The Salvation Army Bundamba Corps opened in a suburb of Ipswich, Queensland (located about 35km south-west of Brisbane), on 21st August 1886. The development of this corps is a story of courage and belief amidst depression and hardship; of the fervour and compassion of the early Salvationists and Officers, who struggled to gain souls for Christ; and of the ongoing involvement of the Salvation Army in the community today.
Bundamba Corps had a chequered beginning, alternating between capacity crowds on special occasions, to a handful of the faithful praying, preaching, and praising God. As was typical with many regional corps, Bundamba’s ranks ebbed and flowed in relation to the industries surrounding it (coal mines and woollen mills) and the occurrence of natural disasters (mainly floods). Due to these factors Bundamba struggled for the first twenty years to become an established Army presence in the district and was described by one senior officer as "the toughest nut in South-East Queensland".
In its third decade as a corps, Bundamba was rejuvenated. Having its own meeting place, opened in 1913, certainly helped in the establishment of the corps as an active participant in the community. And, as with many Salvation Army corps, music has played an important part in the growth and effective witness of the corps. With the development of its band in the nineteen-twenties/thirties, Bundamba Corps began to fulfil its mission of spreading the Gospel and helping the poor and needy within the community.
Over the years since then the corps has been in a constant state of evolution, combining tradition with new methods of evangelism, providing many avenues of service and witness for young and old alike. Today Bundamba Corps blends traditional brass band, songsters and timbrels with a contemporary worship team (Freedom’s Road).
Bundamba has always been aware of the need to provide for the young people of the Corps and the community. Through the years we have seen the development of YP Band, Timbrels and Singing Company, together with the Lifesaving sections - Guards, Sunbeams, Moonbeams and Scouts and Cubs (now Rangers and Adventurers). Newer activities include Mainly Music and Street Dreams (modern dance).
Home League, Silver Service, Soul Sessions, Bible Study and Prayer Meetings also contribute to the lifeblood of the Corps, providing not only avenues of witness and service, but also fellowship and learning.
Recent ventures have included the commencement of a nursery and plant sales and the opening a Family Store behind the church. The success of these ventures has allowed the Corps to finance a number of mission projects including migrant assistance, work for the dole and various sporting teams.
Salvation Army Corps are not made up of bricks and mortar. They are founded on the faith and witness of the people who attend the corps. And Bundamba has had many families whose commitment to God and the mission of The Salvation Army have played a part in the development of the Bundamba Corps.