Catherine Mumford – Army Mother

Catherine Mumford was born in 1829. By the time she was 12 years old, she had read the bible, end to end, 8 times.

At an early age she witnessed a policeman being too rough on a drunken man. At the age of 14 she became ill and bed ridden for two years. She used that time to study and to write articles for magazines warning of the dangers of drinking alcohol.

When she and William Booth became engaged, shortly after he became a minister, she shared his strong views on helping the poor and needy. When they married, they both decided to forego the customary large wedding for a simple ceremony, as they wanted to use their time and money for his ministry.

In 1860 Catherine was in a Chapel when a “strange conpulsion seized her and she felt she must rise and speak”. Later she recalled how an inner voice taunted her: “You will look like a fool and have nothing to say”. Catherine decided that this was the Devil’s voice: “That’s just the point,” she retorted, “I have never yet been willing to be a fool for Christ. Now I will be one.”

Catherine Booth soon developed a reputation as an outstanding speaker despite the fact that at that time it was very risky for any woman to speak in public. She took a leading role in their revival services and also spoke to people in their homes, especially to alcoholics, whom she helped to make a new start in life.

When she and Booth began the work of The Christian Mission (later named “Salvation Army”) in 1865, he preached to the poor and ragged and Catherine spoke to the wealthy, gaining support for their financially demanding ministry.

Catherine organized what became known as Food-for-the-Million Shops where the poor could buy hot soup and a three-course dinner for sixpence. On special occasions such as Christmas Day, she would cook over 300 dinners to be distributed to the poor of London.

It was while she was working with the poor in London that she discovered that women and children were working long hours for low wages in very poor conditions. She was particularly concerned about women making matches. Not only were these women only earning very poor wages, they were also risking their health when they dipped their match-heads in the yellow phosphorus which caused eventual death.

When Catherine Booth died of cancer in 1890, William Booth decided he would force companies to abandon the use of yellow phosphorus. In 1891 the Salvation Army opened its own match-factory using harmless red phosphorus. He outsold the company that was using the debilitating yellow phosphorus. He also paid double what the other company paid it’s employees.

When he began taking journalists on home tours of the people working eleven and twelve hour days in the “sweat shops” of the other company, the bad publicity that the other company received forced the company to reconsider its actions. In 1901, the other company announced it had stopped used yellow phosphorus.

The Booths had eight children. They dedicated to raising their children with firm Christian knowledge. All eight of their children were active in the Salvation Army. Two of them became “Generals of The Salavation Army”. Their mother had become known as the Mother of the Army.

She was behind many of the changes in the new organization, designing the flag and bonnets for the ladies, and contributed to the Army’s ideas on many important issues and matters of belief.

Through their passionate and tireless efforts what they built continues to stand strong and help people today, near 150 years later.

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8 Responses to “Catherine Mumford – Army Mother”

  1. Anne Lamont- Charles says:

    The seed that Wiiliam Booth and Catherine Mumford planted has born a double harvest. That is what I called walking in the divine purpose for your life.Both husband and wife built a dynasty,by affecting their generation and time,they also impacted a system of impoverishment in the slums of England, there by leaving a legacy today that is still transcending and impacting lives,communities in countries and nations worldwide.

  2. Kim Kubena says:

    There is a story called “One Solitary Life”,Catherine Mumford and William Booth were impacted by Christ’s life….we all are. Too bad that daily in our local newspapers, there is not one column that would highlight a story like this from the past to encourage others that during previous “dark and hard times” like we are experiencing now, others stepped forward, inspired by God to help make the world a better place by helping others, speaking out, and stepping out of their “Comfort Zones”. That is how the world changes, one life, one person, one day at a time! Thanks be to God on high for people like the Salvation Army! Their compassion is inspirational!

  3. Rebecca Soria-Hernandez says:

    Holy Spirit in The Mighty Name of Jesus Christ, let us all come to a total complete surrender, and repent of our sins. Forgive us Father as a nation for what we have done against You, and by The Power of The Holy Spirit pour out Your Spirit upon all mankind so that Your Kingdom come, and Your Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Amen

  4. DON says:

    No act is too small when it is done in the name of Christ . HE is the great Provider and we can call on him in prayer to bring help and support where we see the need.

  5. Fola says:

    i thank God for the lives of both husband and wife for if God had not matched them together this good cause might not have materialise but thank God for joining those he knew will carryout his purpose for the earthly people before He comes back again.

  6. Nick Alfaro says:

    Thanks Jesus for that couple who did the fest for for the kingdom of God.

  7. Joan Vachon says:

    The Salvation Army is always there to help others!!
    God bless all of you!

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