The Salvation Army in Scotland

'The Army of Alba'

The Army of Alba: A History of the Salvation Army in Scotland (1879-2004) by Lieut-Colonel David Armistead is a comprehensive account of The Salvation Army’s first 125 years in Scotland. Published in digital format by The Salvation Army United Kingdom and Ireland Territory in 2017, it is available on this page.

The Salvation Army has crossed the border. May God subdue all on both sides of the Tweed to Himself. He will. God save Scotland!
The Salvationist, May 1879

In March 1879, The Salvation Army sent two ‘Hallelujah Lasses’ to Glasgow to begin evangelistic work at the Victoria Music Hall in Anderston. In their first report to The Salvationist magazine they wrote that police protection was needed at every meeting due to the ‘considerable opposition’ to their preaching. However, within six months, the magazine was reporting that their work was a ‘glorious success’. A second station was opened in Bridgeton where policemen were again required, but this time ‘to keep back the crowds wishing to gain admission’.

Over the next five years, The Salvation Army opened ‘corps’ in every Scottish city and many towns, concentrating, as it did everywhere, on reaching those in the most deprived areas.

From 1917 until 1991, Scotland was administered as a separate Salvation Army Territory from the other nations of Great Britain. However, from 1936-1958 it was linked to Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Leaders of The Salvation Army in Scotland have included two officers who went on to be elected Generals of the worldwide Salvation Army: Albert Orsborn (1936-1940) and Eva Burrows (1979-1982). Since 1991, Scotland has been part of the United Kingdom and Ireland Territory.

Download David Armistead's book


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Telling the story of The Salvation Army from its origins in the 1860s to today.