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Sunday, May 22, 2016

Hero's of the Salvation Army

Eliza Shirley, I found out about her quite by accident. Yes, I grew up in the Salvation Army. And as such was taught it's history. But, as a young boy I squirmed at the prospect of sitting still to learn history. So this woman I had forgotten about.

But, now with my love of history, that is the stories in it, and my intent to start this current project I ran into her. Mainly I ran into this photo that caught my attention. So, I looked her up. As I was reading her story the memory of it in Junior Soldier class came back to me.

Born in Coventry England and raised to be a "proper" Victorian lady it was no surprise that she was captivated by the Hallelujah Lassies that marched down her street loudly preaching the gospel, something women did not do. She accepted Christ at the age of 15 and joined them as a lassie till she turned 16.

That was when she sat down with William Booth to talk to him about her faith and he offered her a commission as a Lieutenant (ordained minister). Yes, I know there was more to the story, but I am condensing here.

When her father moved to the United States to find work he asked her and her mother to come over too. With General Booths' tentative blessing she moved to Philadelphia and started the work there. It took a little time to grow. But, it did(again, condensing).

Now, she started the work in Oct. 1879. And, only 6 months later in March 1880 Was the historically recognized start of the Army's work in the US with the arrival of George Scott Railton and his seven Hallelujah Lassies. That is the part that stuck with me over the years. But, Eliza was the first so here she is.


  1. Love this one of Eliza, too! With this pose, you've captured the confident swagger of a young woman who possesses the courage of her convictions and strong faith in Christ!

  2. So inspiring to see your projects Mark! Your artwork really engages a new generation to learn more about SA history. Great job!