Known for its uniforms, brass bands, and programs for the poor, the Salvation Army began its work in Georgia on October 19, 1890. Its "grand opening" in the state was a small but significant affair, beginning with an open-air evangelistic service on an Atlanta street corner and proceeding to a meeting in a newly rented assembly room. The Salvation Army in Atlanta grew slowly, but by the end of January 1891, thirty "soldiers" had enlisted. On April 12, 1891, the second official Georgia corps opened in Augusta. By 1895 the mission was again gaining ground. New corps opened in Columbus (1895), in Rome (1897), in Macon (1899), and in Brunswick and Savannah (1900).
By the end of the twentieth century, the Salvation Army operated 136 facilities in Georgia. More than 70 officers are based in the state, and almost 400 employees, aided by approximately 24,000 volunteers, carry on the work of the army.
In 1865 a Methodist pastor named William Booth, aided by his wife, Catherine, founded the Christian Mission as a
In 1890 William Booth published In Darkest England, and the Way Out, which set the tone for the army's increasing emphasis on its social programs. Catherine Booth, known as the "Mother of the Salvation Army," defended the right of women to preach and fought against the exploitation of women and children. Within the army she consolidated the principle that women have absolute equality with men in privilege, position, and dignity, and she earned the sympathy of the upper classes for the social movement of the organization.
Today an international movement, the Salvation Army operates in 106 countries, where it maintains religious and social service centers, including schools and hospitals
The organization's ministries in Georgia provide and support basic social services, holiday assistance, summer and day camps, disaster assistance, correctional services, community centers and clubs, activities for senior citizens, and substance-abuse rehabilitation. The Salvation Army in Georgia operates corps community centers, service centers, boys' and girls' clubs, service units, and thrift stores around the state. The army has also established in Atlanta a Harbor Light Center (a residential substance-abuse recovery center), a housing complex for senior citizens, and an adult rehabilitation center, as well as a camp in Jasper.
Media Gallery: Salvation Army