At the 1984 convention in
Huntsville, Alabama, Lloyd Olson of Campus Crusade for Christ was
commissioned to do a study of the rescue mission movement and to make
recommendations for the future of rescue ministry and IUGM. Titled “New
Perspective,” the report outlined a number of historic changes including
restructuring the office of executive secretary (which became executive
director in 1986), and creating a new track concept, membership system,
and constitution and bylaws. The new concepts were adopted in Seattle
in 1985 and the constitution and bylaw changes in Houston in 1986.
outcome was an organization that was better able to serve local
ministries, and that was committed to expansion, education, training,
and public awareness. Eight tracks (Urban Children & Youth
Ministry, Development, Christian Addiction Rehabilitation Association,
Employment and Education, and Women and Family Ministry, Association of
Christian Thrift Stores, Chaplains, and Volunteer Tracks) served those
in specialized ministries.
During William’s 15 years of outstanding
service, the IUGM office staff increased from three to seven. The office
was relocated from the basement of William’s home to an office complex,
and the new concepts initiated by the Lloyd Olson study became a
On August 31, 1990, IUGM purchased
its new headquarters building in North Kansas City, with 4,000 square
feet of office space, expanding its ability to service the membership.
The staff moved in April 1, 1991.
In 1992, the IUGM
linked arms with city mission leaders around the world to form the new
City Mission World
, which is headquartered in Sydney, Australia. AGRM
was host of the Triennial Conference in Washington, D.C., in November
of 1994. Attending were delegates from rescue ministries in 34 nations.
Members of its executive committee were: Chairman Charles Chambers,
Australia; Vice Chairman Reverend Stephen Burger, United States; Edwin
Orton, England; Reverend Bruce Duncan, South Africa; Reverend Raimo
Sinkkonen, Finland; Samuel Thangarpulavar, India; Reverend Dr. Paul
On May 31, 2000, the delegates at
the 87th Annual Convention changed the name of the International Union
of Gospel Missions to the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions
During Stephen Burger’s tenure, he continued to
emphasize mission expansion and services that sought to build up the
frontline mission worker, as well as developing a bold new program,
Rescue College (now City Vision College
which began as an intern-training program. By 2006, it became fully
accredited as a degree-conferring institution.
AGRM also provided oversight to an
already established ministry, Alcoholics Victorious.
Stephen served as
Executive Director of the IUGM/AGRM through June 30,
John introduced numerous changes
to the association, including dramatically increasing the number of
member benefits, polishing publications, and empowering others outside
of membership to reach out to the needy through rescue
In 2009 the AGRM headquarters
moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado. The association held a temporary
office space downtown. In March of 2010, AGRM opened its doors at a new
office in northern Colorado Springs at 7222 Commerce Center Drive, Suite
120. The north side of Colorado Springs is home to several other
Christian associations, including the Association of Christian Schools
International, CBA (formerly Christian Booksellers Association), and
Christian Camp and Conference Association.