The Salvation Army of Philadelphia to Celebrate 125th Anniversary

The ministry began in London, England, in 1865 but it wasn’t long before it spread worldwide including to the United States.
( [email protected] ) Sep 21, 2004 08:24 PM EDT

The Salvation Army of Greater Philadelphia will hold a celebratory dinner on Oct. 5, commemorating the ministry’s 125th Anniversary.

"The accomplishments of The Salvation Army in this country - and especially in this region -- over the past 125 years are truly extraordinary," said Lt. Col William Carlson, Divisional Commander, The Salvation Army of Eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware. "It's impossible to track the number of lives that have been touched by The Salvation Army."

In October 1879, 16 year-old Eliza Shirley, a lieutenant of the Army in London, took the ministry to Philadelphia, giving birth to the first Salvation Army in the United States. Although the Salvation Army’s founder William Booth, a London minister, at first said she would breach her pledge if she left for America, he later officially recognized her work and promoted Shirley to Captain.

According to The Salvation Army of Greater Philadelphia, a series of events will lead up to the October 5th dinner.

Volunteers will engage in a 125 Hours of Service event, from Sept. 23-29, to representing The Army's commitment to providing programs and services 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Three programs will represent the past, present and future of The Salvation Army.

The Salvation Army of Greater Philadelphia will then be officially recognized by the city for making a difference in the lives of thousands of Philadelphians. In 2003, The Salvation Army of Greater Philadelphia visited more than 14,000 shut-ins and nursing home residents, secured nearly 80,000 new toys and stockings for children at Christmas, served more than one million meals to children and adults, and provided nearly 150,000 people with emergency assistance.

From Oct. 1-3, The Salvation Army of Greater Philadelphia will host an Evangelical Weekend in the same neighborhood where Shirley began the mission. Representatives from other local churches will participate in the event which will take place at the Salvation Army’s Pioneer Corps, 1920 E. Allegheny Avenue.

At the Oct. 5 dinner, ABC News Correspondent Cokie Roberts will be featured as a guest speaker during the dinner while National Liberty Museum Founder and Chairman Irvin J. Borowsky will be honored for his contributions to the organization, both locally and nationally.

Tickets for the dinner are available by calling 877-RED-KETTLE, or online at