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On May 12, 1886 at 116 E. Douglas, Captain Cunningham led the first Salvation Army meeting in the city of Wichita. By the next year, under the leadership of two other sisters, The Salvation Army was ready to begin a permanent presence in Wichita. Captain and Lieutenant Kline began the full-time ministry in the Hacker & Jackson Building at 601 East Douglas.
By 1906, the world was evolving: The Football Rules Committee legalized the forward pass, Einstein introduced his Theory of Relativity and the first Salvation Army building in Kansas was openedby Major William G. Houser. 126 North Topeka Avenue, of Wichita, Kansas was the site of the first Salvation Army building built in the state. The cornerstone from that building would later be presented to Camp Hiawatha.
In the 40’s this building would also headquarter the Wichita City Command Offices.
As the years went on, the Salvation soldiers of Wichita never quit responding to the needs of those around them. In 1921, Commander Dennis and Captain Benson oversaw a complete renovation of old Wesley Hospital at 1103 North Saint Francis. Upon completion of the renovation, The Salvation Army opened it as a hospital for unmarried mothers. In 1925, this ministry moved into the newly opened Booth Memorial Hospital at 2050 West 11th. Booth Memorial Hospital also housed the offices for the Wichita City Command. This building continues to minister to the people of Wichita, now serving as a rehabilitation center, named Riverside Academy.
In 1934, while the world was taking notice of Shirley Temple starring in her first movie, and anew German political leader, others were taking notice of The Salvation Army’s influence in Wichita. A.A. Hyde, founder of “ The Mentholatum Company” donated a tract of land, located eight miles north of Wichita, to be developed into a camp for mothers and children. It is known today as Camp Hiawatha.
In 1936, The Salvation Army of Wichita was celebrating their 50th anniversary. The city –represented by such civic leaders as Mayor Robert E. Israel, former mayor James Schuyler Crawford and the editor and owner of the Wichita Eagle Newspaper, Victor Murdock - laid a plaque honoring 50 years of Salvation Army ministry in Wichita.
By 1997, the world had changed – becoming more advanced and connected. Scientists successfully cloned a sheep named “Dolly,” Mercury Mail reported it had its 1 millionth internetsubscriber and The Salvation Army Wichita City Command was keeping up with changing times. They opened the Koch Center on 350 North Market where the many ministries offered by the Salvation Army of Wichita are coordinated – continuing to this day.
In June, 2018 Majors James and Candy Curl respectively were appointed new City Commander and Citadel Corp Officer. The Curls relocated from their previous appointment at Lake Wood Temple Corps in St. Paul Minnesota.
Today, The Salvation Army serves Wichita and Sedgwick County in South Central Kansas at four locations:
Downtown Wichita Koch Administration Center
|City Commander||Director of Programs|
|Major James Curl||Major Candy Curl|
West Orchard Corps Community Center
|Corps Officer||Corps Officer|
|Major Abran Tamayo||Major Ronda Tamayo|
Citadel Corps Community Center
|Corps Officer||Corps Officer|
|Major Charles Yockey||Major Betty Yockey|
Hiawatha Camp & Retreat Center
|Andy and Kim Herrman|
The Salvation Army
350 North Market
Wichita, Kansas 67202