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Explainer: The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army: religious organisation (Encyclopedia Britannica)
The Salvation Army, international Christian religious and charitable movement organized and operated on a military pattern. In the early 21st century the Salvation Army was at work in more than 130 countries and other political entities, where it preached the Gospel and operated thousands of evangelical centres, social welfare institutions, hospitals, schools, and other agencies. Its international headquarters are in London.
Leadership & Structure
Leadership and Structure
A quasi-military command structure was adopted in 1878 when the title ‘The Salvation Army’ was brought into use. As a response to a recurrent theme in Christianity which sees the Church engaged in spiritual warfare, The Salvation Army today uses this structure and soldier-like characteristics such as uniforms, flags and ranks to identify, inspire and regulate its mission.
The Salvation Army name for a parish is a Salvation Army Corps. Corps are led by officers, the Army equivalent of ministers.
Those involved in a corps are divided into:
officers - ordained ministers of religion
soldiers - those who have accepted the Christian faith and live a Salvationist lifestyle
adherents - people who make the Army their church but have not taken on the same degree of commitment as soldiers
people who share other aspects of the corps programme
those who simply attend Army meetings to worship
Mission and Values
The Salvation Army Australia is a Christian movement dedicated to sharing the love of Jesus.
We share the love of Jesus by:
Caring for people
Creating faith pathways
Building healthy communities
Working for justice
What is different is the passion with which Salvationists hold these beliefs, and the way it fills them with a desire to fight the evils of the world and save other people from sin and damnation.
On the 5th September 1880, Edward Saunders and John Gore led the first Salvation Army meeting in Australia from the back of a greengrocer's cart in Adelaide's Botanic Park.
When Gore said, "If there's a man here who hasn't had a square meal today, let him come home to tea with me," little did he realise that within a century, The Salvation Army would feed hundreds of thousands of Australians each year.
The Salvation Army is a Protestant denomination of the Christian Church with over 1.6 million members in 109 countries.
The Salvation Army was formed in England in 1865 by William Booth, a former Methodist minister.
Booth had his first real religious experiences with the Wesleyan Methodists in his early teens. He was converted to Christianity in 1844, and gave his first sermons at the age of seventeen in Nottingham in 1846. By the 1850s he was working as an evangelist amongst the poor and uneducated.
Rites and Rituals
Every weekend, you’ll find Salvos gathering together across Australia to attend church services, where the message of Jesus Christ is made alive and relevant for everyone. Our doors are open to anyone who wants to see what we’re about or join us for worship.
Salvation Army symbols
These are purely symbols - Salvationists do not regard them as sacred, but they treat them with great respect.
Dedications, marriage, funerals.
Meetings don't have a set order of service. They usually include plenty of hymns and songs, and there may be group or individual music items. Occasionally a dance or drama group may be used to help with the worship. Verses from the Bible are read in every meeting.