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The Salvation Army of Greater Chattanooga Celebrates 122 Years of Serving Chattanooga!

Monday, March 16th is the 122nd birthday of The Salvation Army officially beginning its life-changing ministries in Greater Chattanooga. To celebrate, The Salvation Army will have special $1.22 sales at The Family Store, located at 4104 Ringgold Road, beginning Saturday, March 14 and continuing throughout the week.

On March 16, 1893, District Officer J. C. Smith arrived in the Scenic City. The next day he greeted Chattanoogans with these timely words, “We (come) with peace, charity and goodwill toward everyone, and we trust we shall succeed in doing good.”

After all these years, The Salvation Army is serving in 127 countries, and its Red Shield is one of the most recognized “brands” in America.  Moreover, the words of Adjutant Smith’s introductory remarks still ring true today in Chattanooga and around the globe for The Salvation Army’s promise is “Doing the Most Good for people in need with donors’ contributions of money, time and resources.”

On the occasion of its 122nd birthday, the Greater Chattanooga Salvation Army wishes to express its sincere gratitude to our friends whose kind wishes, prayers, gifts and “shoe leather” co-labor have blessed us and selflessly served the needs of our less fortunate neighbors through two World Wars, The Great Depression, the Korean, Vietnam, Persian Gulf, Iraq and Afghanistan wars, fires, floods and tornado outbreaks.  Together, the community and The Salvation Army have been providing shelter, food, clothing, furniture, disaster relief, Christmas assistance, utility assistance, youth and senior programs, physical, spiritual and emotional care for 122 years!

Chattanooga Salvation Army History Facts:
•The first Open Air meeting was held on March 18th at the corner of Ninth and Market Streets.

•The first indoor service was held in the Methodist Church’s Carter Hall at 105 Carter Street where it meets Frank Street.

•The first Salvation Army leaders in Chattanooga were Captain Harry Roe and Lieutenant H. Henington.

•Corp officer, song leader and guitar player in those first days, Captain Annie Glosser, was known as “Shouting Annie.”

•The Army’s first shelter – a four-story workingman’s hotel – opened November 18, 1903 at 532 Market Street.  A meeting room and a dining room comprised the first floor and the local officers lived on the second floor.  The hotel began on the third floor where apartments rented for 25 cents and dormitory beds rented for 15 cents.  The fourth floor dormitory beds cost 10 cents a night.

Salvation Army Citadel Corps located on Roanoke

Salvation Army Citadel Corps located on Roanoke

•The Salvation Army has been located on Georgia Avenue, in Alton Park and on Roanoke Ave, all before finding its home on McCallie Avenue.

•The Army purchased its initial property on McCallie Avenue in June 1975.  This property still houses an innovative church program and the ReCreate Café for the homeless, the Residential Re-entry Program and its administrative offices.

Today, the local Salvation Army offers church and community center programs for all ages in Brainerd, East Lake, Cleveland and houses its Family Store in East Ridge.

A convert from an earlier Salvation Army mission in the area was quoted in the March 18, 1893 Chattanooga Times, “Yes, sir, I tell you there are dozens of men and women in Chattanooga whom have been inestimably benefitted by The Salvation Army. It is a body of common people working among the common people.”

The Greater Chattanooga Salvation Army still strives to fulfill Adjutant Smith’s words of March 17, 1893 – doing the most good!

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