First Love International Ministries

The information on this page was last updated 12/21/2023. If you see errors or omissions, please email: [email protected]


First Love is a non-denominational mission agency founded for the purpose of bringing love and hope to people residing in impoverished regions of the world.

Contact information

Mailing address:
First Love International Ministries
PO Box 15836
Loves Park, IL 61132


Phone: 815-229-3065

Email: [email protected]

Organization details

EIN: 364423774

CEO/President: Phil Smith

Chairman: Jerry Winslow

Board size: 10

Founder: Dr. Tom Clinton

Ruling year: 2001

Tax deductible: Yes

Fiscal year end: 06/30

Member of ECFA: Yes

Member of ECFA since: 2002


The purpose is activated through First Love's ministries of: (1) Exhortation - calling believers back to their first love for God and to His priorities for their lives, (2) Education - equipping disciples for the purpose of making them fruitful participants in Christ's Great Commission as active parts of the harvest force, and (3) Evangelization - demonstrating our passion for the Lord through minisitries of active compassion for the lost.

Mission statement

First Love International is a missions leader dedicated to connecting believers together in order to tangibly surround the most vulnerable with wholistic, Jesus-saturated love.

Statement of faith

We believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God.
We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory.
We believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful man regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential.
We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life.
We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; they that are saved unto the resurrection of life and they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation.
We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ.

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Transparency grade


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Financial efficiency ratings

Sector: Foreign Missions

CategoryRatingOverall rankSector rank
Overall efficiency rating287 of 110437 of 143
Fund acquisition rating174 of 110526 of 143
Resource allocation rating316 of 110545 of 143
Asset utilization rating728 of 110486 of 143

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Balance sheet
Receivables, inventories, prepaids$36,491$9,896$10,786$37,146$26,160
Short-term investments$298,484$320,637$281,650$281,396$275,065
Other current assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total current assets$3,369,177$1,948,656$1,519,758$1,112,444$1,258,841
Long-term investments$0$82,221$82,221$82,221$82,221
Fixed assets$236,072$163,866$137,278$139,296$148,982
Other long-term assets$10,893$126$100$279,867$301,459
Total long-term assets$246,965$246,213$219,599$501,384$532,662
Total assets$3,616,142$2,194,869$1,739,357$1,613,828$1,791,503
Payables and accrued expenses$17,886$5,891$0$5,575$2,800
Other current liabilities$0$0$0$0$0
Total current liabilities$17,886$5,891$0$5,575$2,800
Due to (from) affiliates$0$0$0$0$0
Other long-term liabilities$0$0$0$0$0
Total long-term liabilities$0$0$0$0$0
Total liabilities$17,886$5,891$0$5,575$2,800
Net assets20222021202020192018
Without donor restrictions$3,598,256$2,188,978$1,739,357$1,608,253$1,788,703
With donor restrictions$0$0$0$0$0
Net assets$3,598,256$2,188,978$1,739,357$1,608,253$1,788,703
Revenues and expenses
Total contributions$4,098,345$3,475,143$3,483,750$3,581,928$3,563,088
Program service revenue$0$0$0$0$0
Membership dues$0$0$0$0$0
Investment income$922,349$36,403$33,285$23,537$8,186
Other revenue$1,449$0$0$0$809
Total other revenue$923,798$36,403$33,285$23,537$8,995
Total revenue$5,022,143$3,511,546$3,517,035$3,605,465$3,572,083
Program services$3,265,815$2,822,227$3,095,989$3,544,518$3,331,342
Management and general$275,912$246,348$232,269$200,617$235,374
Total expenses$3,594,955$3,101,089$3,379,723$3,784,238$3,601,827
Change in net assets20222021202020192018
Surplus (deficit)$1,427,188$410,457$137,312($178,773)($29,744)
Other changes in net assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total change in net assets$1,427,188$410,457$137,312($178,773)($29,744)


Dr Thomas ClintonExecutive Di$107,527

Compensation data as of: 6/30/2022

Response from ministry

No response has been provided by this ministry.

The information below was provided to MinistryWatch by the ministry itself. It was last updated 12/21/2023. To update the information below, please email: [email protected]


This is our story. I, like many in the church today, have been a very active follower of Christ and faithful church attender most of my life. I've read and studied my Bible for years, earned divinity and theology degrees, and served as a Sunday School teacher and on many church boards. I've been a Youth for Christ director, local church pastor, and overseas mission leader and yet, over the years, I felt that something was missing. I had an anxiousness in my heart that could only be relieved by busyness and change. I sensed that there had to be something more to the Christian life, but I just couldn't put my finger on what it was.

Several years ago after I had just returned from an overseas trip to India, I began meditating on the Lord's words which He gave to the Apostle John to write to the church at Ephesus, as recorded in Revelation chapter 2. I remember feeling burdened by the reproof these believers had received. Because even though they worked hard, did many good deeds, were very ministry minded, had their theology straight, and persevered under tribulation, the Lord told them they still lacked one thing...They had forsaken their first love.

This caused me to ask myself, "What was it that caused the loss of this group of believer's initial passion for Christ?" My search for answers lead me to the words of Jesus as recorded in Matthew's gospel chapter 24 verse 12: Because of the increase of evil, the love of most will grow cold.

This verse challenged me, because I immediately knew that evil...and its by-products of wickedness and worldliness in my own life, were serving as a barricade to my intimacy with the Savior.

I began to realize that the something more that I had been looking for wasn't something that I needed to "get" but something that I needed to "give". I needed to give Jesus all of my heart, soul, mind and strength and seek to make Him the #1 object of my attention and affection in all facets of my life.

A.W. Tozer once said: The difference between believers today and the saints of old, is that when they felt the upward nudge of God, they did something about it.

In my response to a sensed call of God on my life and in my desire to "Do something" with my love for the Savior, I determined that if I ever founded a mission agency I would call it First Love. Seven years later the time was right and First Love International Ministries was born in February 2001 as a ministry of Exhortation...calling believers back to their First Love, Evangelization...introducing the lost to the One who loved them first, and Education...teaching them all that Christ has commanded.

And now, 20 years later, God has allowed us to grow from a two person "ma and pa" organization, to a staff of over 350 full-time missionaries and national staff members serving in 14 countries around the world. But we don't want to stop there...many doors are opening before us and it is our prayer that like-minded people would sense that tug of God to join with us as together we seek to reach out in love to those Jesus called...The least of these.

After forty years of ministry and twenty years as the president of First Love International Ministries, Tom Clinton, along with his wife Linda, believes God has led him to pass the torch to a new leader. Tom and Linda plan to continue with First Love as missionaries and advisors to the incoming president. When First Love began, Tom carefully chose Galatians 5:6 which says, "The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love," as the theme behind the efforts to bring God's love to those Jesus called "the least of these." First Love continues to thrive and expand as new missionaries, countries and ministries are added each year. Most importantly, the lives of thousands of men, women and children across the globe are impacted with the love of Jesus each day. We trust God will provide the right person to serve as the new president and lead First Love International Ministries into the next chapter of our story.

Testimony from Dr. Tom Clinton

Program accomplishments