Mission & History

125 years of meeting the greatest needs throughout the islands.

Mission Statement

The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.

The Salvation Army Doctrines

  1. We believe that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments were given by inspiration of God and that they only constitute the Divine rule of Christian faith and practice.

  2. We believe that there is only one God who is infinitely perfect, the Creator, Preserver, and Governor of all things, and who is the only proper object of religious worship.

  3. We believe that there are three persons in the Godhead - the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, undivided in essence and co-equal in power and glory.

  4. We believe that in the person of Jesus Christ the Divine and human natures are united, so that He is truly and properly God and truly and properly man.

  5. We believe that our first parents were created in a state of innocency, but by their disobedience they lost their purity and happiness, and that in consequence of their fall all men have become sinners, totally depraved, and as such are justly exposed to the wrath of God.

  6. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has by His suffering and death made atonement for the whole world so that whosoever will may be saved.

  7. We believe that repentance towards God, faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, and regeneration by the Holy Spirit, are necessary to salvation.

  8. We believe that we are justified by grace through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and that He that believeth hath the witness in Him self.

  9. We believe that continuance in a state of salvation depends upon continued obedient faith in Christ.

  10. We believe that it is the privilege of all believers to be wholly sanctified, and that their whole spirit and soul and body may be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

  11. We believe in the immortality of the soul; in the resurrection of the body; in the general judgment at the end of the world; in the eternal happiness of the righteous; and in the endless punishment of the wicked.


In 1865, William Booth, an ordained minister with the Methodist New Connection, along with his wife Catherine, formed an evangelical group which preached to people living in poverty within London's East End.

Booth's ministry recognized the interdependence of material, emotional and spiritual needs. In addition to preaching the Gospel, Booth became involved in the feeding and shelter of the hungry, the homeless, and the rehabilitation of those addicted to alcohol.

Booth's ministry originally known as the Christian Mission, became The Salvation Army in 1878 when it evolved on a quasi-military pattern. Booth became the "General" and officers' ranks were given to ministers.

For more than a century, The Salvation Army has functioned successfully within that unusual structure. Its outreach now encompasses 126 countries and its ministry is spoken in 160 languages.

The provision of basic social services has become an important part of The Salvation Army. In addition to providing basic needs such as food and shelter, new programs have addressed contemporary needs including day care, summer camps, disaster relief services, holiday assistance, services for senior citizens, hospital and medical facilities, shelter for battered wives and children, family and career counseling, vocational training and correctional services.

History in the Hawaiian & Pacific Islands

Thousands of immigrants were pouring into Hawaii to work in the plantations in the 1890s. Christian men and women realized the serious need for a "spiritual organization with a social aim... a social organization with a spiritual aim" to work with the young and old of all nationalities in Hawaii. The Salvation Army met this need. At the request of Central Union Church, the first contingent of Salvationists came to Hawaii in 1894. Five devoted and earnest workers, led by Staff Captain John Milsaps, arrived in Hawaii and were ready to face the challenges ahead.

The first Salvation Army hall was located in Downtown Honolulu at 1680 South King Street. In the late 1890s, Dr. Theodore Richards gave the Army a building in the Vineyard and River Street section of Honolulu to center its activities. Today, that same location is used as part of the Kauluwela Mission Corps at 296 North Vineyard Boulevard.

By November 1894, The Salvation Army had established its work in Hilo on the Island of Hawaii. Within the next three years, the Army was established on Maui and Kauai as well. Today, The Salvation Army has grown into a well-established and comprehensive network of social services and religious programs in Hawaii serving thousands of men, women and children each year.

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