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The Parramatta Salvation Army began in September 1884 beneath the wooden railway bridge, at the corner of Church and Argyle Streets, midst fierce opposition and ridicule.
Three young men, John Dean, George Walker and Matthew Thompson were the leaders. Their enthusiasm raised curiosity and the first meeting held in the Masonic Hall, attracted large crowds.
Within two months Matthew Thompson was viciously attacked and died days later, aged only 21. The assailants apologised and no charges were made.
Soon the people in the community were warming to this new movement and assistance with food, furniture etc. was given to the Deans who worked tirelessly to bring the Gospel to the people of Parramatta. Their numbers increased, many found Jesus in various places wherever meetings were held, until the first citadel was built in George Street in 1919.
The Salvation Army in Parramatta is one of the oldest in NSW. Our first building was located on George Street, opposite the Roxy Theatre, which was our home for 50 years until the move to Smith Street. From 1969 until 11th March 2018, we were located at the corner of Smith and Phillip Streets. From November 2020, The Salvation Army Parramatta is now based at 426 Church Street, Parramatta.
Wherever meetings are held: the new building, the old building, or the open air, the message preached is always the same - "turn to Jesus".
On 3rd & 4th March 2018, we said 'goodbye' to our buildings at 34 Smith Street with a celebration concert and worship service. This was in preparation for our move to our new church home at 426 Church Street, Parramatta. These slideshows feature some of the memories of our 50 years at Smith Street: