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Friday, June 3, 2016

Hero's of the Salvation Army

   Evangeline Booth came to America under controversy. One of her brothers, Ballington Booth, had stirred a rebellion within the Salvation Army in the States forming the Volunteers of America. When she arrived at the headquarters on 14th street in New York City the doors were locked to keep her out.  Undeterred she went around back and climbed up the fire escape and through an open window. Through a hail of Boos and Hisses she strode through them and found an American flag, wrapped herself in it and said "Hiss that, if you dare!"

   In stunned silence the rebels stood there as she pulled out her concertina then played and sang "Over Jordan without Fearing." The rebellion was over. She took command of the US branch of the Salvation Army under orders from her father the General and helped rebuild it. The of the Army grew steadily until the onset of world war one.

   Seeing an opportunity to serve her fellow men she met with General Pershing, Commander of all the US forces fighting in France. After some ardent negotiation she convinced him to allow them to send Salvationist to the front. Not to fight, but to setup rest stations for the fighting men. It is from that that we get the famous Doughnut Girls.  When the men wrote back home about the care given them the Army flourished back in the states and after the war, when the men returned the Army exploded.

   At one point she became the 4th General of the Salvation Army  and with her experiences in the States she helped the Army grow far and wide throughout the world. After her term she retired back to upstate New York where she lived out the rest of her life.

   One other lasting idea was born through her that is a mainstay of the Army to this day and is also what most Americans think of when they think of the Salvation Army - that is the Christmas kettles.