Encyclopedia o f Chicago
Entries : Salvation Army
Salvation Army

Salvation Army

Salvation Army Meeting, 1902
The Salvation Army, an evangelical Christian social service organization known for its military structures and use of military idiom, was founded by William and Catherine Booth in 1865 to improve the spiritual and material condition of London's poor. In 1885, under the leadership of Captains William Evans, Hannah Simpson Evans, and Edwin Gay, the Salvation Army came to Chicago. Upon arrival, the small corps of Salvationists organized parades and meetings intended to attract both converts and detractors. Both numbers grew immediately.

City officials and the press initially objected to the Salvation Army's disruptive public activities. Relations improved as Salvation Army officers and volunteers provided valuable assistance to Chicago's needy during the panic of 1893 and the Great Depression, and most famously, to American soldiers serving in World War I. The early decades of the twentieth century saw the Salvation Army move away from the fervent evangelism of its earlier days to focus on providing social services. At the close of the twentieth century, Chicago's Salvation Army maintained nearly two hundred facilities, providing community members with food and shelter as well as job training and counseling.

Blumhofer, Edith L. Aimee Semple McPherson: Everybody's Sister. 1993.
The Salvation Army, 1885–1985: Chicago Celebrates 100 Years. Metropolitan Divisional Headquarters of the Salvation Army. 1985.
Winston, Diane. Red Hot and Righteous: The Urban Religion of the Salvation Army. 1999.