Association of Gospel Rescue Missions
|Affiliations||Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability|
The Association of Gospel Rescue Missions (AGRM)–formerly known as the International Union of Gospel Missions–is a nonprofit organization founded in 1913 whose member missions work to provide emergency shelter, food, youth and family services, and education and job training programs. In addition, AGRM member organizations operate rehabilitation programs for drug addicts and alcoholics, and assistance to the elderly poor and at-risk youth. If annual cash contributions to all member missions were combined, the Association would be among the ten largest nonprofit organizations in the United States. AGRM has a network of 275 rescue missions which provide approximately 43 million meals and 26 million nights of lodging to the needy and homeless people every year. AGRM has more than 9,000 full-time employees and 300,000 volunteers and has over 300 affiliates in the United States, Canada, India, Australia, South America, and Africa.
When Jerry McAuley founded his rescue mission in October 1872, he gave birth to an idea and a ministry that was to spread around the world. Out of this humble but virile beginning came a number of missions that, through their leaders, saw a need for an organization that would foster “fellowship, cooperation with all engaged or interested in gospel missions, and other rescue work throughout the United States and in other lands, in the mutual advancement of the cause of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
The International Union of Gospel Missions (later called AGRM) was organized on September 17, 1913, in New York City. Mr. Sidney Whittemore is credited as the father of the body. The State of New York granted the rescue ministry leaders a certificate of incorporation on October 14, 1913.
As the IUGM grew, it devised a system of convenience for closer and more concentrated work among its members by establishing local branches known as districts. Today there are nine districts, each of which has elected officers.
What Gospel Rescue Missions are about
- Rescue — Pulling people to safety from adverse conditions, and from choices and habits that lead to damaged health and death
- Redemption — Presenting people with a gospel that is about life transformation in Jesus, and the reclamation of His creation
- Rehabilitation — Helping people break the bonds of addiction and desperate behavior, and experience a life of healing and wholeness
- Re-assimilation — Preparing people to dwell in community, and to have meaningful roles that lead to stability and missional living
As part of its mission, AGRM takes four major responsibilities: (1) Creating new rescue mission ministries; (2) promoting and emphasizing prayer and spiritual values and growth; (3) providing local ministries with education, training, consultation, conferences, conventions, and networking; and (4) stressing to the church and community the importance and value of their rescue efforts.
The Association of Gospel Rescue Missions is responsible for aiding missions of homeless people and others in need every year. In 2010 alone, the association graduated more than 18,000 homeless men and women from its programs into productive living, distributed more than 24 million pieces of clothing, and provided some 210,000 families with 735,000 items of furniture–along with offering millions of meals and nights of lodging. AGRM welcomes both individual and organizational memberships.