Avant Ministries / Gospel Missionary Union
The information on this page was last updated 1/30/2023. If you see errors or omissions, please email: [email protected]
Avant Ministries is an interdenominational, multinational missionary sending organization that has focused on planting and developing churches in the unreached areas of the world since the 1890's.
Avant defines unreached as places where less than two percent of the population is evangelical Christian.
More than 2 billion people still need to hear the gospel!
Avant trains, sends and serves missionaries in 50 countries globally.
10000 N Oak Trafficway
Kansas City, MO 64155
Phone: (816) 734-8500
Email: [email protected]
CEO/President: Phil O'Day
Chairman: Dr. Richard Biery / Todd Gladman
Board size: 12
Founder: George S. Fisher
Ruling year: 1952
Tax deductible: Yes
Fiscal year end: 12/31
Member of ECFA: Yes
Member of ECFA since: 1991
Avant has been focused on reaching the unreached since the 19th century, planting hundreds of churches over the past 130 years. Today, there are still many places in the world that are unreached and have no church. Avant's vision is to make a difference in time for eternity by rapidly planting and developing churches where none exist.
The mission of Avant is to plant and develop new churches in the unreached areas of the world.
Statement of faith
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)
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)
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.
Donor confidence score
|Does the organization have a statement of faith consistent with historic Christian creeds and is that statement of easily found on its website?||Yes||4/4|
|Does the board have no more than 2 non-independent members?||No||0/10|
|Does the board have at least four independent board members for every non-independent member?||Yes||4/4|
|Does the board contain between 5 and 11 members?||No||0/10|
|Does the organization file a Form 990 and make its Form 990 available to the public?||No||0/15|
|Does the organization make its audit or review (if annual revenue is more than $1-m) available on its website?||No||0/4|
|Is the organization a member of the ECFA?||Yes||9/9|
|Is the CEO/President's compensation within one standard deviation of the median compensation?||No||0/4|
|Did the organization operate at a net profit (revenue greater than expenses) in the most recent year?||Yes||4/4|
|Does the organization refrain from owning or leasing a private aircraft, or having fractional interest in one, that is primarily used for travel by the organization's leaders?||Yes||4/4|
|For the past five years, has the organization been free of any lawsuits or administrative actions filed against it by an employee, client, board member, vendor, donor, or other related party?||Yes||4/4|
|Are author royalties and speaking engagement fees paid to the organization, and not the individual?||Yes||4/4|
|Does the organization require its employees to affirm upon hiring the statement of faith of the organization?||Yes||4/4|
|Is the board chair an independent member of the board?||Yes||4/4|
|Does the board have term limits?||No||0/4|
|Have there been no public accusations of misdeeds against the organization, founder, CEO, senior pastor, or board members in the past five years?||Yes||4/4|
|Has the organization refrained from the use of non-disclosure agreements?||Yes||4/4|
|Does the organization have an overall financial efficiency rating of at least 2 stars?||No||0/4|
|Total donor confidence score||49/100|
To understand our transparency grade, click here.
Financial efficiency ratings
Sector: Foreign Missions
|Category||Rating||Overall rank||Sector rank|
|Overall efficiency rating||938 of 1076||122 of 141|
|Fund acquisition rating||628 of 1077||84 of 141|
|Resource allocation rating||870 of 1077||113 of 141|
|Asset utilization rating||893 of 1076||117 of 141|
Click here to read Avant Ministries / Gospel Missionary Union's response to our ratings
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|Receivables, inventories, prepaids||$328,887||$317,890||$149,040||$168,582||$309,709|
|Other current assets||$0||$0||$0||$0||$0|
|Total current assets||$13,238,630||$8,760,284||$6,700,258||$8,199,236||$7,059,591|
|Other long-term assets||$1,497,618||$1,537,062||$585,767||$550,017||$2,184,994|
|Total long-term assets||$15,493,638||$15,963,630||$13,560,386||$12,275,672||$13,074,125|
|Payables and accrued expenses||$651,716||$251,924||$246,778||$163,251||$279,128|
|Other current liabilities||$1,561,379||$1,613,572||$1,653,334||$1,726,604||$1,763,447|
|Total current liabilities||$2,213,095||$1,865,496||$1,900,112||$1,889,855||$2,042,575|
|Due to (from) affiliates||$0||$0||$0||$0||$0|
|Other long-term liabilities||$770,180||$753,667||$681,476||$606,871||$874,805|
|Total long-term liabilities||$1,550,180||$753,667||$681,476||$606,871||$874,805|
|Without donor restrictions||$14,534,351||$13,156,650||$11,969,825||$12,344,265||$10,470,590|
|With donor restrictions||$10,434,643||$8,948,101||$5,709,231||$5,633,917||$5,242,823|
|Revenues and expenses|
|Program service revenue||$388,611||$909,328||$815,118||$807,764||$738,781|
|Total other revenue||$1,446,354||$2,006,379||$1,037,707||$1,472,313||$1,172,350|
|Management and general||$3,787,870||$3,673,982||$2,570,684||$2,312,052||$2,114,095|
|Change in net assets||2020||2019||2018||2017||2016|
|Other changes in net assets||$0||$0||$0||$0||$0|
|Total change in net assets||$2,864,243||$4,425,695||($299,126)||$2,264,769||$1,140,534|
Compensation data for this ministry has not been collected.
