Who we areWho We Are

The Salvation Army is a worldwide religious and charitable organization, motivated by the love of God and concern for the needs of humanity. The Army's tradition of helping those in need began more than 150 years ago. Members of The Salvation Army serve the poor and needy in 127 countries. Nationally, we have over 62,000 employees and over 3 million volunteers.

What we do

The Salvation Army was founded with the basic social services principles of taking care of the physical and emotional needs of the hungry and homeless and remains an outward visible expression of the Army's strong religious principles, as described in our Mission Statement.

In addition, new programs that address contemporary needs have been established. Among these are disaster relief services, child care centers, summer camps, holiday assistance, services for the aging, veterans programs, shelters for women and children, family and career counseling, vocational training, correctional services, and substance abuse rehabilitation.

The Salvation Army Mission Statement
The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.

HistoryWilliam and Catherine Booth

In 1865, William Booth spent his days preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to the poor, the homeless, the hungry and the destitute people of London, England. In his attempt to reach these people, Booth challenged the accepted concept of church and took his preaching to the streets. Booth traveled throughout England conducting evangelistic meetings. Booth’s services were an instant success. He quickly became well known as a religious leader throughout London and attracted followers who were dedicated to fighting for the souls of men and women.                                                                                       

In 1867, Booth had only 10 full-time workers, but by 1874, Booth’s followers had grown to 1,000 volunteers and 42 evangelists. At this time, the group was serving under the name “The Christian Mission.” The group officially adopted the title of “The Salvation Army” in August of 1878.

The ministry migrated to America in 1880, and was in full bloom by 1885, when 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 Salvation Army centers and local neighborhood units in the United States.

The work of the Army in what is now the Heartland Division also began in the mid 1880's, when several locations began their work, including Peoria in 1886. Peoria is not only home to a Corps Community Center, but also serves as the Divisional Headquarters.