125th Anniversary Community Celebration

125th Anniversary Community Celebration Image

The Salvation Army of Traverse City Celebrates 125 Years of Service 
to Grand Traverse, Leelanau and Benzie Counties. 

  The celebration culminates with a community-wide open house and BBQ lunch 
September 18 from 11:30– 1:30pm at The Salvation Army Community Center 

The Salvation Army began its ministry in 1894 at the command of Captain Smith and Lieutenant Phillips – two unassuming young women who were committed to preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ and meeting human needs in His name without discrimination. The first Salvation Army location was at Novotny’s Hall – the current location of the Blue Tractor on Union Street. Since then, 22 locations have been utilized to house Salvation Army programs and services.

Early success in Traverse City was not guaranteed. An excerpt from the Grand Traverse Herald from February 22, in 1894 provided a perspective on the early days:

“About ten days ago a branch of the Salvation Army was started here, and
contrary to all expectations, success has been assured from the beginning.”

Fast forward 125 years as The Salvation Army has stayed true to its original calling, inspired by a quote from Catherine Booth, co-founder of The Salvation Army:  “There is no reward equal to that of doing the most good to the most people in the most need.”

“We are deeply honored to be here at this point in time in the history of The Salvation Army in Traverse City,” said Major Jeffery Russell, Corps Officer, The Salvation Army of Traverse City. “It is incumbent upon all of us here to be mindful of our past and yet at the same time, be focused on the future and the responsibility we have to serve those in our community with hope, compassion and love.”

In celebration of the 125th Anniversary of The Salvation Army in Traverse City, there will be an open house and BBQ lunch, September 18, 2019 from 11:30am – 1:30 pm at The Salvation Army Community Center at 1239 Barlow St. Traverse City. 

“Our open house is a celebration of the generous and compassionate support of generations of individuals, families and businesses who have quietly blessed our programs and our community neighbors with help, hope and compassion when they needed it most for 125 years. We are grateful to current staff and employees and those officers who have come before us,” said Major Jeffery Russell. “As long as there is need, The Salvation Army will be a consistent beacon of hope in Northern Michigan.”

Click here for addition historical information and photos. 

Support The Salvation Army:
Click here to donate online
Donate by mail: The Salvation Army Traverse City, PO Box 5228, Traverse City, MI 49696

Thank you to our 125th Anniversary Celebration Sponsors







Annette Roman and Thom Bennett



Tim and Mona Alpers
Ruth and Richard Blick
Gordon and Susan Cornwell
Kristal and Jim Flateau
Greg and Tracy Jenkins 
Robert and Val Stone
Bud Welch

Gordon Food Service Store 

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church was established in London in 1865. The Salvation Army, Traverse City has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination since 1894 in Grand Traverse, Leelanau and Benzie Counties. Over 54,000 services are provided locally each year through a broad array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, clothing and emergency need assistance, Pathway of Hope family strengthening services, outreach to the elderly and ill, relief for disaster victims and opportunities for underprivileged children. For more information, visit 

Remembering the PAST      Celebrating the PRESENT      Embracing the FUTURE