HOW THE SALVATION ARMY STARTED IN GHANA
Before the beginning of the 20th century, West Africans contacted The Salvation Army in England and some of them appealed to the founder for Officers to be sent to their home land. Apparently they were challenged to become Officers themselves and return to the Coast. For some reason this did not happen.
However in 1902 an invitation came to IHQ from Sierra Leone for The Salvation Army to open work there. Bramwell Booth – The founder’s eldest son and Chief of Staff – sent Commissioner Railton. He began his journey in 1903.
During his travels, Commissioner Railton also visited Ghana [Gold Coast].He held Open Air meetings in villages, teaching them chorus, “we will all be soldiers in the Army of the Lord”. He visited Kumasi, Elmina and Cape Coast. Letters received concerning his spoke of the blessing and inspiration received by people in those places as results of his Open – Air ministry. Later, Railton wrote that ‘proper praying , fighting Salvationists can be certain of gaining a sure foothold among these warm – hearted people’ [Coutts,1973: 60].
His visit was cut short suddenly, While staying In a hotel in Accra, Railton became very sick and almost died. TWO Women discovered him and informed their Methodist minister who sent for a doctor and, with the help of women, cared for him until he was well enough to travel again,
In June 1905, commissioner Railton wrote in the Salvationist magazine ‘All the world; ‘so great has been the appreciation of the army by all the west Africans who have seen it in visiting of any other country that they have spread its fame along the coast-line of two thousand miles; and the opinions with all Africans with whom I spoke there ….. Was favorable to our coming’ [Wiggins, 1968: 70 – 71].
In later years, a chief in Oda gave the following information: some time between 1900 and 1905, a Methodist from cape coast visited London, saw the Salvation Army and began a similar organization in cape coast and salt pond, with its own flag. Drums and the clapping of hands were introduced in religious services, this being a quite revolutionary innovation. However this activity, based largely on the