A Brief History of The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army began in East London, UK in 1865 when William Booth, a Methodist preacher left his conventional church to take the Gospel message of hope to the marginalized and poor in society. What began as the East London Christian Mission, soon developed into The Salvation Army and adopted a military structure and terminology to align with the idea that its members were Christian soldiers determined to “fight” the salvation war to fight for a better existence for the working class, the marginalized, and win souls for the Kingdom of God.

By 1878, renamed as The Salvation Army, Booth’s ministry had expanded to offer basic schooling, reading rooms, penny banks, soup kitchens and relief aid to the destitute and homeless. Within 10 years, The Salvation Army was established in the United States, Canada and Europe.

The Salvation Army began its work in Toronto, Canada in 1882 and quickly began giving hope to those in need.  Booth’s philosophy that there was little point in preaching “salvation” to hungry people, promoted the concept of “soup, soap and salvation” that drove the ministry in Canada.  Initially, The Salvation Army encountered much opposition to their efforts due to a lack of understanding amongst the Canadian establishment, however, as they persisted, The Salvation Army gradually gained acceptance.

Having received legal status through an Act of Parliament which was passed in 1909, The Salvation Army continues to operate within Canada under the governance of The Governing Council of The Salvation Army in Canada.  It has grown to be one of the largest non-governmental direct providers of social services in Canada. It gives hope and support to vulnerable people in 400 communities across Canada and in countries throughout the world. Today, with a world-wide membership of over 1,000,000, The Salvation Army is now in operation in over 130 countries.   

Mountain Citadel’s History

Mountain Citadel was formed in the late 1980’s when two established Salvation Army Corps, Mount Hamilton and Westmount Citadel, began a move to combine their resources and join the two smaller congregations into one.  In 1991, the newly formed congregation began meeting together in a temporary facility (Vincent Massey School) until the process of developing a cohesive fellowship and a new church building came to fruition.  

Mount Hamilton Corps was previously located at 573 Concession Street and now serves as a Salvation Army Corps with a special ministry to our local Laotian congregation and community.

The building that housed Westmount Citadel, located at 257 Mohawk Road West was vacated and sold upon amalgamation.  It currently serves the Hillcrest Masonic Temple.

On October 24, 1993 the official sod turning for Mountain Citadel took place with a joyful service led by Captain Doug Binner, the Corps Officer (minister). Within the span of a year, the new church building was ready for occupancy, October 2, 1994.  With much joy and praise to God for his blessing, the new Mountain Citadel Corps was officially opened October 15/16, 1994.   The surrounding community was invited to visit and join in the celebration.  

Exterior photograph of the Mountain Citadel Building