Association of Gospel Rescue Missions

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Association of Gospel Rescue Missions
Established 1913
Type Association
John Ashmen
Affiliations Inter-denominational; 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 in the United States, founded in 1913. AGRM's member missions work to provide emergency shelter, permanent housing, 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 provide 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. Each year, AGRM's network of some 300 rescue missions serve approximately 66 million meals, provide more than 20 million nights of shelter and housing, assist some 45,000 people in finding employment, provide clothing to more than 750,000 people, and graduate nearly 17,000 homeless men and women from addiction recovery programs into productive living.

Rescue missions have been providing hospitality to impoverished people in America since the 1870s. Rescue mission staff members provide effective care for men, women, and children who are hungry, homeless, abused, or addicted.

AGRM is North America’s oldest and largest network of crisis shelters and rehabilitation centers.


Jerry McAuley founded a rescue mission in October 1872, which became a precursor of a ministry that was to spread around the world. Mission 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.[1]

Mission statement[edit]

  • 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

Association responsibilities[edit]

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.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "IUGM Founding". Association of Gospel Rescue Missions. AGRM. Retrieved 11 July 2011. 
  2. ^ Levinson, David (2004). Encyclopedia of homelessness, Volume 1. SAGE. p. 886. ISBN 978-0-7619-2751-8. 

External links[edit]