William Booth was so successful as a Methodist evangelist that other ministers were embarrassed. In 1857, these ministers voted overwhelmingly to remove him from general evangelism. They moved to make him pastor of a small district.
William’s passion was to preach to the urban poor, but he accepted his new assignment and prayed for patience while he worked as a pastor. Finally, in 1860, his patience wore thin. Once more, he asked for full-time evangelistic work, and again, was refused. This time, inspired by his wife, Catherine, he left the Methodist Church.
The future looked bleak for William, Catherine, and their four small children. Prayerfully, Catherine told him, “The Lord will be with us. You have a message for the masses, and you must reach them.”
Together with a growing number of followers, he and Catherine brought hope to the world’s poorest areas. With soul-stirring evangelistic meetings and steaming bowls of soup for anyone who hungered, the Salvation Army was born.