The Salvation Army was founded in 1865 by a Methodist couple, William and Catherine Booth, in the East End of London, United Kingdom. Instead of continuing to preach inside ‘respectable’ churches, William Booth decided to take his message into the streets where those who would not normally go near a church could hear it: the poor, the hungry, the homeless. Originally called the Christian Mission, it was renamed The Salvation Army in 1878 and, in keeping with the military fervor of the day, adopted the terminology and uniforms of an army. This new Army quickly spread overseas – to the USA and Australia in 1880, followed by France (1881), Canada, India, Switzerland and Sweden (1882), and New Zealand, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Pakistan (1883). It now works in 127 countries, the latest opening being Slovakia (2015).
The Salvation Army commenced work in Romania in 1999. The first corps (church) was in Bucharest, with another opening in Ploiesti in 2000. Two more corps opened in 2007 – at Iasi and Craiova. In November 2005 The Salvation Army in Romania was officially registered as a Christian Mission and is now in the process of being re-registered as a church. Our Regional Headquarters is in Bucharest.
Romania became a region of The Eastern Europe Territory of The Salvation Army in April 2006, with Majors Will and Sue Cundiff as the regional leaders. Majors Valery and Victoria Lalac then served in this capacity from 2007 to 2014, followed by Majors Leanne and Drew Ruthven, who arrived in Romania in January 2015.