New book tells Army history

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Colonel Henry Gariepy writes of mission and ministry.

Capturing the spirit and substance of The Salvation Army from its inception in 1865 until today—while chronicling fascinating accounts of modern mission and ministry—Christianity in Action, by retired War Cry Editor-in-Chief Colonel Henry Gariepy, O.F., is not to be missed.

General Shaw Clifton says in the book’s foreword, “We are deeply indebted to Colonel Henry Gariepy for his one volume history about The Salvation Army’s origins and development right up to the present time. With considerable skill he has compiled a most readable record, crammed with human interest stories. The Colonel’s carefully crafted single volume is a remarkable achievement of selection, balance, insight, and concise clarity.”

Why a new history of the Army, when so much has been written about it already? According to Gariepy, most books are long out of date and out of print. “Ironic as it may seem for such a high-profile organization, no contemporary book chronicles and defines the overall movement.”

Then and now
The author deftly weaves historical accounts with current events. For example, in Chapter 8, “Attacking a Monstrous Evil,” we learn of William Booth’s battle against white slave trade in Victorian England, which put the Army in the forefront of the fight against prostitution at that time. Next, we discover the impact of today’s Army as it battles the global scourge of human trafficking, supported by Commissioner Helen Clifton, international president of Women’s Ministries and by national headquarters’ Initiative Against Sexual Trafficking as well as Salvationists around the world.

In “At the Front Lines of Tragedy,” the Army’s relief work is seen in its early stages in San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake; its current status in disaster relief is revealed in assistance provided to refugees from Afghanistan, Chechnya, and Ghana; survivors of the Rwandan genocide and Indonesian tsunami; and relief workers, police and firefighters in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attack in New York City.

In addition to exploring The Salvation Army’s government, with its headquarters in London and work in 118 countries around the world, Gariepy clarifies issues including structure, rank system, fiscal management and stewardship.

Western links
Of particular interest to Western Salvationists, the author profiles New Frontier Editor-in-Chief Robert Docter, O.F. and former San Francisco Chinatown Corps Officer Lt. Colonel Check-Hung Yee, O.F., in the chapter, “History Makers”.

He also reports on former General Paul Rader and Commissioner Kay Rader, who were western territorial leaders in 1984 when he was elected General, in “The Generals and Their Legacies.”

In chapters relating to the Army’s theology and ecclesiology, and to human services, Gariepy incorporates statements General Shaw Clifton made during an exclusive interview with New Frontier Senior Editor Sue Schumann Warner (New Frontier May 31, 2006).

Illustrations by Salvationist Karen Yee Lim, a soldier of the Asian American Yerba Buena Corps, are found throughout.

The book’s first edition quickly sold out and went into a second printing. It is available on on-line, in bookstores, on Kindle and as an audio book. Christianity in Action may also be ordered from Resource Connection for $21.50 at or phone 800-937-8896,

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