The Salvation Army Overview

The Salvation Army is an evangelical Church based on the Bible, motivated by love for God in its practical concern for humanity. Its ministry is both spiritual, encompassing the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and practical, alleviating human suffering and distress without regard for race or creed.


William Booth left the Methodist ministry to preach as an independent evangelist in the slums of London’s East side (England). He made many converts, but they didn’t feel at home in the churches, so he set up Christian Mission Centres

The Name “The Salvation Army” was adopted for Booth’s organization. Missions became corps; members became soldiers; ministers became officers and Booth himself became General

Commissioner G.S. Railton and seven young women began work in New York City, helping the poor and combine gospel teaching with social work

Jack Addie and Joe Ludgate began the work of The Salvation Army in Canada, in London, Ontario. An urgent call was made to International Headquarters for commissioned officers. Captain J. Wass was sent to Toronto and Captain Shirley to London as the first commissioned officers in charge of these Canadian Corps

Captain Abbie Thompson began the work of The Salvation Army in Kingston, Ontario with her first meeting in the Kingston Market Square

During the 1880’s, 90’s the Army began to spread rapidly to India, Australia, South America, Pakistan and many European countries. The Salvation Army soon had thousands of officers and soldiers in 36 countries

Many services emerged… women’s social work (1884), the first food depot (1888), the first-day nursery (1890), and the first Army hospital (1901).


Commissioner Susan McMillan BAS, MBA, FCPA, CPA, CGA, 
Territorial Commander and
Territorial President of Women’s Ministries
The Salvation Army, Canada and Bermuda


This year, The Army celebrates 150 years of ministry internationally and 125 years in Canada. Throughout its history, The Army has been blessed with countless opportunities to fulfill its ministry, bringing physical and spiritual healing to Canadians of all walks of life.

The Salvation Army operates in 118 countries around the world, continuing to work where the need is greatest, guided by faith in God and love for all people.

As well, the Army in Canada has 737 active officers (clergy), 19,549 soldiers (church members) and 34,724 adherents, that is, people who claim The Salvation Army as their church home. There are 310 corps (community churches), 126 service/social institutions and one university/college. In addition to 138,800 volunteers, almost 10,000 people are employed by The Salvation Army in the Canada and Bermuda Territory. Almost thirty Canadian Salvation Army officers and lay personnel also serve worldwide.