Top Ten USA East Distinctions

by Colonel Richard Munn

What makes the USE Territory unique? What are our truly distinguishing features? Each Salvation Army territory in the world has them, what are ours?

Here is my Top Ten:

  1. Number of Officers

The USA East has the highest number of officers in the USA (910), with only the UK exceeding that number internationally (925).

  1. Old Orchard Beach Camp Meetings and Pavilion

The annual OOB camp meetings are a truly distinguishing feature of the territory, and the pavilion is a unique architectural structure. While the camp meetings are historical, the Seaside Pavilion is comparatively recent.

  1. The Centennial Memorial Temple, West 14th Street, New York City

The CMT complex is the genius and vision of Commissioner Evangeline Booth, USA national commander for 30 years (1904-34) – it includes the 1400 seat art deco auditorium, administrative headquarters, corps and Markle Residence in a highly prized Manhattan location.

  1. The New York Staff Band

The NYSB is the oldest staff band in the world (1887) and in addition to innovative brass musicianship, composition and recordings, historically set the standard for including vocal performance in its repertoire.

  1. Times Square Corps and Theater 315

Situated at the symbolic crossroads of the nation in the heart of Broadway the corps has a historical legacy of open air evangelism and in recent years a state-of-the-art off-Broadway theater premises designed with the intentional purpose to host shows and attract budding artists.

  1. Battery Park and Boston Common

George Scott Railton and 7 lassies landed at Battery Park in New York City in March 1880 and officially launched the start of The Salvation Army in the USA; Samuel Logan Brengle records in picturesque detail his sanctification experience in 1885 while walking in Boston Common. Both momentous events are within USE boundary lines.

  1. Star Lake Music Camp and Star Search

The annual Star Lake Music Camp is a well-known and important part of the USE territory, with a rich legacy and remarkable list of special guest musicians, from Erik Leidzen to Eric Ball, and Steve Bulla to Stephen Cobb. The territory-wide Star Search competition is a USE original and involves over 2000 youth participants.

  1. Kensico Cemetery

The beautiful Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla, NY is the final resting place for hundreds of Salvationists and includes such luminaries as General Evangeline Booth, Commissioner Samual Logan Brengle, Joe the Turk, and more. It is a unique treasure in our territory.

  1. Territorial Arts Ministry – TAM Conservatory

With the creation of the TAM department over 20 years ago and the leadership of Salvationist Broadway performer Carol Jaudes, the USE became an international frontrunner in creative arts for missional purposes and has only grown from strength to strength in succeeding years.

  1. Puerto Rico Division

With historically strong cultural, political and demographic ties to the US eastern seaboard Puerto Rico is a Caribbean island gem for the USE, truly distinct. In terms of Salvationism, candidates and soldiership she punches above her weight and is a catalyst and force for good throughout the broader territory.