What is 135 years old and growing?

The answer is: The Salvation Army in America.

Such an interesting movement, brought here 15 years after the Christian Mission was founded and later became The Salvation Army. Lt. Eliza Shirley, as a 16 year old, moved to Philadelphia with her parents and conducted the first recognized SA meeting on American soil with a street meeting at 4th and Oxford Streets in Philadelphia. Having said that, an African, James Jermy in Cleveland, Ohio too experimented with SA meetings there when TSA was still the Christian Mission. It was 1872 when he planted the Mission and worked it for four years until he returned to England. Another missioner wrote to the General about starting the work in New Jersey as well about that time.

The street meeting in Philly was naturally followed by an indoor meeting in an unused chair factory where people were brought to faith in Jesus. Hallelujah! Because of their success in Pennsylvania, when Commissioner George Scott Railton and seven female officers landed in Battery Park, New York, they were well received by the American Salvationists.

Railton and company arrived on the ship Australia which was significant in that the work was being initiated by Saunders and Gore in Australia in 1880 as well.

So today is a birthday of sorts as Railton officially opened the work of The Salvation Army on March 10,1880. His last words to the founder were written as the ship came to port, “The fact is we are so thoroughly satisfied that Filled with God, we’ll shake America that all that lies between us and that result is marvelously insignificant.”

America can still use some holy shaking today. Hallelujah!

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,
1 Peter 3:15 NIV

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