William Booth

General William Booth was the founder of the Salvation Army, without doubt he will live in history with John Wesley and others who initiated movements with a revolutionary effect on the religious life of their time, and have left an abiding and worldwide influence.

It was impossible we are told, to see or hear the General without being impressed by the sheer power of his personality. He was masterful in his methods, his appearance, and bearing. As his piercing eyes looked out from above his long patriarchal beard, he looked like some prophet of Old Testament times.

That William Booth had a certain flair for affairs was seen by the fabric of his creation, a network of spiritual and social agencies which spread across the world. He was a great organiser with a genius for spiritual and practical detail.

He had no regular course of theological training. He graduated in the rough and tumble oratory of the streets. His knowledge of theology was admittedly very limited. In the debates over doctrines and creeds he was not at all interested. Literature held no great appeal to him. He saw men and woman as sinners needing to be saved from Hell. He believed the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. So he concentrated on preaching the Gospel of salvation seeking to snatch people from the jaws of something worse than death. From first to last he was a fiery Gospel preacher and revivalist. To the General there were no realities so demonstrable as the realities of the spiritual world, most of all the reality of Jesus Christ real personal presence and saving power. He rejoiced that unquestioning faith in the Lord Jesus Christ’s power worked everywhere and under all conditions. He preached with passion, his strong voice hurtling out thoughts from heart and mind, he was gripped with the importance of the Gospel message. He looked like a prophet and preached like one. Thousands of people responded to the Gospel preaching and got saved, lives changed as many became new creatures Christ Jesus.
The Fire and the Blood ministry startled hearers to making a personal commitment of belief to Jesus Christ. [John 3: 16.]

William Booth seldom sort to instruct or to edify. In his preaching to general audiences all over the world his one direct message was that of Jesus Christ and His salvation, and his single aim was to bring men and woman to a personal decision. He was, it has been said a messenger to the heart of mankind, a courier taking the most direct route, and making all possible haste.

William Booth was a brave preacher of the Gospel, he was persecuted, sneered at, pilloried in every way, however adversity failed to deflect him from his Gospel preaching, and popularity failed to turn his head.

William Booth preacher, prophet and man of compassion. His work now worldwide the Salvation Army is today usually first at the point of need around the world.

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