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Who We Are / Serving Northeast Ohio since 1872

Serving Northeast Ohio since 1872

Spreading Across Ohio

The Salvation Army in Ohio started in Cleveland and was first known as The Christian Mission. It represented one of the organization's first U.S. outpost, operating from 1872-1876 and reorganized as The Salvation Army on Oct. 29, 1883. 

The first group was established by a British cabinetmaker and lay preacher, James Jermy, who had worked with The Salvation Army founder William Booth, and local preacher James Fakler.  They held open-air meetings in front of saloons in the Haymarket district and published a paper, the Mission Harvester.  Fakler left Cleveland in 1874, Jermy in 1875; and The Christian Mission closed in 1876.

The Salvation Army came to Cleveland again when four "soldiers" attracted audiences at open-air gospel meetings in the Haymarket district.  They soon established headquarters at the corner of Hill and Commercial Street and began to offer Saturday night dinners to the needy.

By 1907, The Salvation Army had five corps in Cleveland.  In addition to religious activities, many other services were offered including prison visitation, employment, missing-persons, "anti-suicide," day nursery, salvage services, an orchestra, and two workingmen's hotels.  “Slum officers” investigated applicants before providing coal, clothing, bedding, furniture, and other basic needs.

The Salvation Army underwent many changes during its first 40 years as states were added to the union and as the population shifted westward and southward.

After receiving a warm welcome in Cleveland, The Salvation Army expanded its operation throughout Ohio. 
As cities developed in Youngstown, East Liverpool, Akron, Toledo, Newark and Zanesville, The Salvation Army served the needy, helped the poor and held church services.

In Cincinnati, The Salvation Army dates its earliest presence to November 1885, when Salvationists first came to preach the Gospel and began to offer social services to the poorest of the poor.