In 1865 an ordained Methodist minister named William Booth and his wife Catherine formed an evangelical group dedicated to preaching among the “unchurched” people living in poverty on London’s East End. In addition to preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, Booth became involved in the feeding and shelter of the hungry and homeless and in rehabilitation of alcoholics.
Many churches at the time required financial support from parishioners in exchange for attending worship. The lower classes could not afford the amounts required by churches and therefore were left with nowhere to go to worship, so the Booths took stock of the situation and began holding their own worship services utilizing whatever space was available to them, usually conducting church in the same halls where they held their meal programs.
The "Christian Mission" became The Salvation Army in 1878 when it evolved on a quasi-military pattern. Booth became “the General” and officers’ ranks were given to his ministers. As of today, The Salvation Army's outreach has been expanded to include more 126 countries and the Gospel is preached by its officers in more than 160 languages.