The Salvation Army first arrived in Jamaica in 1887, just 50 years after the abolition of slavery in the Caribbean. Jamaica was struggling economically and socially under the rule of a colonial white elite, which had drawn sharp class and racial boundaries to maintain the balance of power. Resulting tensions were acute. This sweeping history by Allen Satterlee unveils the socio-political as well as physical fault lines facing the Army as it began to break new ground in the region. Here you will learn how in the early decades Salvationists met with fierce persecution from both police and the general public. Doctrinal battles erupted, splinter groups formed, and tensions flared between local leaders and incoming officers. But as pioneer Salvationists united with enterprising ethnic Africans, the Army's mission in the Caribbean grew in unique ways and forms of expression.
All through the Great Depression, global epidemics, two world wars, Castro's takeover of Cuba, periodic poundings from natural disasters and economic shifts, The Salvation Army has been a stabilizing influence in the Caribbean. It has rescued orphans, taught the blind to read, fed and clothed the homeless, healed the sick and aided children of lepers, all in the spirit of Christ. Reducing suffering through the love of Christ is, after all, the goal of the Army and the heart of the gospel.