Our Spiritual Foundation

Our Spiritual Foundation

In 1865, William Booth, an ordained Methodist minister, aided by his wife Catherine, formed an evangelical group dedicated to preaching to people living in appalling poverty in London’s East End. Originally, Booth named the organization the East London Christian Mission. In addition to preaching, Booth became involved in the feeding and sheltering of the hungry and homeless and in the rehabilitation of alcoholics.

William Booth’s Christian Mission was functioning as an army in all but name even before becoming 'The Salvation Army' in 1878. Since its earliest days, the Christian Mission adopted military insignia and terminology to represent the battle being waged against poverty and sin. This was very much in keeping with popular Christian themes at the time, reflected in well known hymns of that era such as 'Onward Christian Soldiers!'.

In 1878, The Salvation Army fully evolved into a quasi-military organization. Booth became “the General” and officers’ ranks were given to his ministers. Salvation Army church members also became known as 'soldiers.' The Salvation Amy has functioned successfully within this unique structure for more than a century. Our outreach has expanded to include 126 countries, and the Gospel is preached by its officers in more than 175 languages.

The ministry migrated to America in 1885, where The Salvation Army’s first meeting took place in Philadelphia. After receiving a warm welcome, The Salvation Army expanded its operation throughout the United States. Today, there are more than 9,000 centers and local neighborhood units of The Salvation Army in the United States.

As a member of the universal Christian Church, we are well aware that in our work we are never alone. God's grace and guidance help us daily to deal with the challenges we could never face without His strength. We recognize the power of prayer to help us meet our challenges and to help reinforce the spirit of those who work with us and those we serve.

To help you recognize the blessing that God gives each of us, and to provide guidance to your daily challenges, we invite you to worship with us at our Corps/Citadel Community and Worship Centers.

Corps/Citadel Community and Worship Centers

The Salvation Army's centers for service, program, and worship are the local Corps/Citadel Community and Worship Centers. There are 23 sites located throughout Connecticut and Rhode Island, with varying expressions of worship. A list of telephone numbers are available through this site.

Traditional and nontraditional Sunday worship services are held here. Each Corps/Citadel Officer (Ordained Minister) has been "commissioned" from The Salvation Army's School for Officer Training, and many have advanced degrees as well. Each Corps/Citadel Officer husband and wife team are equally ordained and function in all aspects of counseling and ministry.

Soldiers worship at their local Corps/Citadel and mostly wear a uniform although, unlike officers, they usually only wear it during Sunday worship or whilst attending Salvation Army functions. Many people worship at The Salvation Army without becoming soldiers, and without wearing uniform. Senior Soldiers who feel led to work full time for The Salvation Army who do not enter The Salvation Army Officer Training College for two years but instead, take on other studies through the college and commit to three or more years service are known as Envoys.

Parishioners of the Corps/Citadel are offered a wide variety of programs, including, for youngsters: Sunbeams, Girl Guards, Boys Adventure Corps, Teen Ministries, musical instruction, and bible study and for adults: Women's Ministries, Men's Fellowship, and recreation. These programs are available to the public, as is the opportunity to worship with us.

However, it is important to note, you do not have to be a member of the Corps/Citadel to receive services or to attend programs.

The centers provide an outlet for programs to the community, including after school, school readiness, sheltering, emergency assistance, homeless prevention, feeding and other support programs to those who are seeking job skills.

Each center relates to the community in a variety of ways, with members of the community supporting The Salvation Army on Advisory Boards, Women's Auxiliaries, and outreach through the Service Extension program.

Many Corps/Citadel Officers serve on local councils or boards, i.e. the United Way or Emergency Food and Shelter Program Review Boards, and also actively participate in other civic organizations, like the Rotary or Kiwanis.

You are invited to attend services or programs at your local operating unit of The Salvation Army at anytime, simply call the respective Officer(s) for more information.

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