The Salvation Army is a Christian church and an international charitable organization structured in a military fashion. It is an army without guns. The organisation has a worldwide membership of over 1.5 million, consisting of soldiers, officers and adherents known as Salvationists. Its founders Catherine and William Booth sought to bring salvation to the poor, destitute and hungry by meeting both their “physical and spiritual needs”, something which it still strives to do today.
The Salvation Army is currently present in 128 countries. In each of these countries The Salvation Army has church buildings, known as corps, at which people are able to worship God. Its worship is both relevant and distinctive with prayer, singing and preaching forming an important part of each worship service. The singing is accompanied in such a way as to be relevant to its local context so it could be led by guitars and drums or by a brass band. In addition to this the work of The Salvation Army is varied and includes running charity shops, operatingshelters for the homeless, running children’s and elderly people’s programmes and providing disaster relief and humanitarian aid.
The beliefs of The Salvation Army are in line with the Christian faith, based upon the teaching of the Bible, although in some ways they are derived from that of Methodism. The Salvation Army’s doctrine is typical of any evangelical Protestant denomination. The Army’s purposes can be summed up as ‘To save souls, to grow saints and to serve suffering humanity’.
The Salvation Army was founded in 1865 in London by a former Methodist preacher William Booth. It was originally known as the East London Christian Mission, but in 1878 the mission was renamed The Salvation Army with William Booth becoming its first General and introducing the military structure which has been retained to the present day. The current world leader of The Salvation Army is General André Cox, who was elected by the High Council of The Salvation Army in August 2013.
The Salvation Army has been in Georgia since 1993. Following meetings with government officials it was invited to commence its work in the country. In the years since then work has been continuing in eight centres within the country from Batumi in the West to Lagodekhi in the East, as well as in Tbilisi and Rustavi.
In Georgia, relevant Christian worship at Salvation Army Centres takes place every Sunday. In addition to this a variety of other activities are held throughout the week. Please contact your local centre for more information.
The Salvation Army has also been on hand to help during various humanitarian crises in Georgia, offering its helping hand to anyone, regardless of their personal belief. It is for this reason that we like to think of ourselves as expressing ‘Faith in Action’.
In August 2017 Majors Ray and Carelle Begley were appointed as the Regional Leaders of The Salvation Army in Georgia.
They have previously served in the United Kingdom and in Australia, in Corps appointments, on Divisional Headquarters and on Territorial Headquarters.
In addition, Major Ray has served as an Emergency Relief Officer in countries such as Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Indonesia and Rwanda.
Both Majors Ray and Carelle are passionate about seeing people come to Jesus and having their lives changed.