The Salvation Army began in 1865 when William Booth, a London minister, gave up the comfort of his pulpit and decided to take his message into the streets where it would reach the poor, the homeless, the hungry and the destitute.
His original aim was to send converts to established churches of the day, but soon he realized that the poor did not feel comfortable or welcome in the pews of most of the churches and chapels of Victorian England. Regular churchgoers were appalled when these shabbily dressed, unwashed people came to join them in worship. Booth decided to found a church especially for them – the East London Christian Mission. The mission grew slowly, but Booth’s faith in God remained undiminished.
In May 1878, Booth summoned his son, Bramwell, and his good friend George Railton to read a proof of the Christian Mission’s annual report. At the top it read: THE CHRISTIAN MISSION is A VOLUNTEER ARMY. Bramwell strongly objected to this wording. He was not a volunteer: he was compelled to do God’s work. So, in a flash of inspiration, Booth crossed out ‘Volunteer’ and wrote ‘Salvation’. The Salvation Army was born.
In 1896, The Salvation Army came to Little Rock and has faithfully served central Arkansas for over 118 years. Last year, we served over 77,000 meals from our soup kitchen. We gave holiday gifts to over 5,000 children through the Angel Tree. We provided over 18,000 collective nights of shelter at the Center of Hope Shelter in downtown Little Rock.
Please help us continue this mission of meeting human needs in God’s name without discrimination. Become a proud supporter of our Be A Shield Campaign.
You can directly support us by joining our army of volunteers feeding the homeless, collecting food and clothing for our pantries and shelters, joining our disaster team, ringing the bell at our red kettle, supporting the Angel Tree, joining the Women’s Auxiliary, and much more. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive email alerts about new volunteer and employment opportunities.
When you or your group volunteers, please be sure to get pictures. We love to see our volunteers in action! And we want the community to see the impact that can be made when we join together to Be a Shield! If you post your pictures on social media, please be sure to tag us on Twitter and Facebook @SalArmyCAAC.
Wear Your Gear:
Show your support for The Salvation Army… You can wear your support by requesting one of our I Am a Shield t-shirts… You can post our new I Am a Shield decals in your car or in your business’s lobby to show your support of America’s most-trusted charity. Please email your request to William_Tollett@uss.salvationarmy.org.
You can give your support by giving online at donate.salvationarmy.org.