The Salvation Army Overview

Ahead of their time, the Booths took an innovative approach by demonstrating their faith by offering practical support to people in need out on the streets of London and beyond. As social justice reformers, a large part of their focus was on caring for people in a practical way, and reaching out to the ‘vulnerable.’

When The Salvation Army’s founder William Booth was told by his son about all the homeless people sleeping on the banks of the Thames, his response was simple: ‘Go and do something.’ That was in the middle of the nineteenth century and today, The Salvation Army’s philosophy is exactly the same.

Historical Overview


William Booth left the Methodist ministry to preach as an independent evangelist in the slums of London’s East side (England). He made many converts, but they didn’t feel at home in the churches, so he set up Christian Mission Centres


The Name “The Salvation Army” was adopted for Booth’s organization. Missions became corps; members became soldiers; ministers became officers and Booth himself became General


Commissioner G.S. Railton and seven young women began work in New York City, helping the poor and combine gospel teaching with social work


Jack Addie and Joe Ludgate began the work of The Salvation Army in Canada, in London, Ontario. An urgent call was made to International Headquarters for commissioned officers. Captain J. Wass was sent to Toronto and Captain Shirley to London as the first commissioned officers in charge of these Canadian Corps


Captain Abbie Thompson began the work of The Salvation Army in Kingston, Ontario with her first meeting in the Kingston Market Square


During the 1880’s, 90’s the Army began to spread rapidly to India, Australia, South America, Pakistan and many European countries. The Salvation Army soon had thousands of officers and soldiers in 36 countries Many services emerged… women’s social work (1884), the first food depot (1888), the first day nursery (1890), and the first Army hospital (1901).


woman making donationThe Salvation Army Today

The Army celebrates over 150 years of ministry internationally and 140 years in Kingston, Ontario. Throughout its history, The Army has been blessed with countless opportunities to fulfill its ministry, bringing physical and spiritual healing to Canadians of all walks of life. As the largest non-governmental direct provider of social services in Canada, The Salvation Army provides unprecedented support to society’s most vulnerable. Social and community service programs focus on nurturing the capacities, skills and strengths of individuals rather than just meeting their needs.

The Salvation Army operates in 132 countries around the world, continuing to work where the need is greatest, guided by faith in God and love for all people.


Contact Us

342 Patrick Street
Kingston, ON K7K 6R6

Hours of Operation

Monday 8:30am - 4:30pm
Tuesday 8:30am - 4:30pm
Wednesday  1:00pm - 4:30pm
Thursday 8:30am - 4:30pm
Friday 8:30am - 4:30pm


Outline of People