The Salvation Army Traverse City is celebrating 125 years of service

Jul 8, 2019

History of The Salvation Army Traverse City 

The Salvation Army’s beginnings in Traverse City can be traced to 1894, a year before Traverse City became incorporated as a city and motor cars had not yet replaced horses. The Salvation Army’s work began here under the charge of with two sweet faced, unassuming young women Capt. Smith and Lt. Phillips who secured the first location at Novotny’s Hall (currently the Blue Tractor) beside the dance hall on the second floor. 

Church meetings were held every evening in the week and one or more times on Sunday, as occasion seemed to demand as The Salvation Army began the local ministry to feed the hungry, love the unloved, and bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to the people. 

Between 1894 and today the Army has served our neighbors in their time of need at 22 different locations throughout the city. 

Today, The Salvation Traverse City sees the needs of our neighbors just as vividly as those first officers did. Every program we offer is rooted in our passion to serve God by serving the lost, the vulnerable, the needy, the poor, and the hurting by bringing help and hope to those struggling. 

Now, as it was 125 years ago, the hand of The Salvation Army is extended in service to our fellow man. Our mission remains steadfast to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.

As the Army marches forward we are committed to continuing the fight to Do The Most Good for the Most People in the Most Need in Grand Traverse, Leelanau and Benzie Counties with weapons of hope, love and compassion.

The Salvation Army Traverse City mission and services are 125 years strong through the generous and compassionate support of generations of community supporters who have quietly partnered and given without expectation of reward, simply because they want to help transform lives.  

On behalf of those we serve Thank You! 

If you have any historical photos or stories of The Salvation Army's impact please contact - Ruth Blick at 231.946.4644 ext 314 or email 

God bless, 
Majors Jeff and Dawn Russell


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