Donut Day123 Years in Delaware

January 5, 1890, armed with tambourines and a mission to serve, The Salvation Army held its first meeting in Delaware. More than 200 voices were lifted in song and prayer in the second story of 220 Market Street.

  • By 1896, the barracks had moved to the McCullough Building at 5th & Walnut Streets.
  • The early years weren’t without tribulations. There was high turnover in leadership, and in 1897 some members of the community complained to police that the Army services were a nuisance. In 1898 the citadel was closed for a year.
  • By 1901, The Salvation Army, at 309 Shipley Street, began its ministry of tackling social problems with the opening of the Industrial Home and Store, a social service center and thrift store at 109 W. Third Street. In 1911 the home moved to 2nd and French Streets.
  • In March 1921, the Corps dedicated the first home of its own in a renovated café at 4th and Shipley Streets. The building opened in 1921 and was paid for in 1942.
  • December 1, 1947, the Haven of Hope, an emergency housing residence opened at 210 E. 4th Street.
  • November 24, 1957, a new building was dedicated at 4th and Shipley Streets, “To the Glory of God and Human Welfare”.
  • January 14, 1958, a Dover service unit opened, becoming a Corps Community Center in 1981, providing crisis financial aid and emergency housing to Kent County residents.
  • February 18, 1958, Sussex County Service Unit volunteers began providing crisis financial aid, finding a home office in Seaford in 1987.
  • October 18, 1959, the Mens’ Social Service Center was dedicated at 205-207 French Street as a rehabilitation center for men in distress, including the homeless and alcoholics.
  • In 1968, the Julia Tallman Senior Center opened at 102 W. 5th Street, providing social and educational activities and two meals a day for low income adults.
  • In 1971, The Salvation Army ventured into childcare services, a program that has grown from a class of 5 children to an organization serving more than 200 children in full day and after school programs, as well as summer day camp.
  • In April 1983, the Booth Social Service Center, at the corner of 5th and Orange Streets, opened. It houses a 52-bed shelter for homeless families as well as a Family Services Department which offers crisis financial assistance to low income families.
  • In 1988, the new Adult Rehabilitation Center at 107 S. Market Street opened its doors.
  • In April 1988, two Developmental Disabilities programs began offering resident care to mentally disabled adults in Sussex County.
  • On February 21, 1989, the new addition to the Delaware State Office was dedicated, facilitating the expansion of the child care and youth and senior services offered.
  • In 1991, the new Dover Corps Community Center located at 600 Forest Avenue was dedicated.
  • Since 1997, the KEEP A JOB Programs have successfully assisted various segments of the welfare to work population in Delaware through intensive case management and encouraging education and job retention.
  • The Templo de Wilmington, our Hispanic Corps was dedicated in 1999.

The mission of The Salvation Army in the State of Delaware remains as it began. The work and ministry will continue to grow providing human outreach by offering spiritual, emotional and material assistance to people in need.