Our History

To preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and meet human needs in His name without discrimination…that is the mission of The Salvation Army. Since 1865, when William Booth founded our movement in England, The Salvation Army has been passionately pursuing the spiritual and physical needs of people from all walks of life all over the world.

At the core of this process is Our Church. We believe that God has blessed our community as with new opportunities to be encouraged into relationship with Jesus Christ and one another, to be equipped to find God’s truth wherever it lies and to be engaged in mission for our community’s benefit and God’s glory.

The Salvation Army of Greenville County officially opened to the public in 1904 and we have been striving to do everything we can for our community ever since.  For more information, you may be interested to read “Way Down Beside the Reedy River” that was written by Church member Ray Kitchen.

1904-1907 Our “Century of Service” began in a tent located at the corner of Brown and Washington Street . Here, The Salvation Army offered a religious message and good music to all those willing to listen.  After years of migrating from location to location, the Army’s first permanent home was completed. Mr. C.E. Graham donated the lot the building stood on, which took on the name ‘Citadel.’

1908-1910 The Salvation Army Women’s Social Services Department opened the Shelter for Homeless Women and Maternity Home. Mrs. W. G. Sirrine and Mrs. W. W. Burgiss formed the Charity Aid Society.

1917-1921 The Salvation Army assumed operation of the Bruner Home, which was a home for orphaned and abandoned children. The Emma Moss Booth Memorial Hospital was opened and began operating as one of the main city hospitals.

1938-1942 The Salvation Army Red Shield Boys Club was formed with the aid of Mr. P.D. Meadors, a local candy manufacturer. The Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club (formerly The Salvation Army Red Shield Boys Club) began the Community Camping Program. This program offered a healthy outdoor experience in a summer camp setting.

1950 The Salvation Army broke ground for the new ‘Citadel’ on Rutherford Street.

1969 The Boys and Girls Club operation moved to a new facility on Owens Street.

1984-1988 The Salvation Army-operated overnight homeless shelter underwent re-establishment to meet the needs of the growing homeless population.

1994-2003 The Salvation Army Service Unit in Seneca was dedicated as a full-fledged Corps operation.  The Salvation Army Service unit in Easley was dedicated as a full-fledged Corps operation. The Mary C. Davidson Dining Building was opened on the Rutherford Street property. A new lodging facility for men was completed and the Women’s Shelter was renovated to better meet the needs of the residents. A new Thrift Store and warehouse were completed on Rutherford Street.

2005 The Greenville, SC Corps received preliminary approval to build an endowed Ray and Joan Kroc Community Center, as described in Mrs. Kroc’s $1.6 billion bequest to The Salvation Army.

2007 The Greenville Community helped The Salvation Army raise the community match endowment dollars required to receive a Kroc Center.

2009 The groundbreaking ceremony took place at the site of The Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center, which was led by Major Dalton Cunningham, Divisional Commander and Major Bobby Lancaster, Area Coordinator.

2011 The Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center opens in late summer.

We invite you to get involved with The Salvation Army of Greenville County, SC and help us continue our rich tradition in our local community!