Salvation Army History In Lansing, MichiganWilliam Booth

The commencement of The Salvation Army in Lansing came in 1884, only four years after the initial band of eight Salvationists had landed from England in New York City to carry General William Booth’s message of spiritual redemption and helping hand to life’s unfortunates. Only a few years earlier General Booth had founded the Army after he saw ragged wretches sleeping under London’s bridges through bitter cold nights and commanded: “Do something.” When other churches chose to ignore the poor, General Booth preached that no man can understand the power of God when he is hungry and cold. His clarion call was to bring God’s message to the unchurched masses and to serve the poor, the deprived, and the abused.

The Army’s war was against sin, inequity, and intolerance. General Booth commanded his soldiers to “go after the worst” and they carried their banners into the slums and lowliest of places. Just as those first Army soldiers had overcome the jeers and taunts in a rowdy New York Bowery, so did the pioneering Lansing group persevere to serve the Lord and give special meaning to “One soul saved.”

songstersAfter its founding, the Lansing Corps underwent a series of moves. In 1906 it established headquarters at 117 East Allegan Street, where it remained until 1955. Operations were then shifted to 902 South Cedar Street. In May of 1970, the Lansing Salvation Army Corps established its Citadel at 525 North Pennsylvania Avenue with municipal and civic leaders participating in dedication ceremonies. In 1990, The Salvation Army in Lansing did a major remodel of the facility which included adding a gym, a larger kitchen and a child care center, now named Beginnings Child Care.

In 1997 the Corps went through some administrative reorganization. The administrative and social service programs became the responsibility of the Capital Area Coordinator of The Salvation Army. The church programs became the responsibility of the local Corps Officer (pastor).