William Booth was born into a wealthy family, but that was not to last.
His father, Samuel, made some bad financial investments and the family ended up in poverty. By the time William was 13, his father went into bankruptcy.
Because his father could no longer afford school fees, young William was forced to become a trade apprentice. Although William was adept at his trade (pawn brokering) he disliked it, and decided instead to become a preacher.
William strongly believed that poverty was the devil's weapon, the lack of money driving men to drink and women to the streets. He was convinced that a person's economic status determined the direction his or her life would take, and felt strongly that he would like to do something about it.
In 1865, he and his wife Catherine opened up the Christian Revival Society. It was later renamed the Christian Mission, and still later the Salvation Army. It offered repentance, salvation and training in Christian ethics to London's poorest and neediest folk.
The group flourished. Some accused it of having an almost circus-like atmosphere. But the poor witnessed to the poor and souls were converted by the thousands.
The Salvation Army was described in the London Times over time as ridiculous, subversive, heretical, noble and duplicitous. This not bothering William, he expanded the ministry to nations all over the world.
Today the Salvation Army operates in 111 nations. It is one of the largest distributors of food and humanitarian aid in the world.
A heart set on love will do no wrong- Confucius
And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever. Isaiah 32:17