Loginor create account
Sign Up for an Account



Choose Password

Retype Password


About Avant

OUR mission: HIS church

More than 2 billion people still need to hear the gospel.

Since the 1890's Avant Ministries has focused on planting and developing the church in the unreached areas of the world.

Through church planting, church support ministries, media, education, camp and business, we hope to establish churches among the unreached: mature, nationally-led churches that desire to plant more churches, first in their own city, and then all over the world.

Avant trains, sends and serves missionaries in 50 countries globally.

*Avant defines “unreached” as places where less than two percent of the population is evangelical Christian.


We Believe

The Bible
We believe in the verbal, plenary inspiration of the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New testaments, inerrant as originally given, God’s final written revelation of Himself and His will, and the sole authority for all faith and practice.
(2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:21)

The Godhead
We believe in God, who is revealed in Scripture as subsisting in three distinct persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, yet one in being, essence and power.
(Matt. 3:16-17; 28:18-19; 2 Cor. 13:14; Gal. 4:6-7; Heb. 9:14; 1 John 2:22-23)

The Lord Jesus Christ
We believe in the supernatural birth of Jesus Christ, who was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, the incarnate Son of God, Emmanuel, God with us.
(Matt. 1:20-23; Luke 1:35)

We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is very God, the express image of the Father, the One by whom and for whom all things were created and consist.
(John 1:1-3, 14; Col. 1:16-17)

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ lived a sinless life, that He died as a perfect substitutionary sacrifice for the sins of all people, and that the believer’s justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead.
(Matt. 28:6-7; Rom. 3:24-25; 1 Cor. 15:4-8; Heb. 2:9; 4:15; 1 Peter 3:18)

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ ascended to the right hand of God, where He is the High Priest and Advocate for His people.
(Acts 1:9-11; Rom. 8:34; Heb. 7:25; 9:24; 1 John 2:1)

We believe in the imminent coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in the air to receive His church unto Himself.
(John 14:3; 1 Cor. 15:51-52; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; Titus 2:13)

We believe in the subsequent, visible and premillennial return of the Lord Jesus Christ, with His church, to establish His promised worldwide kingdom on the earth. (Zech. 14:4-11; Rev. 19:11-16; 20:4-6)

The Holy Spirit
We believe in the personality and deity of the Holy Spirit, who convicts of sin, who is the supernatural agent in regeneration, and who, at the moment of conversion, baptizes and seals the believer into the body of Christ, immediately indwelling him or her.
(John 14:16-17; 16:7-11; 1 Cor. 12:12-14; Eph. 1:13-14)

We believe that it is the duty and privilege of each believer to be filled with the Holy Spirit, who illumines, guides and energizes the believer, enabling him or her to maintain a consistent Christian walk.
(John 16:13; Gal. 5:16; Eph. 5:18; 1 John 2:20, 27)

We believe that the ascended Christ gives gifts through the sovereign will of the Holy Spirit for the edification and unity of the body of Christ.
(1 Cor. 12:4-12; Eph. 4:7-13)

We believe in the reality and personality of angels, both good and fallen, including Satan, the great enemy of God and man, whose opposition is ever increasing but whose ultimate doom is sure.
(Job 1:6-7; Ps. 103:20; Matt. 4:11; Luke 2:13; Heb. 1:14; Rev. 20:10)

We believe that Man was created, male and female, by a direct act of God, fell into sin and thereby became depraved and guilty before God; that the first man and woman were married by God and that biblical marriage is between a man and a woman only. Sexual intimacy is to occur only within the context of marriage so defined.
(Gen. 3; 1:27; 2:19-25; Ps. 51:5; Isa. 64:6; Rom. 1:21-23; 3:23; 5:12, 21; Eph. 5:31)

We believe in salvation uniquely by the substitutionary atonement of Christ by grace through faith in His shed blood to accomplish man’s redemption from sin and reconciliation to God. (Rom. 3:24-26; 5:9; Eph. 2:8-9; Titus 3:5; 1 Peter 1:18-21)

The Believer’s Position
We believe in the sonship of all born-again believers in the family of God, their justification, sanctification and eternal redemption being fully provided for and assured in the finished work of Christ on Calvary and in His continued intercession.
(John 1:12-13; Rom. 5:1; 8:14-17; Gal. 3:26; 4:5-7; Eph. 1:13-14; Heb. 7:25; 1 Peter 2:9; 1 John 3:2; 5:11-13)

The Resurrection
We believe in the bodily resurrection of all people, each in his or her own order: the saints to everlasting life in God’s presence, the wicked to conscious and everlasting condemnation in hell.
(Matt. 25:46; John 3:18, 36; 5:28-29; Rev. 20:5-6, 11-15)

The Church and Its Mission
We believe in the Great Commission as the primary mission of the church.

