Historical Timeline

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. 

The 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 reality.

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 Association, 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 Toaspern, Germany.

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 (AGRM).
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, 2007.

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 missions. 

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.