Since our founding in 1892, Avant Ministries has been passionate about the local church.
Formerly known as Gospel Missionary Union, Avant is one of the oldest missionary sending agencies in the United States and Canada. Early Avant missionaries were some of the first North American missionaries to travel to distant places, entering Ecuador in 1892 and Mali in 1913. They suffered illness, persecution, separation from family and friends and sometimes death in order to share the gospel with people who had never heard it. We’re proud of the legacy we inherited from them.
Today we demonstrate our commitment to the church through planting churches in unreached places, partnering with established churches and participating in church support ministries. We believe the church is God’s instrument for preserving and proclaiming the gospel, uniting believers and transforming communities. It is through a local church working in its own culture that the greatest problems of our time can be addressed, as the gospel first changes an individual’s life and then spreads throughout the community.
Today in Ecuador strong, nationally-led churches exist among three different ethnic groups: the Shuar in the jungle, the Quichua of the Andes Mountains, and the Spanish-speaking communities living in cities and on the coast. The Malian national church is now a respected and growing presence in a country where Islam has a stronghold. Our passion is seeing these stories repeated in communities around the world.
There are still places on earth where the church does not yet exist. These are the places that we desire to go. Through church planting, church partnership, church support ministries and business for transformation, we hope to see churches spring forth from those places: mature, nationally-led churches that desire to plant more churches, first in their own city, and then all over the world.