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About The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church.

Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by love for God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and meet human needs in his name without discrimination.

Vision: A growing, loving community of people dynamically living God’s mission in a broken world.

Mission: Raised up by God for the work of

Transforming Lives
Caring for People
Making Disciples
Reforming Society

Values: Recognising that God is always at work in the world we value

Human Dignity

How and where did the Salvos start in Australia?

The Salvation Army has been in Australia for 130 years. Early in 1880, two migrant Salvos from the UK—Edward Saunders and John Gore—were both living in Adelaide. The two men met unexpectedly when Saunders heard Gore telling a group of people how he became a Christian in London while attending the Christian Mission (as The Salvation Army was known in its early days). Saunders was excited to discover a fellow Salvo and together they decided it was time to start the movement in Australia.

They wrote to the General (world leader of The Salvation Army) in London and told him they had discovered enough Salvos in Australia to commence meetings. They were even bold enough to suggest to the General who they thought he should send to help and Saunders offered to pay the fare to Australia for the new officers (ministers).

On 5 September, 1880 they conducted an open air service in Adelaide’s Botanic Park where Gore issued this invitation: ‘If there is any man here who hasn’t had a decent meal today, let him come home to tea with me.’ This was the beginning of The Salvation Army in Australia. They stood on a horse buggy for that first meeting and later found a hall to hold meetings.

In January 1881, Captain and Mrs Sutherland were sent from London to take charge of the work of the Salvos in Australia. By this time there were 68 soldiers (full members). After its commencement in Adelaide, the Salvos opened in Melbourne and Sydney within two years and in Queensland in 1885.

Today The Salvation Army operates in every state and territory of Australia.