It all began right here in London Ontario in 1882 during a prayer meeting being held at Wesley-Knox United Church. Jack Addie had been attending the then Askin Street Methodist church and one evening, a young stranger attended a prayer meeting and sat in the same balcony where Addie was already seated. This stranger, Joe Ludgate, sang a chorus during the meeting. Jack Addie recognized it as “Army” and introduced himself after the meeting. The two British lads got together and resolved to preach the gospel in the open air as they had done in the “Army” in the Old Land. They carried out their plans and from that beginning sprang the work of The Salvation Army in Canada.
And today, 128 years later, the work of The Salvation Army in the Ontario Great Lakes Division – whose Divisional Headquarters is located in London – is still going strong! Territorial Leaders, Commissioners William & Marilyn Francis, along with a team from Territorial Headquarters in Toronto, met with the Divisional Headquarters Officers and staff over a two day period, September 7th & 8th, to review the progress being made in this great division.
At the very commencement of the review process, the Commissioners met with the Ontario Great Lakes DHQ staff for morning devotions in the sanctuary of Wesley-Knox United Church. Also present at this significant gathering was Mr. Art Edwards, the craftsman of a beautiful stained glass window in the church depicting the 1882 meeting of Addie & Ludgate in this very place. Art and his wife Marlene are faithful soldiers of the London Citadel Corps. (Following the service, those present sitting in the very balcony where Addie & Ludgate first met, posed for a photo in front of the window).