WILLIAM BOOTH BIOGRAPHY, MINISTRY, DEATH, & LESSONS FROM HIS LIFE
WILLIAM BOOTH BIOGRAPHY
William Booth was an English Methodist preacher who founded the Salvation Army with his wife Catherine and became the first General in the year 1878 – 1912. It is a movement with a military-like structure and government. It was founded in 1865 in London and has been in most parts of the world and is one of the biggest distributors of humanitarian aid.
He was among the 100 Greatest Britons in a poll by BBC in 2002.
EARLY LIFE AND BACKGROUND
He was born on April 10, 1829, and went to be with the Lord on August 20, 1912. William Booth was born to Samuel Booth and his second wife Mary Moss in Sneinton, Nottingham as the second son of five children.
His father was wealthy at the time but during William’s early life, the family went broke. The father could not afford the school fees of his son and had to take him to a pawnbroker in 1842. He later that died in September of that same year.
William Booth was converted two years after he started his apprenticeship and he trained himself to read and write. As an evangelist, he and his friend Will Sansom preached to the poor and sinners of Nottingham. The two would have been in the same Mission ministry if Sansom had not died of tuberculosis in 1849.
He finished his apprenticeship in 1848 and was unemployed though he looked for a job for a year. Against his will, he left for London in 1849 and found work with a pawnbroker.
He joined the Reformers (Methodist Reform Church) in 1851 and when he did his 23rd birthday, he left his work as a pawnbroker and became a full-time preacher at the church headquarters at Binfield Chapel, Clapham.
THE SALVATION ARMY
The name came about when he was dictating a letter to his secretary Gorge Scott Railton and said “We are a volunteer army.” His son heard him and said, “Volunteer, I’m no volunteer, I’m a regular!“
Railton was asked to cross out the word “volunteer” and put “salvation” instead.
The ministries was modeled after the military, with its own flag and its own music. Booth and other Christian soldiers in God’s Army would wear the army’s own uniform ‘putting on the armour,‘ for meetings and ministry work.
William Booth became the “General” and other ministers were given the suitable ranks as “officers”. Members became “soldiers”.
The ministry started with a lot of struggle to meet the rising needs to help the needy, but they persevered. The ministry started functioning in other countries like the United States, France, Switzerland, Sweden, and many others.
Read Also: Catherine Booth Biography
He went to be with Lord at the age of 83 in August 1912 at his home in Hadley Wood.
MARITAL AND RELATIONSHIP STATUS
He got married to Catherine Munford on the 17 of June 1855 at Stockwell New Chapel. They are blessed with eight children namely:
- Bramwell Booth
- Ballington Booth
- Kate Booth
- Emma Booth
- Herbert Booth
- Marie Booth
- Evangeline Booth
- Lucy Booth
- In Darkest England and The Way OutDiggory Press,
- Purity of HeartDiggory Press,
- Boundless Salvation: The Shorter Writings of William Booth, Edited by Andrew M. Eason and Roger J. Green. New York: Peter Lang, 2012.
- Sergeant-Major Do-Your-Best of Darkington No. I: Sketches of the Inner Life of a Salvation Army Corps1906
- “Founder Speaks Again” Salvation Army, 1 Dec 1960.
- O Boundless Salvation(1893)
- Send the Fire(1894)
- Bless His Name He Sets Me Free, which was set to a popular music-hall song of the time, Champagne Charlie.
QUOTES BY HIM
“The greatness of the man’s power is the measure of his surrender.”
“The chief danger of the 20th century will be religion without the Holy Spirit, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance, salvation without regeneration, politics without God, and heaven without hell.”
“Work as if everything depended upon work and pray as if everything depended upon prayer.”
“God loves with a great love the man whose heart is bursting with a passion for the impossible.”
LESSONS FROM HIS LIFE
One of the greatest lessons every believer should learn from his life is to have God do things His way. We should avail ourselves as vessels in His hand and see the wonders we will become. God bless you. Shalom!