125th Anniversary

The Salvation Army celebrates 125 years in US

from The Salvation Army US Western Territory’s New Frontier newspaper

by Karen Gleason

One hundred and twenty-five years ago in Philadelphia…

In an abandoned chair factory, a teenaged girl, Eliza Shirley, not only organized The Salvation Army’s first meeting in the United States—she was the preacher! This young blood and fire Salvationist was determined to bring the gospel message to the new world—in an age that did not condone women preachers, to say nothing of her youth. On Oct. 5, 1879, her prayers and efforts bore fruit when her vision became a reality in the United States.

Already a commissioned officer in her native England, Eliza initially did not want to leave her work there. Her father, Amos Shirley, who had already moved to Philadelphia in search of a better life, told Eliza of the ungodliness in America, convincing her that the Army was needed there.

Securing General William Booth’s blessing, after his initial reluctance, and his promise to send reinforcements if her work was successful, Eliza and her mother, Annie, set off to join Amos in Philadelphia—together the family fought to save souls and build a Salvation Army in America.

Within two years, the Shirleys witnessed the conversions of more than 1,000 Philadelphians to Christ and had started two corps. General Booth kept his promise, sending George Scott Railton and seven hallelujah lassies to join the salvation forces in America. They arrived in New York City on March 10, 1880.

In 2005, the Year for Children and Youth, as Salvationists celebrate the contributions and potential of young people, we remember 17-year-old Eliza Shirley, who 125 years ago pioneered the Army in the United States.

At an anniversary celebration this past fall in the Eastern Territory’s Pendel Division, Lt. Colonel William
Carlson stated, “How extraordinary that the movement that today is hailed by management expert Peter Drucker as ‘by far the most effective organization in the U.S.’ was initiated by a 17-year-old girl who bucked the societal culture of her day and even the advice of our founder William Booth.”

When the energy and passion of youth are given over to God, he will work wonders!

Meanwhile, on the West Coast…

The Devil was having his way in San Francisco.

From the Gold Rush of 1849 to the 1870s when the boom was subsiding, San Francisco experienced tremendous growth. By 1870, it was the tenth largest city in the U.S. with 100,000 residents, having grown from a town of 30,000 in tents and shacks in 1856 to a city of brick and stone.

As it still is today, San Francisco was a colorful city. Lawlessness and licentiousness ran rampant, and its famous red light district acquired the name “Barbary Coast”— reminiscent of the coast of North Africa where Arab pirates attacked Mediterranean ships—for its seaport area of brothels, saloons and gambling places.

Pacific Coast Holiness Association

Although sin was commonplace, the Devil was not without foes. In 1882 a group of Christian businessmen from the San Francisco Bay area organized to preach Christ and holiness, calling themselves the Pacific Coast Holiness Association. They set about evangelizing the seamen and others along the waterfront.

When their efforts proved futile, members grew discouraged, and their group of 40 dwindled to 13. It was then that they came across a copy of the London War Cry. Reading about the success of England’s new Salvation Army renewed their incentive, and they decided that San Francisco needed this Army. Therewith they adopted not only the name but as much as possible, the methods and uniform of the Army in England. They even put out four issues of their own War Cry.

Once again, though, after several months their results were disappointing, and they faced ridicule and threats.
Now calling themselves The Salvation Army Holiness Association and led by Rev. George Newton, a Methodist minister, the group wrote to General Booth, asking that he send officers to them so that their struggling movement could become a part of his Army. Unless Booth sent help, it looked like this upstart branch of the Army would die.

While Booth believed that the western U.S. was ripe for evangelization, his problem was that the Army had grown so rapidly in the British Isles that there were barely enough officers to handle the work there. Railton, after expanding the work in the eastern U.S. and in St. Louis, had returned to England to open other fields. He left the Army in New York and Philadelphia in good hands, but there was no one capable of taking it west. Thus The Salvation Army in the West developed independently of the Army in the eastern U.S.

Just when all hope seemed lost and Rev. Newton had decided to seek other endeavors, news arrived that General Booth had agreed to send officers to the West Coast to take charge.

Alfred Wells

The first officer to travel to the West was a young captain named Alfred Wells, 24 years old, a native of Sussex, England, re-cently returned from service in Ireland. He later wrote his memoirs, which provide vivid details of his experiences as an officer.

Booth summoned Wells, telling him, “You are the man I have been looking for for fourteen months. Are you willing to go as pioneer of the Army in California?” “I’m yours for China or anywhere else,” replied Wells. Booth then gave him a few days to prepare, telling him to report to his office the following week.

