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Sir William Alexander Smith (1854 – 1914) The Founder of the Boys’ Brigade
William Smith was born on 27 th October 1854 to Major David Smith and Harriet at Pennylane House near Thurso, Scotland
At the age of 13, his father died on a business trip to China. Young William was shipped to Glasgow to work with his uncle and eventually became a businessman
William’s grandfather, whom he is named after, fought in the 78 th Highlander Regiment in the Napoleonic wars with Wellington up to 1815 William’s father served in the 7 th Dragoon Guards in the Kaffir War in South Africa from 1849 -50 William joined 1 st Lanarkshire Rifle Volunteers in “C” Co. in 1873. He moved through the ranks from private, to Lance Corporal, to Corporal, Sergeant, Lieutenant and finally as the Lieutenant. Colonel by 1905
At the age of 19 he started attending church and taught in a Sunday School at Free College Church Mission in Glasgow
William Smith controlled a hundred men … but not a handful of Boys at Sunday School
“Can’t you make some use of your Volunteer methods in the Sunday School? - James G. Findlay, Smith’s partner Why not turn Sunday School into a brigade, with the same military order, obedience, discipline and self respect? This is going to be a great thing; Let’s us put it into God’s hand – Smith said to John & James Hill They knelt and committed the future of the scheme (BB) to God, asking His blessing on it
William and 2 other friends wrote the Boys’ Brigade OBJECT The advancement of Christ’s Kingdom among members and the promotion of habits of Reverence, Discipline, Self. Respect, and all that tends towards a true Christian Character When designing the Brigade's motto and crest, William Smith referred directly to Hebrews 6: 19 in the KJV of the Bible, "Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast. . . ” From this verse came the BB motto, "Sure and Stedfast. "
1883 The Boys Brigade was born on Free College Church Mission Hall Glasgow on 4 th October 1883
To train and raise a God fearing Generation for the Nations
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