It is almost time for Dannevirke Salvation Army to say goodbye to its citadel on High St and move to new premises in Allardice St.

For the past 124 years the Army in Dannevirke has served the town and while it is sad to be leaving the historic citadel on High St, it's also very exciting, Lynda Ellington, the Salvation Army Mission Director said.

"The Army first came to Dannevirke in 1892 and for a little town to have the Army feel it still has a mission here is special."

Mrs Ellington said she can remember arriving at the citadel for the first time 15 years ago with her son Ben.


"The minute we walked in the door we felt instantly loved," she said. "When we gather for Sunday morning prayers before our meeting, I think of all those prayers over the years. It's a rich history and we know prayers can change everything, just look at our daughter Sarah."

Mrs Ellington's stepdaughter Sarah suffered serious spinal injuries after falling from an apple tree, with very little hope of walking again.

Mrs Ellington prayed with her son Ben, while her husband drove to Auckland to his daughter. They prayed for a miracle. Now just 12 months on, Sarah can walk, jump, ride a bike, skip, leap off wharves into the sea and is striving in her next 12 months to be able to run.

"I'm so encouraged because God says I have a mission in Dannevirke, but I'm not special," Mrs Ellington said. "Our new home, the former Old Acquaintance Club, is friendly and inviting.

"Who would have thought when I turned up here 15 years ago, I would be doing this (leading Dannevirke Salvation Army)."

For Lynda Dufty, the move to new premises will bring a big change in her life.

"I'm looking forward to the move. It'll be good to be able to enter by the front door, not the back like I have to here," wheelchair-bound Ms Dufty said. And the new church will have a first for New Zealand - its own mobility scooter parking area.

The old citadel will be deconsecrated on Sunday, April 24, before a celebration and opening of the new premises in Allardice St.