- In 1865, William Booth spent his days and nights preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to the poor, the homeless, the hungry and the destitute people of London, England. In his attempt to reach these people, Booth challenged the accepted concept of church and took his preaching to the streets. Booth traveled throughout England conducting evangelistic meetings. Booth’s services were an instant success. He quickly became well known as a religious leader throughout London and attracted followers who were dedicated to fighting for the souls of men and women.
- In 1867, Booth had only 10 full-time workers, but by 1874, Booth’s followers had grown to 1,000 volunteers and 42 evangelists. At this time, the group was serving under the name “The Christian Mission.” The group officially adopted the title of “The Salvation Army” in August of 1878.
- The ministry migrated to America in 1885, where The Salvation Army’s first meeting took place in Philadelphia. After receiving a warm welcome, The Salvation Army expanded its operation throughout the United States. Today, there are more than 9,000 Salvation Army centers and local neighborhood units in the United States. For more detailed information and an in-depth look at the history of The Salvation Army, visit
The International Heritage Centre:
History of the Kettle
The kettle first appeared on the streets of San Francisco in the early 1890s. Brainchild of Captain (or Major) Joseph McFee, the kettles were used in a campaign to raise funds for a shelter in the waterfront district. Captain McFee suspended a large cooking pot from a tripod and place a sign above it that read: Keep the pot boiling. Shortly thereafter, Christmas kettles began appearing in communities across the United States and are now an indispensable part of the holiday season.