History in Greenville
The Salvation Army maximizes donations by using 82 cents of every dollar donated to provide direct services to help the most people in need. As a result, we are doing the most good with contributions of money, time, and resources. The Salvation Army of Greenville County officially opened to the public in 1904 and we have been striving to do everything we can for our community ever since.
Our "Century of Service" began in a tent located at the corner of Brown and Washington Street. Here, The Salvation Army offered a religious message and good music to all those willing to listen. After years of migrating from location to location, the Army's first permanent home was completed. Mr. C.E. Graham donated the lot the building stood on, which took on the name "Citadel."
The Salvation Army Women's Social Services Department opened the Shelter for Homeless Women and Maternity Home. Mrs. W. G. Sirrine and Mrs. W. W. Burgiss formed the Charity Aid Society.
The Salvation Army assumed operation of the Bruner Home, which was a home for orphaned and abandoned children. The Emma Moss Booth Memorial Hospital was opened and began operating as one of the main city hospitals.
The Salvation Army Red Shield Boys Club was formed with the aid of Mr. P.D. Meadors, a local candy manufacturer. The Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club (formerly The Salvation Army Red Shield Boys Club) began the Community Camping Program. This program offered a healthy outdoor experience in a summer camp setting.
The Salvation Army broke ground for the new ‘Citadel' on Rutherford Street.
The Boys and Girls Club operation moved to a new facility on Owens Street.
The Salvation Army-operated overnight homeless shelter underwent re-establishment to meet the needs of the growing homeless population.
The Salvation Army Service Unit in Seneca (Oconee County) was dedicated as a full-fledged Corps operation. The Salvation Army Service unit in Easley (Pickens County) was dedicated as a full-fledged Corps operation. The Mary C. Davidson Dining Building was opened on the Rutherford Street property. A new lodging facility for men was completed and the Women's Shelter was renovated to better meet the needs of the residents. A new Thrift Store and warehouse were completed on Rutherford Street.
The Greenville, SC Corps received preliminary approval to build an endowed Ray and Joan Kroc Community Center, as described in Mrs. Kroc's $1.6 billion bequest to The Salvation Army.
The Greenville Community generously gave over $15 million to the Ray and Joan Kroc Community Center. The Family Stores and Boys & Girls Club Smart Centers saw growth prior to the economic downturn. In 2008, a new position of Kroc Administrator was added to the Greenville, SC command.
The Pickens County location was made into a Service Center. The Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center officially opened October 17, 2011 on 20 acres in Downtown Greenville. In June 2012 the three counties of Greenville, Pickens, and Oconee were combined as an Area Command under the leadership of Majors Kent and Melody Davis. The Women's Auxilary was started in 2014.
The Salvation Army celebrates 150 years of service since the organization began in London, England by General William Booth. Today, The Salvation Army is in over 120 countries and is an international leader in emergency assistance, disaster relief and the fight against human trafficking.