Canada Salvation Army Term Paper

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Canada Salvation Army

Canadian Salvation Army

Historical Context

The Salvation Army was founded by William Booth, a Methodist minister. He started it as the Christian Mission in the East End of London, England, in 1865. (the Salvation Army, the history, 2007). Booth's philosophy was that "there is little point preaching 'salvation' to hungry people." (the Salvation Army, the history, 2007). In fact, according to Pastor Christopher Rideout, William Booth believed that there was no place for the poor in the church of his time. (C. Rideout, personal communication, January 8, 2008). He decided to follow John Wesley's example of reaching and getting involved with the community. (C. Rideout, personal communication, January 8, 2008). Therefore, he embraced the concept of feeding and helping the poor while preaching to them, a concept that became known as "soup and salvation." Even today, according to Pastor Rideout, "The Army takes a holistic approach to community development and aims to meet physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of marginalized individuals." (C. Rideout, personal communication, January 8, 2008). Though the organization was essentially a religious one, it took on an increasingly military structure, and its name was changed to the Salvation Army in 1878. (the Salvation Army, the history, 2007). The Salvation Army spread beyond England, going to the United States, and then to Canada.

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The Salvation Army in Canada was founded in 1882, as an organization to provide aid to the country's poor. The first meetings began in January of that year and were led by British immigrants who had worked with the Salvation Army in England. By July of that year, Major Thomas Moore came from the U.S. headquarters of the Salvation Army to run the organization in Canada. In 1883, Canada was declared independent of the U.S. branch of the Salvation Army, and became responsible for its own governance. There was initially resistance to the Salvation Army in Canada, but its effective social programs eventually swayed public opinion. In 1909, parliament passed an act giving the Salvation Army legal standing.

TOPIC: Term Paper on Canada Salvation Army Assignment

The history of the Salvation Army is closely aligned with the history of women's rights. While the Salvation Army was founded by William Booth, his "wife, Catherine Mumford Booth, was also active in the new ministry... Catherine became convinced that women deserved an equal place in society, and, after some conflict, managed to convince her husband to allow her to join him in preaching." (Salvation Army, 2006). According to Pastor Rideout, it has always considered men and women as equals, and has welcomed women into the church. (C. Rideout, personal communication, January 8, 2008). In fact, women's role in the Salvation Army differed significantly from the role of women in other parts of Protestant society; instead of delegating women to the role of social housekeepers, "Salvationists believed sanctified women had an obligation to take to the streets in a the name of Jesus, precisely because they were the same as sanctified men." (Taiz, 1997). In fact, this type of gender equality was unknown in other religious organizations of that time, or by society in general. "By institutionalizing equality, the Salvation Army provided women with opportunities to hold positions of leadership that were unheard of in religious organizations of that period and well beyond." (Taiz, 1997). However, the women in the Salvation Army were not entirely free from prejudice; "they faced the constraints of Victorian gendered expectations related to private and public sphere ideology." (Rutherdale, 2005).

Issue the service attempts to address

From the beginning, the Salvation Army in Canada was dedicated to public service, focusing its efforts to help the impoverished, especially children. In 1890, the Salvation Army opened a Prison Gate Home in Toronto, helping men, and a children's shelter. It opened its first Maternity Home in 1898. The Salvation Army worked with the federal government to establish Canada's first prisoner parole program. (the Salvation Army, the history, 2007). The organization also began recycling and started its Thrift Store program. They also worked with the federal government to establish a juvenile detention center. Later, the Salvation Army opened a seniors' residence, homes for unmarried mothers, an anti-suicide bureau, victim assistance programs, witness assistance programs. Furthermore, according to Pastor Captain Christopher Rideout, while today's Salvation Army continues to address issues of poverty and homelessness, it has expanded its programs to include issues that are relevant in today's society, such as the sex trade. (C. Rideout, personal communication, January 8, 2008).

