History

Happy Founder’s Day

Lord, help us today to be the movers and shakers of The Salvation Army and lead others to salvation. by Captain Charles Smith

Happy Founder’s Day! The late General Albert Orsborn once wrote, “It is said that organizations tend to become the lengthening shadows of their Founders,” and this could certainly be a correct estimation of The Salvation Army. 

We can’t be sure what our Founders were thinking when they began their work in that Serbonian bog of the East End of London under the canvas of that sacred spot, the Quaker cemetery. We do know that William and Catherine Booth went all-in as they began to see the world as the Lord Jesus Christ sees it. They saw that they were surrounded by the least, the last and the lost. But what about us? Those that are the called, the consecrated, the commissioned. Are we willing to be like those that have gone on before us, like William and Catherine Booth? Do we look upon the world as they did? They not only saw that they were surrounded by lost souls who needed soap and soup, but also that those “others” needed salvation most of all. Eternity is not too far away, and in everything the Booths did, leading others into the arms of Jesus was their primary focus. When looking at a portrait of the Founder, I can almost hear him say, “See how great a thing we began, and see to it you fail us not.” 

Are we seeing the shadow of our Founders lengthening or shortening? Are we living up to that original idea of what they wanted to accomplish for the Lord? How do we as Salvationists perceive the world that we live in today? Does the clarion call to “Get Up! Shake Yourself! Act!” still apply to us today, or have we become comfortable and complacent in our day-to-day activities? Lord, help us today to be the movers and shakers of The Salvation Army and lead others to salvation. 

Captain Charles Smith is the Corps Officer in Jonesboro, AR.

Photo courtesy of National Headquarters Archives

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