The Salvation Army was started by William and Catherine Booth. William was working as a Methodist Minister when he felt called by God to reach out to the poor, hurt and hungry who were living on the poverty streets of East London. Following God’s calling, Booth left his job, set-up a tent, and started to preach the word of God.
In 1865 he founded the East London Christian Mission which later became known as The Salvation Army. “The military-style organizational structure evolved naturally. (For one thing, Booth was frustrated by committees.) As Booth wrote later: “God led us unwittingly, so to speak, to make an army…it was an army organized for the deliverance of mankind from sin; an army of salvation –The Salvation Army.” (One Corps, One Cause)
The Salvation Army eventually came to Canada by way of two British men in the 1880’s. Jack Addie and Joe Ludgate first met in a Methodist church in London, Ontario. Soon after, they decided to join forces and introduce the Salvation Army to Ontario.
By 1884, William Booth sent Major Thomas Coombs to lead the Canadian Salvation Army.
In 1887, four young officers were given the task to find a place in Vancouver to set-up shop. Captain Mary Hackett and Lieutenants Lynes, Iverack and Tierney found a house on the corner of Hastings and Westminster Ave (now Main Street). This was the start of the Salvation Army in Vancouver.
Lieutenant Lynes said, ‘“In those early days we held meetings in Hart’s Opera House on Carrall, south of Dupont (now Pender). When it was wanted for theatricals, we held our meetings in the street. It would hold perhaps four or five hundred people. The floor was rough boards with benches for seating and coal oil lamps for lighting. It was more like a barn than an opera house.” Meetings were held every night and three times on Sunday either at the opera house or in a carpenter’s shop, preceded by a march. Just the four women with a flag and drum. A shack squatter called Tom Whipple was their first convert. He was later to be among the first local officers to be commissioned – as War Cry sergeant.’ (One Corps, One Cause)
“The Army in Vancouver is also closely identified with what now is known as “Hallelujah Point”, across Coal Harbour in Stanley Park. The early Salvationists used to hold picnics and outdoor meetings there and a plaque to mark the spot was unveiled in 1943.” (One Corps, One Cause)
Since that time, the Salvation Army has spread throughout Vancouver gathering in multiple locations across our region. Cariboo Hill Temple originally started in Vancouver and moved in (year?) to its current location in Burnaby.
Cariboo Hill exists to see lives transform and become followers of Jesus; To serve, love and support our community.