Modeled after the military complete with uniforms, flag, music and rank, the Salvation Army was founded in 1865 by former minister William Booth and his wife, Catherine, in London. Leading "God's Army," Booth made himself the general of his organization, and his other ministers were the officers. Other participating members became the Salvation Army's soldiers. While William aimed his sermons to the poor populace, his wife--the "Mother of the Salvation Army"--ministered to the wealthy, seeking financial support for their group. The "Three S's" became part of their credo in dealing with the poor: they offered soup, soap and salvation.
The Salvation Army spread from England to Australia, Ireland and the United States beginning in 1980. Their main goals were to help the poor and convert "undesirables" such as alcoholics, prostitutes and drug addicts. The Salvation Army discouraged other vices, such as smoking and gambling, and they did not practice the Christian sacraments of communion or baptism.