125 years–just the beginning

Sacramento Citadel Corps celebrates its 125th anniversary.

by Cindy Lowcock, Major –

Major Ed Covert, dressed as General William Booth, leads a procession through Sacramento Citadel. [Photo by Gordon Damant]

Amid strains of “O boundless salvation, deep ocean of love,” current and returning Salvation Army officers, soldiers and friends crowded into the Sacramento (Calif.) Citadel Corps on Sept. 17, 2010, to begin the weekend celebration of the Army’s 125th anniversary of ministry in the city.

On Friday, guests met for a “history” night, which included numerous displays, media presentations, photographs, exhibits and an extensive library of information about the early days of The Salvation Army in Sacramento.

Offering an opportunity for public ministry, an open-air street meeting in front of The Firehouse Restaurant in Old Sacramento—the site of the corps’ first meeting on May 19, 1885—took place on Saturday morning. This event marked the first time the corps had publicly celebrated an historic anniversary. Corps Officers Majors Tedd and Cindy Lowcock invited the entire community to the meeting.

Commenting on the gathering at The Firehouse Restaurant, Lowcock said, “It gives us an opportunity to look back on a very special history of the ministry of The Salvation Army in changing, affecting and impacting lives with the gospel for 125 years.” “Many of the people who are coming back…are people who, over the last 40 years, have been impacted by the ministry of the Army here.”

After rehearsing on Saturday afternoon, the Reunion Band and Songsters presented a program of music and praise that evening.

The chapel overflowed on Sunday morning. A media presentation, band selection and sermon focused on the theme, “Jesus, the Light of the World”—the reason for the celebration. The refrain, “O, Jesus, I have promised to serve thee to the end. O give me grace to follow, my Master and my Friend,” confirmed the congregation’s pledge to continue the work already begun.

The weekend culminated with an evening praise meeting of singing and testimonies of God’s faithfulness through the generations.

The Sacramento Citadel Corps made history in 1982 when it helped feed the city’s hungry—through its soup kitchens—for the first time since the Depression. In 1993, The Sacramento Union reported that 1,200 homeless received a Thanksgiving meal at the site.

Although community need has increased, The Salvation Army Sacramento Citadel Corps continues its efforts to supply basic human needs through the assistance of its staff and many volunteers.

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