The total needs of his fellow men and women - material , emotional and spiritual - were the primary concerns of William Booth, founder of The Salvation Army. In 1865, Booth, an ordained Methodist minister, along with his wife Catherine, enlisted followers to preach the gospel and wage war against the sin and hunger that flourished in the East London slums. Originally known as the Christian Mission, the group endured abuse and death threats to become The Salvation Army in 1878. Organized on a militaristic structure, Booth became the “General” and his ministers were appointed officers’ ranks.
The Salvation Army marched into the United States in 1880 and established the Milwaukee mission in 1889. Captain Samuel Neil, his wife and four workers created a Command Post in a small storefront on West Water Street. The community did not entirely understand or accept the group, and police protection occasionally had to be sought. Over the next century of involvement in Milwaukee, The Salvation Army embarked on a mission of service with numerous milestones.