Salvation Army, Louisville Area Command
For more than 125 years The Salvation Army has uplifted Louisville’s citizens, fighting against poverty, hunger and hopelessness.
Established in 1865 by Minister William Booth, the international movement seeks to meet basic human needs through biblically-based principles.
The Salvation Army came to Louisville in 1883, first meeting on the steps of the Jefferson County Courthouse.
In its nearly 130-year history, the Louisville Area Command has seen great expansion. It became the headquarters of The Salvation Army’s Kentucky–Tennessee Division, established the first youth center in the state – which was the precursor to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Louisville; and opened a citadel named for supporter Colonel Harland Sanders, of KFC fame.
Today The Salvation Army provides shelter, disaster relief, spiritual guidance and other assistance throughout the Metro, with 84% of donated dollars going directly to services in our community.
Money raised at Christmas through their signature red kettles support the Army’s programs all year long.
The Louisville Area Command is headquarted at old Male High School and is planning to build a new Corps Community Center on Cane Run Road.
The Kroc Center will offer family support, education, recreation, and cultural arts. Only eleven such centers are currently planned across the country.
More facts about the Salvation Army in Louisville:
- The Salvation Army first came to the United States in 1880. The organization’s name is a salute to its military spirit; its founder was even called the ‘general’.
- The Salvation Army Louisville Command was established by Captain J.W. Blosser, Captain Lizzie Pellatt and Lieutenant Mattie Standevere. From the beginning, The Salvation Army treated men and women as equal in its ranks … and all of its officers are ordained ministers.
- The first local meeting was held on the steps of the Jefferson County Courthouse, where it is commemorated with an historical marker.
- The first Corps was opened at the site of Bowles Market and Hall on Jefferson Street. Today, this is General William Booth Park.
- During WWI the Army set up huts for servicemen across the country, providing fellowship, refreshments and recreation. The first such hut in the U.S. was opened in Louisville at Camp Zachary Taylor.
- In 1927, Louisville became the headquarters of The Salvation Army’s Kentucky–Tennessee Division.
- The Salvation Army provided disaster relief during Louisville’s great flood of 1937.
- Three of The Salvation Army’s most recognizable programs are the Family Thrift Store Program and their Christmas services - “Toys for Tots” and the Angel Tree Program. Approximately 60,000 toys are giving to needy area children through “Toys for Tots” each year, and Angel Tree (with the help of hundreds of volunteers) provides food and gifts for about 14,000 local families. Proceeds from the thrift store support a variety of local services.
- The Salvation Army was originally known as The Christian Mission when it began in London. The name was changed in 1878.
- To find out about volunteer opportunities with The Salvation Army Louisville Area Command, call 502.671-4900 or visit their Web site.
- Program 322
- Two local entrepreneurs share the secret of their success in the handbag industry, a charitable organization offers a tall drink of water, and much more. (#322)