When Wells appeared at headquarters, Booth greeted him, “Major Wells!” At first the young captain did not respond, doubting that the Founder could be addressing him when at the time the number of majors could be counted on the fingers of two hands. Booth told him to get his major’s crests for his collar, saying, “You are deserving of all the honors I’m conferring on you.”

The following Sunday morning in April 1882, Wells set sail for America, leaving behind his fiancée, Captain Mary Jane (Polly) Medforth.

Wells arrived some weeks later in New York, and after stops to assist the Army in Toronto, Louisville, Kentucky and Chicago he proceeded to his destination.

“I believe I shed a few tears,” Wells recalled, “before going to sleep in a second rate hotel in San Francisco the first night. I think I prayed the Lord would make a man of me…The fellow who has to make all things new in a new country as a Salvationist has his hands and heart full. Every song was new—nearly all our methods were strange, and to make S.A. of everything was my determination, or at least to use such methods as had proved a success on the other side of the Atlantic.”

God answered this young man’s prayers, and Wells persevered—The Salvation Army had arrived in the West, and was there to stay.

Sources include: Born to Battle: The Salvation Army in America, by Sallie Chesham; The Salvation Army in the West —1883-1950 by Frances Dingman; Reminiscences of Alfred Wells, written in 1925, courtesy of The Salvation Army National Archives; and “When the Stars and Stripes met the yellow, red and blue,” by Paul Marshall.

A Brief History of the USA Southern Territory

Baltimore Temple, MD-120th Anniversary 1

The opening salvos of the Salvation War were fired in Baltimore, Maryland when the Shirley family arrived there in 1881. Early successes followed throughout Maryland and from there the work spread further through the South.

The South was the focus of attention during the Spanish-American War, as Florida became the launching point for American forces before sailing for Cuba. The first work in America among the military took place here among the troops.

The Salvation Army in the South found its fortunes bound to a farm economy that was dominated by ing Cotton and tobacco. As prices rose and fell, corps experienced both boom times and bust. The work was difficult to establish but finally it was felt that the region was strong enough to become its own command.

In April 1927, the National Commander Evangeline Booth came to Atlanta to proclaim the opening of the Southern Territory. Appointed to head the new command were Commissioner and Mrs. William McIntyre, native Canadians but whose service was almost entirely in the United States. The opening was not a smooth one as two years later the Great Depression fell on the world.

As the economy improved and as the South tackled the problems created by years of racial segregation, the Army found more fertile fields for growth. It pragmatic approach to social issues and its simple, but heartfelt proclamation of the Christian Gospel has allowed it to grow at a continuing ccelerated pace. Currently one of the fastest growing territories in the world the Southern Territory is now experiencing growth in new areas such as ethnic ministries with Hispanic and Asian corps.

Innovative social programs have continued to keep the Army’s work relevant through the transition caused by welfare reform The vitality of its Christian message is witnessed by new corps openings, larger numbers of cadets, larger attendance in its meeting and the optimism that comes with a forward march.

The Salvation Army Celebrates 75th National Donut Day

75th National Donut Day


 Free donuts to military personnel help commemorate The Salvation Army “Donut Lassies”

(Atlanta, May 31, 2012) On Friday, June 1st, The Salvation Army Metro Atlanta Area Command will celebrate the 75th National Donut Day by distributing Krispy Kreme donuts to military personnel at the USO (United Service Organizations) Center inside the Atlanta Hartsfield – Jackson International Airport from 10 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

National Donut Day was established in 1938 to commemorate the work of The Salvation Army “Donut Lassies.” The Donut Lassies are widely credited with popularizing the donut in the United States by feeding American soldiers the tasty treat during World War I. National Donut Day marks an important time in American History and raises awareness for The Salvation Army’s hunger relief programs that continue throughout Metro Atlanta.

“This year we are honored to celebrate National Donut Day with the USO of Georgia by replicating the donut lassies clever idea. A Salvation Army volunteer will dress up as a ‘donut lassie’ and hand out Krispy Kreme donuts to military personnel arriving and departing from the USO Center inside the Atlanta Hartsfield – Jackson International Airport,” says Major Marshall Gesner, The Salvation Army Metro Atlanta Area Commander. “This is just one of the many ways that The Salvation Army recognizes the men and women that put their lives on the line to fight for our country each day.”

The Salvation Army joined the USO back in 1941 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt requested that private organizations be responsible for handling the on-leave recreational needs of the U.S. armed forces, thus leading six organizations, (The Salvation Army, Young Men’s Christian Association, Young Women’s Christian Association, National Catholic Community Services, National Travelers Aid Association and the National Jewish Welfare Board) to form the USO.

