mission as a
In 1890 William Booth published In Darkest England, and the Way Out, which set the tone for the army's increasing emphasis on its social programs. Catherine Booth, known as the "Mother of the Salvation Army," defended the right of women to preach and fought against the exploitation of women and children. Within the army she consolidated the principle that women have absolute equality with men in privilege, position, and dignity, and she earned the sympathy of the upper classes for the social movement of the organization.
The Salvation Army Today
Today an international movement, the Salvation Army operates in 106 countries, where it maintains religious and social service centers, including schools and hospitals. Officers and soldiers preach the Christian gospel in more than 136 languages. The army describes itself as "an evangelical part of the universal Christian church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination."
The organization's ministries in Georgia provide and support basic social services,
Stephen Brook, God's Army: The Story of the Salvation Army (London: Channel 4 Books, 1998).
Shaw Clifton, Who Are These Salvationists? An Analysis for the Twenty-first Century (Alexandria, Va.: Crest, 1999).
Roy Hattersley, Blood and Fire: William and Catherine Booth and Their Salvation Army (New York: Doubleday, 2000).
Justin S. Holcomb, Emory University
A project of the Georgia Humanities Council, in partnership with the University of Georgia Press, the University System of Georgia/GALILEO, and the Office of the Governor.