William and Catherine Booth were Methodist ministers who traveled the country sharing the gospel. They had no intention of setting up a separate domination however gained a following through their engaging sermons. They came to Whitechapel, London in 1865 and converted an old Pub called "The Eastern Star" into a Church/ Corp temple. They adopted the imagery from popular culture using the format of theater posters to advertise their meetings. They also used Brass Bands and music hall entertainment to attract people. Leading to them adopting army terms which was a popular subject matter in theater shows due to the political climate.
Yesterday night I went to a talk about the Salvation Army Archive at the London Metropolitan Archives. I went with very little knowledge of the Salvation Army movement however left with a better understanding of their impact on church and social culture.
They also allowed different classes and women as well as men to preach, take leadership roles, lead social action initiatives and play in brass bands. This created interest from people who didn't feel as though they had a place in other church services. However ignited riots amongest the middle classes who lost business from convents, the most notable riots against the salvation army were in Worthing and Hastings. However the Salvation Army still grew internationally.
When William Booth died in 1912, 80 thousand people lined the streets of the east end of London. A personal link to the Salvation Army for me was that I was born in Mother's Hospital in Hackney (image above) which was originally set up by the Salvation Army for single mothers and private patients however was nationalised in 1948 and closed in the late 1980s. http://www.salvationarmy.org.uk/