Such was her foundation in the Word of God that by age 12 she was teaching a Sunday School class of children, during her teens she held her own meetings and missions, and by 17 she was a hugely popular speaker at packed SA meetings held by her father all over the UK. If a meeting was rowdy or there was an uncontrolled mob, William Booth would call for Katie to speak and most times the crowds were hushed to attention. It is no surprise therefore that at 22 years of age, her father believed her spiritually ready to pioneer the SA work in France (French had been her favourite subject at school). Katie and her 3 young female SA ‘Officers’ set up humble home in the poorest part of Paris and hired a hall which could hold 600. By day they would hand out leaflets announcing the meetings of ‘Good News’ and by night they would preach in the Hall. At first their faith was tested beyond their expectations as drunken mobs would disrupt the meetings and Kate’s life-long struggle with a spinal problem flared up. Her companions feared she may have to return home, yet Kate’s resolve that God had called her to Paris strengthened and after 2 weeks of constant disruption in the meetings, in a moment of heaven-sent inspiration, Kate announced that she would give 20 minutes to her audience to dance, if they would give her 20 minutes to speak. This appealed to those present and after 20 minutes of dancing they settled down to listen to Kate, not just for 20 minutes but for one hour and 20 minutes—such was their rapt attention as she told them of the Saviour who could give them pleasure beyond anything this world had to offer.
After the meeting ended, the loudest and roughest of all men present remained behind to tell Kate his story of bitterness at the loss of his wife and only child, and the many bad things he had done since. As Kate retold him of God’s love for him he confessed his sins and asked Christ to forgive him. After that night, he devoted himself to guard and protect the young SA women and the meetings. Emile’s was the first, and a notorious woman called the “Devil’s Wife”, was the second conversion of many in that sordid Parisian age.
To be continued in Part 2