Our History

“Thank God, we are advancing in Oklahoma,” said Salvation Army Adjutant Alfred Harris just over a year after the infamous Oklahoma Land Run of 1889. “I received a letter from our beloved Commissioner stating that I might open a station in Oklahoma and put an officer in charge.”


Like thousands of others, The Salvation Army sought a home in Oklahoma and traveled to the Oklahoma Territory by way of a wagon road. The Salvation Army has been a vital part of Oklahoma City history since.

The Oklahoma Land Run, held April 22, 1889, saw Oklahoma City and Guthrie rise up out of the plains with cities of around 10,000 people in literally half a day.

At noon on April 22, 1889, the Oklahoma Land Run brought people streaming into the area. That morning, the resident population of Guthrie was nothing; before sundown it was at least 10,000 as thousands flocked to the newly opened lands in Oklahoma Territory.

By the second week, schools had opened and were being taught by volunteers paid by pupils’ parents until regular school districts could be established. Within one month, Oklahoma City had five banks and six papers.


The Salvation Army was first established in Cleveland County in 1892 in Norman with a Corps, a Salvation Army church. The Salvation Army Officers began reaching the community through sharing God’s Word and love. The Norman Corps today is a vibrant congregation with weekly youth activities, men’s and women’s fellowships, Bible studies and much more.


The city also had its first Salvation Army

On Oct. 18, 1900, with a $50 grant from the City of Oklahoma City, The Salvation Army put up its first permanent shelter, a large tent, to serve to the hungry and those in need of aid.

By 1903, The Salvation Army Headquarters was secured at 106 E. Reno Street (where the Chesapeake Arena now sits).

From the early pages of the state’s history, The Salvation Army has been noted for the service they provided.

As early as 1912, The Salvation Army placed red kettles on the street corners during Christmas, and, according to a news clipping from that year, “…three kettles  were placed… at Harvey and Main Streets, and The Salvation Army netted $69.38 during the Christmas season. According to Captain J.E. Atkins, the total amount raised for Christmas efforts was approximately $250.”

With that $250, some 75 families were given Christmas baskets of roast beef, potatoes, bread, apples, oranges, canned goods, preserves, graham crackers, butter, coffee and sugar.


In 1921, The Salvation Army Oklahoma Division was established after Salvation Army centers were opened statewide. Oklahoma City today continues to be the site of the Divisional Headquarters for the Oklahoma/Arkansas Division.


The Salvation Army expanded to Canadian County in 1927 and has been a part of that community throughout the years. Now residing on S. Rock Island in El Reno, The Salvation Army Service Center is here to continue helping the community at their point of need.


The Salvation Army of Cleveland County’s social services program began in 1953 and its shelter program in 1978. Operating out of a house at 326 East Frank Street until October 1980, The Salvation Army’s shelter program currently resides at 318 E. Hayes.


In September 2014, The Salvation Army moved to its new location at 1001 N Pennsylvania Avenue in Oklahoma City vacating its former home which would be demolished to pave the way for Scissortail Park.


In 2018, its social services program moved to its current location at 1124 N Porter Avenue.


In Oklahoma City, The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma Area Command carries on the pioneering spirit of the Sooners and the Land Run by offering aid, shelter, food, hope, prayer and companionship to Oklahomans in need.

With two emergency shelters, four senior centers, two food pantries and food kitchens as well as a Boys and Girls Club and social services, The Salvation Army in Central Oklahoma touches every age group, demographic and race in the city.

“The Salvation Army continues to work toward ‘Doing the Most Good,’ and with the help of generous donors and volunteers, we’ve touched the lives of those who had nowhere to turn.

Our Doctorines

As set out in Schedule 1 of The Salvation Army Act 1980
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • We believe that our first parents were created in a state of innocence, 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.
  • We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has by His suffering and death made an atonement for the whole world so that whosoever will may be saved.
  • We believe that repentance towards God, faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, and regeneration by the Holy Spirit, are necessary to salvation.
  • We believe that we are justified by grace through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and that he that believeth hath the witness in himself.
  • We believe that continuance in a state of salvation depends upon continued obedient faith in Christ.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Advisory Organizations

The Salvation Army of Central Oklahoma
Advisory Board

Ryan Frace, Chairman
Brad Traynor, Vice Chairman
Julie Coffee, Secretary

Jay Beckman
Dean Blevins
John Dobson
Jay Engelbach
Tiffany Gamblin
Ashley Herron
Tony Holden
Greg Jones
Joe Kozlowski

Dana Murphy
Tom Phillips
Kathy Rhodes
Mark Selvidge
Tara Steffens
Bob Sullivan
Rob Teel
Hans Thun
Jill Walker
Denver Woolsey

The Salvation Army of Canadian County
Advisory Council

Mark Sorrels, Chairman

John Bishop
Kirstein Haydon

Brooke Robertson
Jill Walker

The Salvation Army of Cleveland County
Advisory Council

Phil Cotton, Vice Chairman
Nicole Moore, Secretary

Meegan Carter
Blake Green
Jennifer Minnis
Brad McMullan

Jamie Shattuck
Walt Terrell
Lynne Tompkins-Siano

Women’s Auxiliary

The Salvation Army of Central Oklahoma’s Women’s Auxiliary functions as a fundraising and volunteer service group, assisting The Salvation Army in meeting the needs of others in their hour of need. The Women’s Auxiliary touches the lives of thousands of Oklahomans through its participation in The Salvation Army’s outreach programs and projects in the community, working miracles every day, doing the most good with their time, talent and treasure.

2021-2022 Officers

  • Peggy Tampkins, President
  • Sharon Fleming, 1st Vice President-Programs
  • Kathy Rhodes, 2nd Vice President-Social Services
  • Georgann Ward, Recording Secretary
  • Jill Walker, Treasurer

Executive Committee

  • Kathy Luttrell, Membership Chair
  • Teresa Brekke, Parliamentarian
  • Donna Lamberti, Publicity Chair
  • Rhoda Laubach, Finance Chair
  • Patricia Hocker, Advisor

To learn more about how you can be a part of the Women’s Auxiliary, please contact membership chair, Kathy Luttrell, at mkluttrell@yahoo.com.

Contact Us

The Salvation Army of
Central Oklahoma

1001 N Pennsylvania Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK  73107

The Salvation Army of
Canadian County

1012 S Rock Island
El Reno, OK  73036


The Salvation Army of Cleveland County

1124 N Porter
Norman, OK  73071

Contact Us