Salvation Army Worship and Service Centers hold weekly services, usually on a Sunday. These meetings have a relaxed atmosphere, and can indulge hymn singing, Bible readings, testimonies (members of the congregation talking about their Christian experiences) and presentations by worship or drama groups. The hymns and songs may be accompanied by a traditional Salvation Army brass band or a more contemporary worship band with keyboard, guitars, drums and other instruments. The Songsters (choir) may provide a vocal lead or present a reflective musical item. As well as services on a Sunday, there are often weekday and evening activities, such as prayer groups, family events, lunch groups, youth clubs and meetings for seniors.
Why not go along to your local Salvation Army Worship and Service Centers and see for yourself all that it can offer? You will be welcomed warmly.
The Crest - The crest is a meaningful symbol of the Salvationist's beliefs. Captain William Ebdon designed the crest in 1878 and the only alteration to his original design was the addition of the crown. Its emblems set forth the leading doctrines of The Salvation Army as follows: The crown speaks of God's reward for His faithful people The sun (the surround) represents the light and fire of the Holy Spirit The 'S' stands for salvation from sin The cross of Jesus stands at the center of the crest and the Salvationist's faith The swords represent the fight against sin The shots (seven dots on the circle) stand for the truths of the Gospel "Blood and Fire" is the motto of The Salvation Army. This describes the blood of Jesus shed on the cross to save all people, and the fire of the Holy Spirit which purifies believers.
The Flag - Around the world, The Salvation Army flag is a symbol of The Army's war against sin and social evil. The red on the flag symbolizes the blood shed by Christ, the yellow for the fire of the Holy Spirit and the blue for the purity of God the Father. The flag precedes outdoor activities such as a march of witness. It is used in ceremonies such as the dedication of children and the swearing-in of soldiers. It is sometimes placed on the coffin at the funeral of a Salvationist. The Salvation Army term used to describe the death of a Salvationist is that of the deceased being "promoted to glory." This is a term that is still used and upheld by Salvationists today.
The Salvationists' Uniform - While many denominations of the Christian Church have a distinctive form of dress for the clergy, The Salvation Army is almost unique in its allocation of its distinctively martial apparel for clergy and laity alike. Salvationists advocate the priesthood of all believers, thus the uniform (which relates to a priestly garb) is also worn by non-officers. In a sense, a Salvation Army uniform is a Salvationist's "working clothes" for mission.
Uniforms have been worn in many forms since the Army's earliest days. The first evangelists of the Christian Mission (early name of The Salvation Army) wore suits of clerical cut, with frock coats, tall hats and black ties. Women evangelists wore plain dresses and small Quaker type bonnets. After the Mission became The Army (1878) it was agreed that a military type uniform should be adopted. The first captain of The Salvation Army, a former chimney sweep name Elijah Cadman, is credited with instigating the wearing of the military-style uniforms after declaring at an early meeting, "I should like to wear a suit of clothes that would let everybody know I meant war to the teeth and salvation for the world."
The original Salvation Army uniform was modelled on Victorian military garb, but has evolved over the years. The Army is continually reviewing the style of the uniform to ensure it is up to date. The Salvationist's uniform currently serves three purposes: internally its use provides a sense of identity and indicates membership; externally it provides a widely recognized symbol of availability and service; internationally it is the most recognized and recognizable cultural icon for Salvationists, part of the glue that holds the denomination together. The effect of uniform-wearing is to give an extraordinarily high visibility and visual impact in public.