Today, the Canadian Salvation Army has become "the largest non-governmental direct provider of social services in the country." (the Salvation Army, the history, 2007). Its structure continues to resemble a hybrid of an army and a church. Today,

The Salvation Army has 1,000 active officers (clergy), over 21,000 soldiers (church members) and over 53,000 adherents; that is, people who claim the Army as their church home, but who are not formal members. There are over 320 corps (churches) and over 120 social service institutions of various kinds. As well as the many thousands of volunteers, almost 10,000 people are employed by the Salvation Army in the Canada and Bermuda Territory. Almost 40 Canadian officers and lay staff also serve overseas in countries from Papua New Guinea to South Africa. (the Salvation Army, the history, 2007).

Why it was developed

The overall goal of the Salvation Army is to help people, through God. According to Pastor Rideout, the organization's mandate is to enable people's lives, by providing the right tools. Moreover, they believed that change could not occur through institutions, but required that people get involved. (C. Rideout, personal communication, January 8, 2008). To better understand this goal, it helps to look at the organization's own stated values and goals. According to the Canadian Salvation Army's website, "The Salvation Army is an international Christian church. Its message is based on the Bible; its ministry is motivated by love for God and the needs of humanity." (the Salvation Army, Mission & values, 2007). It was developed as a means for Christians to put their faith into practice, but also as a means of more purposeful evangelicism. Surmising that people were much more willing to be converts if they had received assistance and experienced the benefits of a religion, firsthand, the Salvation Army demonstrates that behavior. It is a religion that not only preaches charity, but actively practices it.

Mandate of the service

The organization's mission statement is "The Salvation Army exists to share the love of Jesus Christ, meet human needs and be a transforming influence in the communities of our world." (the Salvation Army, Mission & values, 2007). Its core values include salvation, holiness, intimacy with God, compassion, respect, excellence, integrity, relevance, co-operation, and celebration. (the Salvation Army, Mission & values, 2007). According to Pastor Rideout, the modern Salvation Army has three main functions: church, thrift store, and family services. The thrift stores purpose is to provide funds for the social programs; "the monetary profits from the thrift store stays within the community and pays for the family services." (C. Rideout, personal communication, January 8, 2008).

Description of the service

Today, the Salvation Army offers a wide variety of social-services in Canada. These services are varied, and are tailored to respond to the needs of the community. The responsive nature of the Salvation Army is best demonstrated by its emergency and disaster services. Emergency and disaster services seek to alleviate some of the immediate impact of disasters on the public, by providing immediate relief. These emergency services can be for local emergencies, but they can also be international, such as providing aid for Hurricane Katrina. In addition, it provides family tracing services, which enable people to locate their families in the wake of nature disasters, or simply when one has a missing family member, and this service has been invaluable to people who are trying to locate family members in the wake of an emergency or a natural disaster.

The Salvation Army tries to aid people experiencing different types of crises; therefore, it provides assistance to the impoverished, such as providing clothing, food, housing, life skills training, and counseling. In fact, one of the Salvation Army's goals is to provide financially disadvantaged children with benefits. One way that they do that is to provide summer camps for children from marginalized communities. Another way that they do that is to provide services, such as meals and counseling, to homeless children.

Furthermore, aiding the homeless is one of the Salvation Army's biggest forms of outreach. "The Salvation Army provides 5,000 shelter beds for the homeless each night through a national network of 50 shelters and hostels, making it the single largest provider of shelter services in Canada." (the Salvation Army, Programs and services, 2007). It provides these services to people who are homeless for a variety of reasons. For example, it provides services to the chronically impoverished. However, people also find themselves homeless due to domestic violence or substance abuse issues, and the Salvation Army assists them in finding affordable housing or shelter while they are experiencing… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Canada Salvation Army" Term Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Canada Salvation Army.  (2008, February 25).  Retrieved September 20, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Canada Salvation Army."  25 February 2008.  Web.  20 September 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Canada Salvation Army."  February 25, 2008.  Accessed September 20, 2021.