The United Service Organizations is a not for profit organization whose only mission is to serve the men, women and families of our Country’s military personnel and families. The USO lifts the spirits of our troops and military families.

Salvation Army workers continue to care for and comfort thousands of people each day who battle hunger around the world and here in Metro Atlanta. “Last year alone, The Salvation Army provided 144,335 meals to the poor and hungry throughout Metro Atlanta,” said Major Marshall Gesner.

To find out more about The Salvation Army “donut lassies” or to make a donation to The Salvation Army Metro Atlanta Area Command, visit www.salvationarmyatlanta.org. For more information about the United Service Organizations, visit www.usogeorgia.org.

Entenmann’s and The Salvation Army Honor 75th Annual National Donut Day on June 1st with Sweet Celebration

Historical Event Marked by $25,000 Donation to The Salvation Army by Entenmann’s

NEW YORK, May 29, 2012 — A sweet celebration, 75 years in the making! Entenmann’s Bakery, the maker of more than 100 sweet baked goods, and The Salvation Army have partnered to celebrate the 75th Annual National Donut Day on June 1st, 2012 with a sweet celebration.

The holiday, held annually on the first Friday of June, was established by The Salvation Army in 1938 in Chicago to honor the “Donut Lassies” who served these treats to soldiers during World War I and to help raise needed funds during the Great Depression. This significant occasion established the donut as a long-standing symbol of the services The Salvation Army continues to provide.

Entenmann’s Bakery recognizes the importance of the donut with The Salvation Army and has partnered with the organization for a second straight year to be the official donut manufacturer affiliated with National Donut Day. Entenmann’s has two donut factories in Carlisle, PA and Montebello, CA that produce more than 780 million donuts a year, which equates to 15 million donuts a week and more than 100,000 donuts every hour to keep up with the demands of Entenmann’s donut lovers nationwide.

In celebration of the historical day, Entenmann’s will unveil the largest box of donuts in a special event at Madison Square Park in New York City on June 1st. Fans can also enter to win ‘Free Donuts for a Year’ and additional prizes through a sweepstakes link on the Entenmann’s Facebook page. All entries must be received by 11:59: p.m. ET on June 23, 2012. Winners will be randomly selected from all submissions. Official Rules can be found at www.entenmanns.com.

“We’re proud to support an organization like The Salvation Army for this special milestone,” said Maureen Sticco, Director of Entenmann’s Marketing Services. “Entenmann’s Bakery has been synonymous with fresh baked sweet goods for more than one hundred years. The 75th Annual National Donut Day is a great opportunity to share our love for donuts with all consumers.”

“National Donut Day has become a true American tradition in which The Salvation Army and Entenmann’s Bakery asks the general public to remember those who fought in World War I, as well as their neighbors who may have fallen on hard times,” said Major George Hood, National Community Relations and Development Secretary for The Salvation Army. “So as Americans enjoy a tasty Entenmann’s donut this year, we ask everyone to consider giving back to support their local community.”

For more information on the 75th National Donut Day, please visit www.salvationarmyusa.org, http://www.facebook.com/SalvationArmyUSA, www.entenmanns.com or www.facebook.com/entenmanns.

LexisNexis Awards 16 Students with Bicycles and Backpacks

On Friday, March 23, 2012, sixteen members of The Salvation Army Bellwood Boys and Girls Club received bicycles and helmets donated by LexisNexis for their hard work in school. The members were selected based upon their grades, behavior, and club participation.

LexisNexis donated 16 bicycles and backpacks filled with school supplies, as well as set up concession stands full of healthy snacks and a bungee inflatable fun-run for every member to enjoy.

“Our kids are so fortunate to have companies like LexisNexis who truly care about the community,” said Patrice Holt, Bellwood Boys & Girls Club Program Director.

The Club’s gym overflowed with joy and enthusiasm as the children enjoyed the bungee inflatable fun-run, danced with the Wii,  and consumed as many popsicles, hotdogs, chips and flavored water they could.

Members then gathered on benches as LexisNexis employees, Monica Garrett and Megan Mahoney announced the names of each bicycle recipient. “To see the smiles and pure enthusiasm on all the kids’ faces is something that my marketing colleagues were honored to be a part of,” explained Megan Mahoney, Senior Director of Marketing.

After distribution, the children immediately took their brand new bicycles to the field for a test ride. For some, it was the very first time they had the opportunity to ride a bicycle. “I have wanted a bike for a very long time and I can’t wait to learn how to ride it,” said six-year-old Nora Smith.

The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Atlanta provide at-risk youth, ages 6-18, personal growth and development programs in a safe, positive environment. The Salvation Army is grateful for LexisNexis and everything that they do for the community.

