The reverend turned officer: influences in John Dean’s transition from Methodist ministry to Salvation Army officership in 1883
‘My ambition is to make all I meet feel that Jesus Christ is worth all we have.’ With this lively statement Salvation Army Colonel John Dean aptly summarises the driving determination of his life. In 1883, while a Methodist minister in Ballarat, Dean first encountered the Salvation Army. After a period of introspective wrestling, he sacrificed his Methodist station to take up a post as a Salvation Army Officer. This paper explores the factors involved in John Dean’s decision, providing insight into certain distinctive features of the Salvation Army within the church milieu of late 19th century Australia. In particular, it is argued that though the Salvation Army’s doctrine of Holiness was an early and important point of contact for Dean, the real impetus for his transfer was their dramatic and sensational evangelistic activism amongst the working class, for which they uniquely faced hostile opposition.