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In May of 1846 an evangelist, now mostly forgotten, named “James Caughey” (pronounced “coffee”) visited a chapel in Nottingham England and preached a sermon on the words recorded in St. Mark, “Therefore I say unto you, what things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” Caughey preached that the key to this verse was to learn to desire God’s desires, and that God’s foremost desire was that we develop the character of a servant, to help the poor, and to spread the gospel that souls might be saved. A gangly young man was present at this service. He’d been saved for two years but had been drifting. But that day in May, God spoke to this gangly young man through evangelist James Caughey. The Holy Spirit gave the young man a passion for desiring servanthood. The young man acted on God’s direction, and he devoted himself to starting an organization committed to the salvation of souls and service to the needy. A sermon on “desiring servanthood” inspired the young, gangly William Booth to fulfill his destiny and found the Salvation Army.

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