The first eight corps in the Salvation Army Carolinas division


  1. Raleigh, North Carolina
  2. Wilmington, North Carolina
  3. New Bern, North Carolina
  4. Durham, North Carolina
  5. Spartanburg, South Carolina
  6. Goldsboro, North Carolina
  7. Fayetteville, North Carolina
  8. Florence, South Carolina


Raleigh, North Carolina - January 16, 1887

Raleigh was the first corps to open in the Carolinas. Meetings were conducted at the state penitentiary resulting in many conversions among the prisoners. In 1956, the youth programs were so grand that they made the Southern War Cry magazine. They had the largest and most active group of Girl Guards in the southern territory. 

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Wilmington, North Carolina - January 30, 1887

Newspaper accounts report that "large crowds" were present to witness the beginning of the Army's crusade in Wilmington. The early years were not without incident. Hecklers were disruptive in early 1887 and police officers were stationed at the Army's meetings to preserve public order. Later in 1887 two Army officers were arrested for defying an injunction to hold outdoor public meetings. So far as can be determined, the charges were eventually dropped and outdoor meetings resumed in September 1887. No further attempts to restrict the Army were noted. 

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New Bern, North Carolina - February 1887

New Bern was the third corps to open in North Carolina although the exact day is unknown. Did you know that it's because of this corps that we have Men's camp?

It was in New Bern, under the leadership of Captain and Mrs. Fred Boyette, that the Men's Club of The Salvation Army had its beginnings. The first Men's Camp was held along the Neuse River between New Bern and Havelock. This program idea spread around the world is now an important Salvation Army activity. 

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Durham, North Carolina - February 20, 1887

In 1887, the War Cry reported early Army stirrings in the city and claimer "Durham, North Carolina for King Jesus." Facing financial setbacks and a tepid reception, the young enthusiasts stormed the city. Even with filled halls, little response was given to the message. The Army's hour was not at hand and all activities ceased.  It wasn't until 1910 that Durham had experienced growth and fame. In May of that year, Captain and Mrs. James V. Breazeale re-established the Army's presence. When Captains Breazeale left, they left behind a thriving corps. 

Throughout the years the corps meeting attendances increased to several hundred persons. They created a program were they worked one-on-one with the illiterate of the community, and the Army's social service system was so adaptable that when the city's charity system was reorganized, the ensign was given general oversight of this work. It wasn't too long after that the Army was named the dispenser of the city's charities.

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Spartanburg, South Carolina - March 1, 1887

The city of Spartanburg was only 56 years old when the Army came to town. There was a little competition in Spartanburg back in 1930 between local charities. At the end of 1930 the General Secretary, Staff Captain William Gilks, found it necessary to go to Spartanburg to settle some differences between the Community Chest, the Red Cross and the Army. The Community Chest threatened to "take away the family relief from the Army and give it to the Red Cross." Community Chest officials met with the advisory board and found the board supporting the Army fully; taking a different line of argument that had been anticipated. The advisory board challenged the Community Chest to either measure up and provide the money to do the work, or step aside and let the Army do it. 

The Conference concluded with the advisory boards of the Red Cross and The Salvation Army putting on a combined independent campaign for Emergency Relief. They successfully raised $8000.00 and a building was made ready for emergency transient relief. Captain Shackleford (the officer in charge) was confident of measuring up to the opportunity.

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Goldsboro, North Carolina - March 6, 1887

The Goldsboro corps had a rough opening. Records show that after June 1887 it was no longer listed in the Disposition of Forces until the reopening of this corps on October 21, 1923 when Captain F. Lee Ritchie and Lieutenant Charles Johnson took charge and listed the Chamber of Commerces as their address. 

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Fayetteville, North Carolina - March 12, 1887

A small contingent of officers claimed Fayetteville for God over a hundred years ago on March 12, 1887. With very little information about the beginning days of this corps, we do known that these pioneers paved the way for the future of the Army in this city. 

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Florence, South Carolina - March 23, 1887

March 23, 1887 marks the groundwork date of Salvation Army activity in Florence where Adjutant and Mrs. Newton were already attracting crowds to their meetings and people were under conviction. On Sept. 21, 1924, however, the corps was "officially open" and, in a few short days, nineteen persons, including five young women, needed assistance. Captain and Mrs. A C Story from Charlotte divisional headquarters helped the officers get firmly established. 

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