  • The preaching to all the world of the gospel of the grace of God
  • Teaching converts to obey the Lord in baptism by immersion in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit
  • To remember Christ’s death till He comes, in observance of the Lord’s Supper
  • To be always careful to live godly lives in the world
  • To pursue fellowship and seek ministry in visible, organized churches

(Matt. 16:18; Acts 1:8; 13:1-3; 114:23; 1 Cor. 1:2; 4:17; 12:12-13; Eph. 1:22-23; 5:23-27; Col. 1:18; 1 Thess. 2:14; Titus 2:11-15)

Avant Ministries holds and teaches a non-charismatic position regarding the modern-day manifestation of spiritual gifts.


Our Mission
To glorify God by helping others enjoy His presence through planting and developing new churches in the unreached areas of the world.

Our Vision
To make a difference in time for eternity by rapidly planting and developing churches where none exist.

Our Values
At the heart of our organization is our deeply rooted belief that our Creator has allowed us to be part of His redemptive plan. In honoring Him and each other through the process. We hold firm to these core values which are the epicenter of how we conduct ourselves, engage in relationships and approach our work. There are additional values honored and expected within our organization, but these four are differentiators for our organization:
    • Care: We are a mission that recognizes the pastoral heart of the Creator. In our pursuit of and obedience to God, we will relentlessly care for others. We will also care for those in our mission and in our team, while not neglecting those in need around us.
    • Community: We are a mission that recognizes the people of the Creator. We are committed to authentic, loving relationships characterized by interdependence, generosity and submission to one another. Due to our relationship to Christ as the Head of the Church, we will connect with one another, love each other, and commit ourselves to unity amidst diversity.
    • Collaboration: We are a mission that recognizes the plan of the Creator. God allows us to participate with Him to redeem creation. It is through partnerships with other believers, united in the common task, that we see God’s kingdom expanding. In our pursuit to obey God and make Him renowned we will receive an eternal reward.
    • Creativity: We are a mission that recognizes the power of the Creator. His wisdom and power are the source of our creativity and ability. As stewards of the time God has given us, we will use innovative methods to creatively engage with people whom God brings across our path, sharing His redemptive plan to plant the church where there is no church

Our History

Since our founding in 1892, Avant Ministries has been passionate about reaching the unreached.

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 1896 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 and animism has a stronghold. Our passion is to see 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, 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.

Meet Our Leaders

  • Scott Holbrook, President

    Scott Holbrook, President

    Scott was appointed president of Avant Ministries in 2013. Prior to becoming president, he was the chief financial officer beginning in 1981. During that tenure he also served twice as interim president. Scott received a bachelor’s in economics in 1977 and a master’s in business administration in 1981 from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He is a certified public accountant in the state of Missouri and an adjunct professor at a local community college. He served as chairman of the CrossGlobal Link Business Administration committee for 16 years and has served on several ministry boards including MissioNexus. He has also served on the ECFA standards committee. He is a member of Fellowship Kansas City, a church plant of Lenexa Baptist Church. He and his wife, Ruth, enjoyed 41 years of marriage, raised five children and have sixteen grandchildren. Ruth went to be with the Lord on July 30, 2019. He is now married to Alicia Kliewer Holbrook, an Avant MK from Panama who served as a long term missionary in Europe with Avant.

  • Mike Reimer, Vice President & Canadian Executive Director

    Mike Reimer, Vice President & Canadian Executive Director

    Mike became the Canadian executive director for Avant in 2015. In this role, he oversees all the Canadian activities of the mission from the office in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Mike has a bachelor’s in intercultural studies from Briercrest Bible College where he met his wife Carolyn. Both Mike and Carolyn grew up on the mission field. Mike’s family served in Austria with GEM and Carolyn’s family served in Bolivia with Avant. In 1993, Mike and Carolyn were appointed by Avant to serve in Bolivia with the Guarani and 13 years later went to Uruguay as leaders of a Short-Cycle Church Planting team. In total, their family served in South America for 20 years. Mike and Carolyn have five children.

