The Salvation Army began their work in Canada.
March 14, 1884, The Salvation Army ”opened fire” in Galt. We were the 29th Corps to be opened in Canada. Captain Fred Gellatly, known as “Lightning Fred” was the first Commanding Officer.“Galt for Jesus” was the captain’s theme.
On March 20, 1884, the local newspaper at the time, the “Dumfries Reformer”, reported about The Salvation Army:
“This world renowned organization “opened fire” in Galt on Friday evening last, March 14th. The procession formed at Queen’s Square and marched to the Town Hall on Dickson Street. The area was soon literally packed. Of the service, we are not in a position to speak with authority, but understand that it is somewhat demonstrative and warlike”.
The Salvation Army acquired property on Mill Street (now known as Ainslie Street South). A two storey building was erected which included an officer’s living quarters upstairs and the “barracks” on the main floor.
In the late 1940’s it became evident that our membership was outgrowing the facilities and planning commenced to secure property, raise funds and build a new house in which to worship.
June 1950 saw the culmination of all the hard work of many local people with the Opening and Dedication to God of the new “Citadel” at the corner of Shade and Main Streets.
On Saturday, April 10, 1965, the Galt Citadel Corps celebrated The Salvation Army’s Centenary with a Glorious Field Day at the Galt Armouries which was open to the public from 1:30 to 9:00 p.m. Display booths were set up to inform the public about the mission of The Salvation Army and all facets of our corps programs. A continuous musical program was provided by our musical sections. Coffee and donuts were served Red Shield style.
City of Galt Mayor Robert J. Kerr (also co-creator of the IMAX technology) , on behalf of the Municipal Council and the citizens of Galt proclaimed Aril 10, 1965 a Salvation Army day to celebrate a century of service to God and man.
On March 12, 1966, almost sixteen years after opening the new Hall at 12 Shade Street, and on the occasion of the 82nd Anniversary of the Galt Citadel Corps, the congregation took great pleasure in the ceremony of burning the Mortgage. Our history book notes that the initial construction costs of the building were $89,870.32.
September 22, 1968 marked the beginning of an 8-Day Spiritual Crusade by Reverend Sidney Cox. In addition to Sunday services at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m., there were nightly meetings at 8 p.m. and noon hour Bible Studies. As a prelude to this Crusade, God poured out His blessings on the congregation with many decisions for Christ being made. During the period leading up to the Crusade we inserted an ad in the daily newspaper seeking 1000 Prayer Partners for this spiritual crusade.
Our corps name changed from Galt Citadel Corps to Cambridge Citadel Corps in 1973 when the former municipalities of Galt, Preston and Hespeler amalgamated to become the City of Cambridge.
God kept His promise so much so, that in the late 1970’s it became evident, once again, that larger premises were required. The trend was to move to the “suburbs” and we looked at the possibility of purchasing property elsewhere. However, in his wisdom, God led us to sell that property and acquire adjacent houses to the Shade Street Citadel. In November, 1981, a “sod-turning” ceremony was held and on October 2, 1982 our third new Sanctuary was opened and dedicated to God for His Glory and Honour by Commissioner Arthur Pitcher, Territorial Commander for Canada and Bermuda.