The most outstanding example of ministry to the dispossessed was the work of a pietistic evangelical William Booth (1829-1912). He started his ministry with the Methodist New Connection but soon withdrew to work with London’s poor. His street preaching in London’s East End in 1864 met with phenomenal success. Within eleven years he had thirty-two stations promoting evangelism and social service among London’s destitute. His workers, organized like a military unit, were soon called the Salvation Army. Evangelist Booth became General Booth.
By 1888 the General had established 1,000 British corps and had dispatched patrols to many other nations. His book In Darkest England and the Way Out appeared in 1890 graphically comparing the social darkness in England to Africa’s darkness pictured by David Livingstone. In London, in one year, he reported 2,157 people had been found dead, 2,297 had committed suicide, 30,000 were living in prostitution, 160,000 had been convicted of drunkenness, and more than 900,000 were classed as paupers. Booth went on to describe the Army’s enormous rescue efforts. The whole picture was one of dire need. But no such ministry came from the Church of England.
[tags]BlogRodent, church-history, Church-of-England, ChurchRodent, David-Livingstone, history, Methodist, Salvation-Army, William-Booth[/tags]