Founders Day: July 2, 2020

History of the Salvation Army

Commissioner George Scott Railton and seven Hallelujah Lassiesofficially “opened fire” in the United States on March 10, 1880.

Soon after beginning his ministerial career in England in 1852, William Booth abandoned the concept of the traditional church pulpit in favor of taking the gospel of Jesus Christ directly to the people. Walking the streets of London, he preached to the poor, the homeless, the hungry, and the destitute.

When fellow clergymen disagreed with Booth’s unconventional approach, he and his wife Catherine withdrew from the church to train evangelists throughout England. The couple returned to the East End of London in 1865, where many followers joined their fight for the souls of lost men and women. Within 10 years, their organization, operating under the name “The Christian Mission,” had over 1,000 volunteers and evangelists.

Thieves, prostitutes, gamblers, and drunkards were among their first converts to Christianity. And soon, those converts were also preaching and singing in the streets as living testimonies to the power of God.

When Booth read a printer’s proof of the 1878 “Christian Mission” annual report, he noticed the statement “The Christian Mission is a volunteer army.” Crossing out the words “volunteer army,” he penned in “Salvation Army.” From those words came the basis of the foundation deed of The Salvation Army.

From that point onward, converts became soldiers of Christ and were known then, as now, as Salvationists. They launched an offensive throughout the British Isles that, in spite of violence and persecution, converted 250,000 Christians between 1881 and 1885. Their message spread rapidly, gaining a foothold in America and soon after Canada, Australia, France, Switzerland, India, South Africa, Iceland, and Germany.

Today, The Salvation Army is active in virtually every corner of the world and serves in over 100 countries, offering the message of God’s healing and hope to all those in need.

Our Founders

William Booth

William Booth began The Salvation Army in 1865 as a means to help the suffering souls throughout London who were not willing to attend – or even welcomed into – a traditional church.

Thieves, prostitutes, gamblers, and drunkards were among his first converts to Christianity, and as his ministry grew, the gospel of Jesus Christ was spread far and wide to the poor, the vulnerable, and the destitute.

Though General Booth died in 1912, he laid a firm foundation for the lifesaving work that The Salvation Army continues to perform today in over 100 countries.

Catherine Booth

Catherine Booth was known as the “Army Mother.” In her world, women had few rights,no place in the professional sphere, and a minimal presence in church leadership.

Yet in her marriage to William Booth, she became an evangelist, preacher, theologian, and co-founder of The Salvation Army.

A truly passionate Christian, Catherine believed that loving God meant loving people through action. Her legacy of love, sacrifice, and service continues to shape The Salvation Army today.

Evangeline Booth

The seventh child of William and Catherine Booth, Eva Cory Booth was a gifted speaker, musician, and leader sent by her father to spread The Army’s mission in North America.

During her 30 years as national commander in the United States, Evangeline was responsible for the volunteers who served as chaplains and “Doughnut Girls” during World War I, and also for the division of the country into four territories.

In 1934, Evangeline became The Army’s fourth general. She left America on the highest crest of love and popularity she had ever known, and retained her American citizenship until her death in 1950.

Joe the Turk

Though often considered a rude and even obnoxious rule-breaker, “Joe the Turk” opened many important doors for Salvationists across America.

With an inherent passion for protecting the persecuted, he eventually traded in his drinking and smoking habits for a life as a Christian, where he went on to serve as a spirited captain in The Salvation Army until 1925.

Famous for his colorful ministry and attention-getting antics, Joe was often “jailed for Jesus,” and he became known as a spiritual father to thousands of formerly lost souls.

Eliza Shirley

Eliza Shirley pioneered the establishment of The Salvation Army in the United States.

After faithfully serving with the Booths in London’s East End as part of “The Christian Mission,” a 17-year-old Eliza followed God’s call to America.

There she joined her parents (who had recently immigrated to Philadelphia for work), and swiftly began her work for The Army. Her humble mission grew into a nationwide presence of peace and hope for those most in need.

George Scott Railton

After serving as the Booths’ family secretary in London, George went on to establish The Salvation Army’s presence in New York.

His talent for languages and love of travel also helped him pave the way for Salvationist work in France, Switzerland, Sweden, Germany, China, and Japan.

In addition to creating Army song books in Zulu and Dutch and beginning the Army and Navy League for Salvationist servicemen away from home, Railton founded the Prison Gate work for recently released prisoners.


Samuel Logan Brengle

Well known as a minister to The Salvation Army’s officers and soldiers in the United States, Brengle served for 30 years.

He believed that those who seek God “burst into flame” when they first touch Him and that they can bring those “left out in the cold” to His light.

To Brengle, the Corps was a sacred place from which the love and power of God could be communicated to all; entire cities could be energized and “lit up” by the prayer of soldiers who had “caught the flame.”

NOW HIRING: visit links below

https://usr57.dayforcehcm.com/CandidatePortal/en-US/tsa/Posting/View/31202  – Cape Coral Store

https://usr57.dayforcehcm.com/CandidatePortal/en-US/tsa/Posting/View/31204 – South Store

Schedule your donation pick-up at your convenience. Schedule Now!

