The Salvation Army was founded as an evangelical organization dedicated to bringing people into a meaningful relationship with God through Christ. Its doctrinal basis is that of the Wesleyan-Arminian tradition. It is composed of persons who are united by the love of God and man, and who share the common purpose of the organization – to motivate all people to embrace the salvation provided to them in Christ. The word “army” indicates that the organization is a fighting force, constantly at war with the powers of evil. Battles are effectively waged through an integrated ministry that gives attention to both body and spirit. It is a total ministry for the total person.
The Army cooperates with a variety of faith traditions to meet the needs of the community. Those who have drifted away from God and those estranged from their own religious affiliations are often attracted to The Salvation Army. They are first urged to seek Christ for pardon and deliverance from sin. Then they are encouraged to return to active memberships in their own churches or to enroll as soldiers in a corps community center. Young people often are attracted through local music groups, youth camps, and recreational centers.
The Salvation Army Portland Citadel Corps opened on November 25, 1884.