The Salvation Army of Greater Chattanooga celebrated its 120th birthday yesterday.

In addition to participating in the national and global mission that the Red Shield conducts annually, the organization’s local programs include the Social Services Ministry in East Lake, holiday assistance and disaster services. The Family Store is located in East Ridge.

Last year, the staff was joined in those programs by more than 18,000 volunteers whose total hours amounted to a value of more than $1 million.


The Salvation Army in Chattanooga began with a few words from District Officer J. C. Smith in March 1893: “We come with peace, charity and goodwill toward everyone.”

Think you know the rest of the 120 years of history in the Scenic City? Here are your weekend trivia facts:

-The corner of Ninth and Market streets hosted the organization’s first meeting.

-The Methodist Church located on Carter Street was home to the first indoor service.

-Capt. Harry Roe and Lt. H. Henington served as the branch’s first leaders.

-The first shelter, known as the workingman’s hotel, was established on Market Street in 1903 with a dining room, a meeting room, apartments for 25 cents, and dormitory beds for 15 and 10 cents.

-The organization lived at addresses on Georgia and Roanoke avenues and in Alton Park before finally settling on McCallie Avenue in 1975.

The Scenic City branch of the national organization commemorated the occasion with birthday festivities at Hamilton Place Mall. Guests were encouraged to donate $5 to the local nonprofit.