A Celebration of Arts, Sports and the History of African Americans


February 24th – 26th, more than 300 residents of Atlanta’s Pittsburgh Community participated in a celebration of African-American arts, music, food, sports, and more at The Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in Atlanta.

The weekend- long celebration kicked off with an awards luncheon honoring NBA legend Dale Ellis, and local community volunteer/radio personality Carol Blackmon with The Center’s Lifetime Achievement and Community Service Awards respectively.

Following the luncheon, The Center opened its doors and arms to the community as volunteers and staff from King of Hoops®, Atlanta Xplosion Football Team and Atlanta Battelcats Basketball Team served over 160 meals to local homeless men and women.

Saturday festivities included a day of music and spoken word by local African American artists, and a Pro-Amateur Basketball Tournament sponsored by Nike Inc. and King of Hoops.  Admission to the Basketball Tournament was free with two canned-good donations.  Over 300 canned goods were donated to The Center for its food pantry.

For the grand-finale, The Center commissioned local artists from The Kaleidoscope Outreach Project to sketch a mural and invited local children to paint-in the artists’ sketch.  The mural, entitled “Planting Seeds For the Future”, features George Washington Carver planting seeds in a garden and those seeds are growing into children.  The mural will be placed in the Center’s Community Garden in the next two weeks.

” The purpose of the weekend was to highlight key achievements from African American that have paved the way for many of the adults and children in this community, and re-introduce Atlanta to the variety of programs we offer,” says Captain Sandra Pawar, Commanding Officer of The Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center.

According to Pawar, recognizing Dale Ellis and hosting the Basketball Tournament was in celebration of the contributions African-Americans have made to sports, and engage the community in the many sports programs at The Center.  Similarly, honoring Carol Blackman and featuring local musicians was in recognition of African-Americans contribution to music and arts and in hopes of engaging more local men and women and children in similar programs at The Center.


Homeless Join Running Program

On her daily runs, Anne Mahlum jogged past a homeless shelter in Philadelphia. Over time, Mahlum developed a friendly rapport with some of the shelter’s residents who used to stand on the corner.  She decided to reach out to the executive director encouraging him to allow the men join her on her runs. She bought running shoes and clothes for nine men and Back on My Feet was launched in 2007.

Back on My Feet came to Atlanta last November in hopes to improve the lives of Atlanta’s homeless population through running. Currently, there are three teams of 15 from Trinity House-Big Bethel, The Gateway Center, and The Salvation Army.

“Through running, we are aiming to improve self-esteem, improve discipline, building confidence, and a sense of consistency” said Program Director Tiffany Brennaman. “With our volunteers and the members’ commitment, we are aiming to change the perception of homelessness and really help these men move their lives forward.”

Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings, volunteers and the teams run in each facility’s Downtown Atlanta  location as a part of the men’s commitment to the Back on My Feet program. On Saturdays, all groups run together at The Salvation Army Red Shield Services Shelter.

The program demands 90 percent attendance from the participants. In addition to running, the program awards each member a scholarship that is directly paid from Back on My Feet toward debts  the members may owe. The nonprofit also partners with corporations to provide the participants with resources such as job readiness and financial literacy classes. The program gives the participants four to six months to become fully sufficient, gainfully employed, and in their own housing.

“This does not happen without the volunteers,” said John Hannula, executive director of Trinity Community Ministries. “The support from the community has a true impact on these men.”

Avien Reese, who joined the program in December, credits the organization for his pursuit of a positive change. “I never thought running would make such a difference to me. This has taught me to finish things once I start them, and the community support means everything,” he shared. Reese has finished three 5Ks and will start training for his first half-marathon.

Article Written by Devika Rao AJC

The Salvation Army Sets Fundraising Record During 120th Red Kettle Campaign

Released 30 January 2012

CONTACT:  Robert Brady

Salvation Army Sets Fundraising Record During 120th Red Kettle Campaign With Help from American Donors

$147.6 Million Raised as Salvation Army Fundraiser Reaches Young Philanthropists

Alexandria, VA (January 30, 2012) – The Salvation Army raised $147.6 million
through the 2011 Red Kettle Campaign, marking a new fundraising record for the campaign. The new record, a 3.4 percent increase from 2010, highlights the support of American donors who gave generously despite a continued slow economy. In its 120th year, after beginning on the wharf in San Francisco in 1891, the Red Kettle Campaign has become a Christmas tradition that utilizes volunteers to ring bells at 25,000 red kettles across the country. In 2011, The Salvation Army expanded on the Campaign by incorporating new technologies at kettles and hosting national events to inspire giving.  Read more