Chicago Temple Corps Looks Back On 130 Years Of Service

As the Salvation Army’s oldest continuous ministry in Chicago, the Temple Corps has cared for the spiritual and material needs of thousands in the heart of the city for 130 years.

The Salvation Army came to Chicago on Jan. 31, 1885. Captain and Mrs. William Evans chose Bush’s Hall at the corner of North Clark Street and Chicago Avenue for the first meetings, and in April 1886 the corps moved to the Princess Rink on West Madison Street.

The first days of the corps at Princess Rink were marked by large attendance averaging more than 2,000 people, often filling the space.  In 1886 William Booth visited Chicago and led meetings at the Rink.

The Temple Corps has used many ingenious ways to share the gospel over the years, including drama performances, band festivals, massive Christmas dinners and coal distributions. The Princess Rink Band led by bandmaster RJ Oliver, the Temple songsters, a string orchestra and a woman’s band all illustrated the wealth of imagination and resources the temple has been blessed with.

The extensive lineage of corps cadets and other youth programs that have trained Salvation Army leaders past and present, have and will continue to make significant contributions to God’s kingdom.

In May 1886 the corps moved out of the rink and used a tent as its meeting place until a building could be constructed.

Though it had relocated, the corps kept the rink and during the early years of the Temple Corps it was known as the Princess Rink Corps, then Citadel Corps, and finally Temple Corps in 1930.

In 2015 the Chicago Temple Corps continues to reach one person at a time, helping to build and restore lives. The Corps Community Center offers emergency services, food pantry, referrals, legal services, youth outreach, men’s ministry, women’s ministry, camping for families and youth, and a place of worship.

The Corps spends a great deal of time advocating for funds and other community resources for individuals and families, and these resource are put to work within the Community to impact those being served.

The Salvation Army is a safe place where those who need help can receive immediate care and ongoing case management until these services are no longer necessary. We have a goal of building capacity and strengthening lives for long term results.

Matthew 5:16 let your light shine before man, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

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