Reverend William Booth (1829-1912) was a British Methodist preacher who founded The Salvation Army and became the first General. At 13 he was apprenticed to a pawnbroker and two years in was converted to â¿¿salvationâ¿¿ and Methodism. He then read extensively and trained himself in writing and in speech, becoming a Methodist lay preacher. In 1865, Booth and his wife Catherine opened The Christian Revival Society in the East End of London, where they held meetings every evening and on Sundays, to offer repentance, salvation and Christian ethics to the poorest. The Christian Revival Society was later renamed The Christian Mission. During his lifetime, William Booth established Army work in 58 countries and colonies, travelling extensively and holding â¿¿salvation meetingsâ¿¿. Booth regularly published a magazine and was the author of a number of books; he also composed several songs. His book In Darkest England and the Way Out not only became a bestseller after its 1890 release, it set the foundation for the Armyâ¿¿s modern social welfare schemes. Amongst his other works are: Orders and Regulations for Officers and Soldiers, Letters to My Soldiers, Religion for Every Day and Salvation Soldiery Visions.