  • Mark Bruner, Vice President Field Ministries (Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe & B4T)

    Mark Bruner, Vice President Field Ministries (Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe & B4T)

    As a career missionary with more than 30 years experience, Mark has served in various leadership roles at Avant since 2005.  Mark played a key role in the development of Avant’s Short-Cycle Church Planting ministry.  Prior to Avant, Mark and his wife Denise, served overseas for nearly 20 years in a wide-range of ministry endeavors that took them to four African countries, Canada, the United Kingdom and the USA.  Mark received his preparation in Biblical studies and missions at William Tyndale College.  Additionally, he earned a BS in Chemistry from Eastern Michigan University and has completed two year’s studies in applied engineering.   Mark and Denise have been married more than 35 years, have three adult children and two grandchildren.  Currently, the Bruner’s reside in Kenya, E. Africa.  

  • Dr. Candace Coppinger Pickett, Vice President Member Care

    Dr. Candace Coppinger Pickett, Vice President Member Care

    Candace joined the Avant Ministries team in 2016 and is the Vice President of Member Care. Candace received her bachelor’s in history and psychology in 2007 from Baylor University in Waco, Texas. After graduating, she was sent to Ecuador as a missionary with SIM. In Ecuador, Candace felt called to pursue missionary care and returned to the States to get further education. She has since graduated with her Masters in Theology and Ministry (2013) and PhD in Clinical Psychology (2015) from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA. Candace’s husband, Gerry, is an ordained minister in the Free Methodist Congregation. The two have one daughter. 

  • Kenn Oke, Vice President Field Ministries (Americas, Western Europe)

    Kenn Oke, Vice President Field Ministries (Americas, Western Europe)

    Kenn became vice president of field ministries for Avant Ministries in 2015. He and his wife, Doreen joined Avant in 1994. They served in Spain as church planters and trained national leaders in a bible institute from 1996 to 2003. Then they left Spain to lead the first Short-Cycle Church Planting team in Poland. After their team planted the church there, he was appointed the European director for Avant. Kenn has a bachelor’s of religious studies from Ontario Bible College and a master’s of cross-cultural communication from Columbia International University. Kenn and Doreen live in Spain with their two sons.

  • Kirk Polo, Chief Financial Officer & Vice President Shared Services

    Kirk Polo, Chief Financial Officer & Vice President Shared Services

    Kirk was named CFO and vice president of shared services for Avant Ministries and Crossworld in January 2020. He joined the Avant home office team in 2014 as treasurer for shared services. The prior 11 years were spent at the Kansas City Board of Trade where he was a Commodity and Risk Management Analyst. Four of those years he served on the Board of Directors of the Kansas City Board of Trading Clearing Corporation. Kirk graduated with bachelor’s degrees in Management/Finance and Business Administration from Park University in 2004. He completed a Master of Business Administration degree from Avila University in 2019. Kirk and his wife, Dana who is part of Avant’s medical department, have been married for 20 years, have five children, and serve as part of the music ministry at LifeBridge Baptist Church in Kansas City.

  • Douglas Livingston, Vice President Global Engagement

    Douglas Livingston, Vice President Global Engagement

    Douglas and his wife Gloria have been with Camino Global since 1994. He is serving with Avant as the Vice President of Global Engagement. After graduating with a masters degree in theology from SETECA in Guatemala, Douglas pastored in Honduras, where he grew up, for seven years. They led a church-planting team from Central America to Albania for 13 years with Cooperation MAYA, an initiative of 4 local churches in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. In Albania they were involved in community development, business initiatives and other efforts that contributed to their church plant. They began serving at Camino Global Dallas in 2010 where Douglas led their initiatives with Latin missions and then served as the President/CEO from 2012 until the merger with Avant. They have 2 adult children living in Texas.

  • Phil O'Day, U.S. Director & Vice President Public Ministries

    Phil O'Day, U.S. Director & Vice President Public Ministries
    Phil and his wife, Lori, served with Camino Global since 1992, first in church-planting and field administration in Mexico City, then from 2002 – 2008 as Director of Mobilization (missionary recruitment and new member training), and from 2008 - 2012 as Director of Organizational Development and Communication. Most recently, Phil held the position of Executive Vice President. At Avant, Phil will serve as Vice President Public Ministries and U.S Director.