The Salvation Army Essay

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The Salvation Army The Salvation Army is a religious organization founded in 1865 by a London Methodist preacher, named William Booth. Reverend Booth gave up his ministry in the church to take the message of Christ into the streets in order to reach the homeless and needy where they lived. In the 1880’s the Salvation Army began operating in the United States, and now serves more than 120 countries and territories, and preaches in 160 languages. (Salvation Army History, n.d.). The Salvation Army believes all members of this church should “roll up their sleeves” and get to work helping to meet the needs of people. The church mission is: “To preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination” (Salvation Army History, n.d.). This church meets in a building not typical to American churches, in order for the poor to feel welcome. According to Bessie Vittitoe, Lieutenant with Salvation Army, the poor often will not attend a traditional church because they do not have good or clean clothes. The poor often are asked to leave a church because of how they look, but not at the Salvation Army. Everyone that enters the doors is welcome, no matter if they are in fine clothes or in rags. Mrs. Vittitoe says the Salvation Army wants to teach about Jesus and follow in His footsteps. And, since Jesus taught to the poor, that’s how the Salvation Army teaches (Vittitoe, B. 10-2013). The Salvation Army relies on government grants and donations from the public and businesses to operate. Every December there are “Bell Ringers” in front of some stores with red kettles to collect donations. These donations help to feed the hungry, clothe the poor, house the homeless in shelters, provide disaster relief, and counseling. The donations and grants also help Salvation Army 3 to fund health ministry in poor countries, improve literacy and education, counseling for sexually abused women, among many other projects (Charity, n.d.). The Salvation Army has stores where items are donated then sold at a small cost, they have shelters set up around the country to house the homeless, and “soup kitchens” to feed the hungry, and provides counseling to inmates in jails and in prisons (Vittitoe,B. 10-2013). In the North division, which includes Minnesota and North Dakota there are currently 800 paid employees and 81,000 volunteers. This division has 28 worship centers, 30 housing and shelter facilities, and 33 stores. It has served 992,000 meals to the hungry, given 450,000 nights of lodging to the homeless, given 160,000 toys to families at Christmas, 26,000 people has been given disaster assistance, and 5,800 inmates have been counseled and given bibles (Salvation Army North, n.d.). The Salvation Army is pro-birth control, anti-surrogate motherhood, accepts homosexuality, but to be a member of this organization the homosexual must remain celibate. It is also prolife, but it has no position on the death penalty (Pitchett, K. 12-2008). Just as in the United States Army, this organization has ranks among its members. The layperson, or person not yet an officer, is called a soldier. These soldiers subscribe to the doctrines of the Salvation Army. Candidates wanting to be an officer undergo a one year preliminary training course. Then an intensive two year course that combines theory and practice, including Bible studies, Salvation Army doctrine and regulations, social and psychology studies, pubic speaking and preaching, church history, community relations, administration, and accounting (Salvation Army Officers, n.d.). Salvation Army