The Whole World Remembering
30 June 2015
It was a case of ‘back to the future’ at Boundless - The Whole World Remembering, the congress historical convention, with the surprise unveiling of an interactive William Booth hologram – a brainchild of the New York-based Salvation Factory.
The evening formed The Salvation Army Historical and Philatelic Association’s 2015 convention. The association is the only international group devoted to Salvation Army history and memorabilia. And while there are many Salvationists among its 1,500 members worldwide, it is run totally independently of The Salvation Army.
The association’s major aim is to educate people in how to recognise and care for items of historical interest. It has a publishing arm, with nine books on sale at the Boundless Congress and an invitation for writers to contribute more titles. The Association also manages SAWiki, the largest visitor-edited site about The Salvation Army. (Email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.)
The association’s current chair is Dr Glenn Horridge, who holds a PhD in Salvation Army history from the University of London and freely admits to being ‘Army barmy’. As a history teacher, Dr Horridge includes The Salvation Army in his syllabus, bringing in artefacts, sharing stories and teaching about the Army’s impact on society. ‘We are wanting to promote the Army’s message to people around the world,’ he said, putting out a call for more members.
The evening’s speakers were Dr Roger Green OF (vice president of the association), Envoy Steve Bussey (Co-Director, Salvation Factory, www.salvationfactory.org), and Jack Kerr (Director, USA Eastern Territory Heritage Museum).
Dr Green spoke about ‘The Founders and Foundation’. The Booths developed an intentional ministry, he said, founded on the authority of the Scriptures – including those that attest to the equality of women. They had a clarity of purpose: to repent and believe the gospel, and serve the Kingdom of God by caring for one’s neighbour, especially the poor. Most of all, William and Catherine Booth had ‘a great loyalty to the God who redeemed them and who called them to bring an army of salvation into a world in need of redemption’.
Envoy Steve Bussey runs what he describes as ‘an imaginarium’. Inspired by William Booth’s rallying cry that ‘we must have new inventions of every kind’, Salvation Factory forges creative ideas into reality, then distributes them for free.
Steve asked Salvation Army historians and fans of history to tell the best stories from the past to inspire the next generation of blood-and-fire Salvationists. He emphasised the importance of rediscovering what The Salvation Army is and displaying it in the most creative, attention-grabbing ways – taking advantage of the technology and tools available.
Steve then unveiled an interactive hologram of General William Booth and proceeded to ‘interview’ him. The General’s hologram will be on display in the Boundless Experience for the rest of the week and is sure to be hugely popular.
Jack Kerr has been a Salvationist for only nine years, after he heard the gospel of Jesus Christ preached in a Salvation Army chapel at Worthington Woods in Columbus, Ohio. Having run from the Lord for more than 20 years, Jack recommitted himself to God. His ‘first-generation’ passion for the Army’s mission now underlies his work as director of the USA Eastern Territory’s Heritage Museum.
‘I have fallen in love with Salvation Army history,’ he said, describing the ‘inner sanctum’ artefacts of the USA Eastern Territory’s Heritage Museum, some of which are on display at Boundless 2015.
Sadly, Salvation Army museums are often underutilised, Jack said. ‘We teach people the history of The Salvation Army, but it’s just words. But when a Salvationist can get up close and touch that history, it’s a wonderful, wonderful thing!’
Anyone interested in joining the Historical and Philatelic Association can make contact on Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/sahpa
By Major Christina Tyson -
This article was included in issue one of Boundless Today. Click to read all issues of Boundless Today.