Inspiring Stories Catherine Booth
In honor of National Women’s History Month, we’re sharing stories of how women wearing The Salvation Army uniform inspire other women to make history every day.
She lived in a world that was known to hold women back. She broke through and became not just the co-founder of The Salvation Army but a trailblazer. Today, Catherine Booth’s name lives on, gracing buildings and schools, where her legacy continues.
Booth used the abilities God gave her to lead The Salvation Army and to defend and inspire other women to serve God’s will in London, England, and around the globe. Today, her impact echoes through history here in the Kansas and Western Missouri Division.
“She was so brave! Born in a time when women were not to lead or teach in the church, she followed her heart and the Lord's leading to say what He had placed on her heart,” said Sarah DiMaso, Divisional Volunteer Coordinator/Divisional Statistician. “She was a beautiful example of simply being faithful to be who God has made and let Him do the rest.”
Catherine co-founded The Salvation Army in 1865 along with her husband, William Booth, the first General of The Army. She was not just a strong supporter of her husband’s mission; she was at the frontline preaching God’s word and making decisions that would help build the Christian Mission born in London’s East End into a worldwide movement.
She was instrumental in speaking to the wealthy residents of the city, gaining their financial support for the ministry. That allowed her to launch programs like Food for the Million shops where poor residents could purchase an inexpensive meal and at Christmas time, the shops distributed hundreds of free meals.
Catherine was known as the “Mother” of the organization for her bravery, leadership, and faithfulness. One of the many women she inspired was her own daughter, Evangeline Booth, who would go on to become the first woman to serve The Salvation Army as General in 1934.