Catherine Mumford was born in Ashbourne, England, on the 17th of January 1829. She had a strong Christian upbringing and by the age of 12 had already read through her Bible eight times! But it was not until she was 16, after much struggling, that she was came to a real faith and belief.
She met William Booth when he came to preach at her church. They quickly fell in love and soon became engaged, which they were for 3 years. Catherine became a constant support to William in his tiring work of preaching, mainly through her letters to him. On 16 June 1855, they were married. Together they accepted the challenge of being used by God before even thinking of themselves, even the expense of not having a proper honeymoon.
At this time it was unheard of for women to speak in adult meetings, so she found her self able to speak at childrens meetings. Catherine however was utterly convinced that women had an equal right to speak. At a meeting in Gateshead, when the opportunity was given for public testimony, she went forward to speak! It was the beginning of a powerful ministry.
In 1865 when the work of The Christian Mission began, William Booth preached to the poor and ragged, while Catherine spoke to the wealthy, and gained their support for their financially demanding work.
Catherine was known as the "Army Mother" and was also behind many of the changes in the movement such as: designing a flag, bonnets for the ladies and contributing to the Army's ideas on many important issues and matters of belief, including that of female ministers.
She died on the 4th of October 1890.
The following is taken froam leaflet written by Catherine Booth, "Female Ministry - Woman's right to Preach the Gospel":
..... A brighter day is dawning and ere long, woman will assume her true position, and rise to the full height of her intellectual stature. Then shall the cherished... dogma of 'having a cell less in her brain,' with all kindred assumptions be exploded and perish before the spell of her developed and cultivated mind."