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At its heart, The Salvation Army is a church whose mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination. We love God and serve others because we want others to come to know God’s love too. Every program we offer is rooted in our passion for serving God by serving the lost, the vulnerable, the needy, the poor, the hurting, the helpless, and the hopeless.
The Salvation Army has been around since 1865, and it was initially known as the East London Christian Mission. An itinerant pastor named William Booth started the organization with his wife, Catherine, as a grassroots effort with boots on the ground in London. He didn’t have buildings, but he did have a dedicated following who saw desperate need among the poorest of people and took to the streets to offer help. Booth referred to the organization as a volunteer army, because of the way they operated and served. As the organization grew, he used military-style rankings to describe the hierarchy of leadership. Leaders adopted a uniform apparel that mirrored military styles. Their mission was to serve others in Jesus’ name, meeting not only their physical needs, but also their spiritual needs. Booth described their work as providing “soup, soap and salvation,” eventually changing their name to The Salvation Army.
Today, the mission is the same and we’ve kept the Army structure. Our officers, or leaders, are ordained pastors.
We exist for one reason: to meet human need in Jesus’ name without discrimination
We have over 1.5 million membersconsisting of officers, soldiers, and adherents
We assist approximately 30 million Americans in the U.S. annually
We’ve been pursuing The Salvation Army’s mission in the Eastern U.S. since 1865
Globally, we serve the hurting in 130 countries around the world
We are the United States Eastern Territory, which serves communities in communities in Connecticut, Delaware, Northeast Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Puerto Rico, and Virgin Islands. We’re one of four territories in the U.S. and part of an International organization, headquartered in London. The other U.S. territories are: West, South and Central.
Salvation Army territories are made up of areas of service known as divisions. There are 40 divisions in the U.S. – we oversee 11 of them. Divisions consist of centers for worship and service. These are the hubs where service to members of the community actually occurs. Our doors are open to all.