The Salvation Army began in 1865 when William Booth, a London minister, gave up the comfort of his pulpit and decided to take his message into the streets where it would reach the poor, the homeless, the hungry and the destitute.
His original aim was to send converts to established churches of the day, but soon realized that the poor did not feel comfortable or welcome in the pews of most of the churches and chapels of Victorian England. Regular churchgoers were appalled when these shabbily dressed, unwashed people came to join them in worship.
Our Beginnings in Singapore
Brigadier Herbert Lord established The Salvation Army in Singapore in 1935. The first headquarters was an old Chinese house in Killiney Road where we received requests to commence relief work and social services for women and children. The Singapore After Care Association also sought our assistance in the rehabilitation of ex-prisoners.
In 1937, we opened a home for victimized women on Paterson Road caring for the destitute and those forced into prostitution. A school was also set up to teach English and useful skills such as tailoring. This developed into the Women's Industrial Home which later moved to a larger home at River Valley Road.
The Army's work expanded and we moved to a quaint old Chinese house in Tank Road (later renamed Clemenceau Avenue) in January 1938. After 50 years in Clemenceau Avenue, growing services necessitated a move. After a brief period in Changi, the headquarters was eventually relocated to our current location at Bishan.