Army Archives

He Held Booth’s Hat

"May we as believers in the Lord serve Him in gladness, allowing the Lord Jesus Christ to guide us in our walk and guard us in our journey, as He did for Thomas Eade." by Captain Charles Smith

It was in 1865 that an eight-year-old boy and his father, John Eade, were standing next to the Founder, William Booth, at the outdoor evangelistic meeting at Mile End Waste, London. John, who had previously heard Booth and was converted under his preaching, had brought his son, Thomas, to hear William Booth preach the gospel in a way that the common person understood.

Booth, seeing the young man, leaned down and requested that the young man hold his high silk hat as he shared the gospel to the crowds that had gathered around him. But it was not until a few weeks later that Catherine Booth, wife of William Booth and co-founder of The Salvation Army, spoke.It was then and there that Thomas Eade surrendered his life to the Lord and began working with the Christian Mission (the original name of The SalvationArmy).  

Thomas had the privilege of acting as a bodyguard to the Founder and his family when William was away from home conducting meetings. Thomas was also there when The Christian Mission changed its official name to The Salvation Army. He and his family were friends with many early members: the Blandy brothers, Gipsy Rodney Smith (who Thomas taught to read the Bible) and George Scott Railton.  

Thomas served the Lord with gladness, having served in appointments in Wales and three others in the United Kingdom. Eventually he, his wife, Tryphena, and their six children traveled to Alberta, Canada and then onto California. In 1942, a year before Thomas passed away, he received a certificate for having served The Salvation Army for 55 years in unbroken service and dedication to the Lord.  

May we as believers in the Lord serve Him in gladness, allowing the Lord Jesus Christ to guide us in our walk and guard us in our journey, as He did for Thomas Eade.

Photos via The Salvation Army National Archives and Getty

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