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Book Review: Catherine Booth - Advocate for Equality in Marriage & Ministry by Ilene Kenney


Catherine Booth is a mini-biography on the life and ministry of Catherine Booth, mother of The Salvation Army. Due to its brevity, being 42 pages in total, and simple writing format, the booklet could act as an introduction for time-poor or intermediate readers.

The booklet first outlines the historical timeframe of Catherine’s life and includes the major events of her development and ministry. As the title suggests, it touches on Catherine’s beliefs and actions on female equality. Examples of other historical ‘Hallelujah Lasses’ who ministered within the Army are also included.

There are, however, some unsubstantiated historical assumptions and a mixing of individual life stories to embellish the narrative. Other information on Catherine’s writings and about the author, Ilene Kenney, is included; however, these are not comprehensive. The booklet did not reference primary sources or engage with current discussions on Catherine’s place in the movement’s history.

The author is not a Salvationist and therefore offers an ‘outsider’ celebratory look at a Salvationist. Ilene, with her husband, commenced the Victory Celebration Church in Houston, USA. This church aims to minister to the poor and homeless of the area and therefore links the author’s ministry to that of Catherine Booth. Ilene first presented the information found in the booklet to the International Christian Women’s Hall of Fame. This talk can be viewed on YouTube here.

Catherine Booth: Advocate for Equality in Marriage & Ministry is available in Kindle and paperback editions from


Garth R. Hentzschel is a Salvationist living in Brisbane (QLD), is a freelance historian, and executive editor of the Australasian Journal of Salvation Army History.


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