Commissioner George Scott Railton"No person outside the Booth family did more to establish the international Salvation Army than did Commissioner George Scott Railton."
On July 6, 1849, in a small fishing village of Arbroath, Scotland, Reverend Lancelot and Margaret Scott Railton rejoiced over the birth of their second son, George Scott.
Years later, in 1872, George read a copy of The Christian Mission’s publication titled “How to Reach the Masses with the Gospel.” Within days, he traveled to London and joined The Christian Mission. Six years later, the mission’s leadership team that then included George, changed the mission’s name to The Salvation Army. Serving as William Booth’s private secretary, he lived for many years with the Booth family.
With a passion for missionary work, George persuaded William Booth to send him to officially begin the Army’s work in America. He chose Captain Emma Westbrook and six other women to open the work in New York City.
George and the seven “Hallelujah Lassies” arrived in New York City on March 10, 1880. Within two months, the Army grew to 16 officers, 40 cadets and 412 soldiers. By January 1881, the number of converts climbed to 1,500. But George received orders from General Booth to return to England.
On his way home, George’s ship stopped for a few days’ layover in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He held the first Salvation Army meeting in Canada on March 24, 1881. He became so engrossed with his sermon that he missed the ship leaving for England. Undeterred, George preached for the following week in churches throughout Halifax before sailing to England. One year later, The Salvation Army was officially opened in Canada.
At the end of 1902, George returned to the United States for a short stay until leaving to open the work in West Africa. His health declined. He returned to London in December 1903 and was not seen in public until the celebrated International Congress in June 1904. While his health never returned to full strength, he continued to travel widely following the Congress.
On July 19, 1913, while traveling to Switzerland, he changed trains in Cologne, Germany. He hurried from the train, carrying heavy bags, to catch his train. He collapsed in his seat and died of a heart attack. The Booth family arranged his burial in The Salvation Army section of Abney Park Cemetery beside the graves of William and Catherine Booth. No person outside the Booth family did more to establish the international Salvation Army than did Commissioner George Scott Railton.
How comfortable are you sharing your faith in Christ? Are you living up to The Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20) to save, heal, deliver and disciple?