Did you know that we accept vehicle donations? Click here for more information.

Family Thrift Stores – two locations to serve you!

Drop off items and shop at these stores

4506 Del Prado S., Cape Coral (239) 540-0265
15418 S. Tamiami Tr., Ft. Myers (239) 267-9652

Monday - 10:00  - 6:00 pm

Tuesday - 10:00  - 6:00 pm

Wednesday - 9:00  - 6:00 pm

Thursday - 10:00  - 6:00 pm

Friday - 10:00  - 6:00 pm

Saturday 10:00 -6:00 pm

Your donations to our Family Stores lead to sales which help fight for good against homelessness and hunger through our outreach centers and shelters.

Furniture, clothing, housewares, appliances, antiques, collectibles, and more! You want it? We have it at a fantastic price. Have it but don’t need it? We’ll take it.

Need to do some household cleaning but can’t bear to throw away a favorite sweater you don’t wear anymore or a comfy recliner you no longer have room for?

We accept clean, gently used furniture, housewares, bedding, bikes, kitchen items, jewelry, clothing, electronics in working condition, tools, sporting goods, and cars, boats, motorcycles in running condition.

Drop Off Items at the Following Locations

  • 10291 McGregor Blvd, Fort Myers 33919
  • 15418 S. Tamiami Trail, Fort Myers 33908
  • 4506 Del Prado Blvd, Cape Coral 33904 (from 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.)
  • 2581 Palm Ave, Fort Myers 33916
  • 26820 Old U.S. 41, Bonita Springs 34135

Call for a Pick-up (239) 337-0955

Vehicle Donations

When you donate your car to The Salvation Army, you’re helping us heal broken lives and assist individuals on the road to recovery and stable housing. Your used vehicle will help change the road ahead for someone who’s lost direction. Proceeds from the sale of your donated automobile are used to help fight for good against homelessness and hunger through our outreach centers and shelters.

Please call (239) 337-0955, and we will pick up your car, boat, truck, motorcycle or RV at no charge to you. When we pick up your vehicle, we will provide you with an IRS-approved receipt for your donation. Additional information will be mailed after your vehicle has been sold.

To volunteer at our Family Thrift Stores. Call Kris Volpone at (239) 278-1551.

Become a Volunteer

WAYS WE HELP

The Salvation Army is serving more people in the United States than ever before. We are already seeing large increases in the number of Americans seeking the basic necessities of life – food, shelter, and warmth. Approximately 30 million people received help from The Salvation Army last year.

Contact Form | Florida Division

If your location isn't listed, please choose the location nearest you.

The Salvation Army has many locations and services:

Administrative & Corps Office (Church)
10291 McGregor Blvd, Fort Myers, FL 33919
(239) 278-1551

Red Shield Lodge (Social Services, Family, Medical and Corrections Services)
2400 Edison Ave, Fort Myers, FL 33901
(239) 334-3745

Bob Janes Triage Center (Low Demand Shelter and Veterans’ Services)
2789 Ortiz Ave., Fort Myers, FL 33905
(239) 275-3222 or (239) 791-0110

Outreach Service Center (Evening Meals With Compassion and Food Pantry)
2476 Edison Ave, Fort Myers, FL 33901
(239) 334-3745

Bonita Springs Mission Station
26820 Old U.S. 41 Rd.., Bonita Springs, FL 34135
(239) 948-5200
Services offered at the Bonita Outreach Center>>>

Clewiston Outreach Center
969 W. Sugarland Hwy, Clewiston, FL 33440
(863) 233-6190
Services offered at the Clewiston Outreach Center>>>

LaBelle Outreach Center
133 N. Bridge St. LaBelle, FL 33935
(863) 674-1441
Services offered at the LaBelle Outreach Center>>>

Lehigh Acres Outreach Center
25 Homestead Road, Unit 42A, Lehigh Acres, FL 33936
(239) 491-6071

Make Donations and shop at our Family Stores (thrift stores)
(239) 337-0955 or (800) SA-TRUCK 1-800-728-7825

pathway of hope angel story

“I fell asleep at police departments sometimes just to know my children were safe.” These are the words of Angel, a mother of two daughters who was living in her car with her girls after becoming homeless during the COVID-19 crisis. The family was referred to The Salvation Army’s Pathway of Hope program to get […]

a little time

Looking up from my early morning chores I was surprised to see a man plodding toward me through the small pasture between our home and a busy highway. I could see a pickup on the shoulder of the road. Something was obviously wrong—it looked like a strong wind could tip it over. The man drew […]

Meal and grocery delivery services became a staple for many families under Safer at Home orders during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, already and newly vulnerable people were left with fewer options to provide basic needs like food for their families.

Lee Hendry & Glade Counties

Fort Myers Area Command
10291 McGregor Boulevard
Fort Myers, FL 33919

Phone

(239) 278-1551

There’s Another Way To Give

Donate Your Vehicle

AVOID THE HASSLES OF SELLING OR REPAIRING
YOUR VEHICLE ALTOGETHER WHEN YOU DONATE IT