Farewell to the Founder

By Loreen Hamilton148241

Salvationists throughout the world have heard story after story of the life of their Founder, General William Booth. His passion, powerful speaking and vision to see the world won for God was revolutionary in his time. But one area rarely discussed–if ever—is the incredible events leading up to his death and the ways in which he was honored after his promotion to Glory.

In his book Farewell to the Founder, R.G. Moyles compiles quotes, stories, newspaper clippings and articles to form a detailed picture of the grief–and the celebration–that followed Booth’s promotion to Glory.

Whatever an  individual’s opinion of the Founder may be, it is hard to deny his mark on his home country of England and eventually the rest of the world. Quotes from Christian and secular publications alike made known that he left an indelible legacy for generations to come.

“That the world is a million times better than General Booth lived no one will deny and the human being was not living, who did not drop a tear of regret, on hearing his death,” wrote the Seattle Republican. “He was without religious creed or doctrine, but was full and overflowing with the love of God and right and justice toward his fellow man, and that was wroth more than all of the creeds and isms ascribed to Christianity.”

Thoughtfully woven together into chapters highlighting success, praise and some defeat, the book is an easy and quick read, but informative and full of insight into Army history. The death of the first General changed the face of The Salvation Army as the young organization was turned over to Booth’s son, Bramwell. This fact and others surrounding the future of The Salvation Army are discussed in the final chapter, which explores people’s curiosity of what the organization would look like in the future.

Booth’s legacy is as wide and varied as the numerous people who have written and spoken about it, but there is no question that a legacy was, indeed, left behind and will not be forgotten with the help of this book.

As the South African News wrote following Booth’s death, “As an achievement, the Army is a miracle wrought in an age of materialism, of so outstanding and so striking a nature that, even if it ceased tomorrow, the name of the man who worked it must endure.”

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