Salvation Army celebrates 150 years


By Rosanne Bowman



The Salvation Army’s original building was at 209 1/2 S. Main St. Note Memorial Hall in the background.

The Salvation Army’s original building was at 209 1/2 S. Main St. Note Memorial Hall in the background.


Courtesy of the Salvation Army

Early bell ringers look for donations in an unknown year.

Early bell ringers look for donations in an unknown year.


Courtesy of the Salvation Army

The current Salvation Army building is located on 614 E. Market St.


Courtesy of the Salvation Army

What: 150th Anniversary Celebration

When: 11 a.m. Sept. 20

Where: Lima Salvation Army, 614 E. Market St., Lima

For details (or to volunteer) call 419-224-9055 or visit www.use.salvationarmy.org.

LIMA — The Salvation Army often brings to mind the trademark red kettle, but in its 150 years of existence, they have done much more than collecting donations in red kettles.

“What most people don’t know is that the Salvation Army is also a church,” said Deb Stacy, major corps officer at the Lima Salvation Army. “We are a non-profit organization and we offer social services activities, emergency crisis help, and — though not locally here — adult rehab and child care.”

Deb Stacy and her husband Jeff are both majors at the Lima Salvation Army and pastors. “Majors means that we are over things,” explained Stacy. “Corps officers are another name for pastors. The Salvation Army uses a lot of military terminology.”

Stacy and her husband have worked at the Lima Salvation Army for 17 years, moving up in the ranks, spending five years as lieutenants, 10 years as captains and moving into the major position two years ago when Majors Phil and Diane Tamayo retired.

Originally known as the East London Christian Mission, the Salvation Army was started in 1865 in England by William Booth, an itinerant preacher. He noticed the poverty and struggle of the people who lived in the East End of London. Although Booth’s first mission was to share the Gospel with the inhabitants of the area, he soon realized he was also called to meet their practical needs and to call attention to the social injustices happening at the time, such as unsafe workplaces, unregulated child labor, and child prostitution.

Booth’s family joined him in his work. Although growth was slow during the first decade, by 1874, support of their mission had grown to 1,000 volunteers and 42 evangelists. The mission began to spread throughout London. At that point, they were simply known as the Christian Mission. It was Booth’s son, Bramwell Booth who came up with current the name. In 1878, Booth wrote about his workers, calling them “the Christian Mission volunteer army.” His son did not like being called a volunteer, so he changed it to “a salvation army,” and the name stuck.

In 1885, the Salvation Army, spread from England to the United States, and they soon were established in Cincinnati, Ohio. Within 10 years, the Salvation Army was operating in 24 countries on five continents. Today, they serve in 126 countries on every continent except Antarctica. There are over 9,000 Salvation Army centers and local neighborhood units in the United States with over 1,200 Salvation Army churches and 140 drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers. These are staffed by 3,550 pastors and over three million volunteers.

The Lima Salvation Army was started 127 years ago in 1888, but their earliest presence was recorded as 1885 when they came to preach the Gospel to those in extreme poverty.

Today, the Lima Salvation Army has five staff members. “There are my husband and I,” said Stacy. “We are the pastors and oversee things. We also have a family services coordinator who deals with the social work aspect. We have a bookkeeper/receptionist, and we have an operations coordinator.”

They are currently looking for a program assistant which is similar to a youth pastor.

On Tuesday, the organization will begin all of their regular activities which generally run throughout the school year. These include something almost every day of the week. On Sundays, Sunday school starts at 9:45 a.m. followed by an 11 a.m. worship service. Tuesday is youth night and begins with karate at 4:30 p.m. followed by dinner at 5:30. After which, the kids participate in Sunday’s Cool, learning choruses. That is followed by Kid’s Clubs, a program similar to Boy or Girl Scouts for ages 3 to 18.

Wednesday’s focus on adults, with a women’s ministry meeting at noon. Thursday is music night. Stacy said this was new this year since they ran out of time on youth night.

In addition, there is an after school program that runs Monday through Friday from 3 to 5 p.m. Kids who attend are served dinner at 4:30 p.m.

The organization has also partnered with Jobs and Family Services to distribute backpacks, as well as, having a coat drive in October and a Christmas program for the needy during the holidays.

In the midst of gearing up for the new schedule, the Lima Salvation Army will be joining with Salvation Army centers across the United States to celebrate the 150th anniversary on Sept. 20. “We will all be celebrating the same day,” said Stacy. “We’ll probably have a fellowship afterwards with food. My husband is working on the service, but it will probably be along the lines of an old-fashioned Salvation Army meeting.”

As the Salvation Army turns 150, the core of the organization remains the same – to share the Gospel and to meet the needs of those in the community. The organization still relies on its army of volunteers.

“We have lots of youth programming and we always need people to tutor or play basketball with the kids or even to help with maintenance,” said Stacy. “We are always in need of more volunteers.”

The Salvation Army’s original building was at 209 1/2 S. Main St. Note Memorial Hall in the background.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2015/09/web1_orig-bld.jpgThe Salvation Army’s original building was at 209 1/2 S. Main St. Note Memorial Hall in the background. Courtesy of the Salvation Army
Early bell ringers look for donations in an unknown year.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2015/09/web1_kettles.jpgEarly bell ringers look for donations in an unknown year. Courtesy of the Salvation Army
The current Salvation Army building is located on 614 E. Market St.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2015/09/web1_now.jpgThe current Salvation Army building is located on 614 E. Market St. Courtesy of the Salvation Army

By Rosanne Bowman

What: 150th Anniversary Celebration

When: 11 a.m. Sept. 20

Where: Lima Salvation Army, 614 E. Market St., Lima

For details (or to volunteer) call 419-224-9055 or visit www.use.salvationarmy.org.

Rosanne Bowman is a freelance writer and regular contributor to The Lima News. Share your story ideas with her at [email protected]

Rosanne Bowman is a freelance writer and regular contributor to The Lima News. Share your story ideas with her at [email protected]

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