Salvation Army Birmingham Area Command
The Salvation Army Greater Birmingham Area Command is a unit of the Salvation Army, a Christian denomination and charity mission which is structured along military lines. Its mission is to spread the gospel of Jesus and to meet human needs indiscriminately. The worldwide Salvation Army movement was founded in 1865 in London by a one-time Methodist minister, William Booth. The Birmingham command was established in 1899 and became part of the Salvation Army's USA Southern Territory when it was established in 1927.
The Birmingham Area Command is the largest social service agency in Central Alabama, serving over 100,000 residents each year.
In the early 1900s the group operated a Salvation Army Rescue Home at 33rd Street and Avenue E. In 1925 its social service department was headquartered at 1516-1518 5th Avenue North. Later it operated from the Pilgrim Congregational Hall on 19th Street North, and then from a combined office and Social Services Center at 2100 11th Avenue North near the BJCC.
In addition to continuing services to the homeless the Salvation Army provides education and life skills program to at-risk individuals, distributes gifts to needy children at Christmas, sponsors community programs, and responds to disasters with trained volunteer support workers. The organization raises funds through several programs, the best known of which are the "red kettle" bell ringer posted outside stores during the holiday season. The Salvation Army's Angel Tree program solicits donations of toys and other gifts for specific children.
The Salvation Army broke ground on Thursday, July 21, 2016 on a $25 million new headquarters campus in Birmingham that will house administrative offices plus emergency relief services including overnight accommodations for homeless men, women and children.
The 4.1-acre campus will feature a renovation of the former Lewis Elementary School building, 2015 26th Avenue North, as its centerpiece, located just north of Finley Boulevard on the east side of Interstate 65 at the Finley Boulevard exit.
Construction on the campus should be complete by Sept. 1, 2017, said Jim Gorrie, chief executive officer of Brasfield & Gorrie, which is overseeing construction.
- Luther Smith, 1971-1979
- Mr & Mrs Ralph Morell, 1979-1985
- C. Mark and Susan Brown, -2008
- Todd and Christine Smith, June 2008-
- Bob and Kathy Parker, -2017
- Roger and DeeAnn Glick, 2017-
Three churches, known as Corps, are supported by the Command:
- Salvation Army Alabaster Corps, 108 Plaza Circle
- Salvation Army Bessemer Corps, 525 13th Street Bessemer
- Salvation Army Birmingham 614 Corps, 2410 8th Avenue North
- Birmingham Salvation Army website
- Fulman, Lynn Grisard (July 1985) "Hard to leave city, says 'Army' couple." Magic City News Vol. 2, No. 10, p. 8
- Garrison, Greg (August 2, 2008) "Salvation Army leaders are 9/11 vets." The Birmingham News
- Phillips, Ryan (April 2, 2015) "Birmingham Salvation Army gets approval for a new home." Birmingham Business Journal
- Garrison, Greg (July 21, 2016) "Salvation Army breaks ground on $25 million new headquarters in Birmingham" The Birmingham News