August 20, 1912.

One hundred years ago today William Booth died.  The first General of The Salvation Army was ‘promoted to glory’.  Booth’s final promotion marked the end of a long journey that began with his personal escape from misery.  Only to return, to stand alongside the suffering.  Does this sound like the story of Moses?

The boy William grew up along the edge of poverty. Its lessons stayed with him lifelong.  But Booth grew, changed, as he began serving in the name of Jesus.  His views on women in ministry.  Innovation; a stick in the mud, he learned to take risks and adopt new measures.  An enthusiastic revival preacher became a social activist.  Persuaded to become a teetotaler.  Once a devout practitioner of the sacraments he was persuaded to give up baptism and communion.

Catherine persuaded William.  Catherine and William share credit as cofounders of The Salvation Army.  Perhaps that would not sit well with our complementarian brothers.

Where does William Booth’s journey end?

Here, one August day in London?

Or kneeling, a-weeping in that holy place?

I like to think the journey continues on, perhaps joined by you, and me.

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