“Great crowds of working people came to hear me preach; a large number were convinced of sin by the Holy Spirit, and many of them responded to my invitations to come to Christ for salvation. Encouraged by what I saw in Whitechapel, and finding other parts of the Metropolis equally necessitous, I visited some of them, with equally gratifying results. Much enthusiasm was created and many of the converts became my regular coworkers. These I met regularly every week, personally instructing them in the things of God, counselling them in the difficulties that they had to contend with, encouraging them to persevere, and showing them how to do the work they had undertaken. Some of the converts resided in other parts of London, and they soon commenced themselves to hold meetings, and to win souls in their own localities. I was entreated to care for these also… I was… driven to select men and women who I knew to be lovers of souls and living holy lives, for the purpose of caring for these new converts… The Lord was with them in great power, and hundreds of wicked and godless people were converted and united together in separate societies.” (General William Booth)
Borrowed from Captain David Collinson on Founders Day, today, 2nd July.
Salvationists in Nottingham, William Booth’s birthplace, honoured the Founder’s memory by a demonstration in the public parks. The plural, Founders’ Day, was adopted to recognize the part played not only by William and Catherine Booth but by all the Christian Mission pioneers. From 1924 to 1939, Founders’ Day continued to be celebrated on 5th July, but, from 1940 onwards, Founders’ Day changed to 2nd July, which according to Colonel Robert Sandall, the Army’s historian, was the anniversary of the first Tent Meeting at which William Booth preached on the Quaker Burial Ground in Whitechapel.
Today is an opportunity to reflect on what God has done through the obedience and passion of this amazing couple William & Catherine Booth. You may want to take some time today and go down to your local park and ask what can we do now that would have a similar impact in our local community. Having a meeting every night of the week in a public setting where people were challenged with the gospel message still seems radical today. Lets ask God what we can do 144 years after that initial meeting that will also result in changed lives and a reformed society.