Response from ministry
2019 Financial Report reflects the mid-year merger of Camino Global with Avant Ministries.
The information below was provided to MinistryWatch by the ministry itself. It was last updated 1/30/2023. To update the information below, please email: [email protected]
1892 - World's Gospel Union
For more than 125 years, Avant has maintained a strong commitment to taking the gospel to people living in the un-evangelized areas of the world.
Avant emerged out of the missionary movement of the last two decades of the nineteenth century, a movement that brought into being numerous foreign missionary societies. Through the evangelistic efforts of the YMCA, young men of Kansas were challenged to Christian service. The Secretary of the Kansas State YMCA was George S. Fisher, whose parents had been missionaries in Jamaica.
Fisher's conviction was that the gospel must be preached in all the earth, wherever Christ was not named. In 1892, Fisher and other Kansas leaders resigned from the YMCA and formed a new independent organization called the World's Gospel Union.
1901 - Gospel Missionary Union
The name was changed in 1901 to Gospel Missionary Union. Avant was the first evangelical Christian mission to enter Ecuador in South America and the Republic of Mali in West Africa. Many of Avant's first missionaries worked to translate the Bible into Quichua, Shuar, Berber, Bambara and Arabic in order to bring the Bible to those people groups in isolated areas. 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.
Avant missionary Roger Youderian was one of the five missionaries killed in the Ecuadorian jungle on January 8, 1956. He had been working with four other missionaries to make initial contact with the Waodani (Auca) tribe, a story famously recounted by widow Elisabeth Elliot in her book, Through Gates of Splendor.
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.
1975 - Merger - EUSA
The Evangelical Union of South America (EUSA) was inaugurated at the Keswick Convention in Liverpool, England, in 1911. The society formed from three existing missions operating in South America: the sections of Regions Beyond Missionary Union working in Argentina and Peru; the South American Evangelical Mission working in Argentina and Brazil; and the Help for Brazil mission, which joined EUSA two years later in 1913. The North American Board of the EUSA merged with Avant in 1975, adding some 150 members serving in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, and Colombia.
2003 - Avant Ministries
On October 22, 2003, Gospel Missionary Union changed its name to Avant Ministries as a reflection of its 21st century innovative advance in church planting methodology, and a refreshed vision to make a difference in time for eternity by rapidly planting and developing churches where none exist.
2019 - Merger - Camino Global
Camino was founded in 1890 as the Central American Mission. C.I. Scofield's vision for the mission flowed from his conviction that the growing 19th century missions movement had "passed over our Samaria", noting that it was a time when other missions were focusing attention on far away Africa and Asia, to the neglect of relatively nearby Central America. The mission's first ministry field was Costa Rica. Camino Global and Avant Ministries were born at nearly the same time, at the start of the closing decade of the 19th century. Some of the same leaders were involved in the founding of both ministries, including C.I. Scofield and Luther Rees. A.E. Bishop, a co-founder of Avant in 1892, was also Camino's pioneer missionary to Honduras in 1896.
In 1917, the Central American Mission was a founding/charter member of the Interdenominational Foreign Missions Association (now MissioNexus), of which Avant has also been a member for most of its history.
Its members primarily planted churches among Spanish speakers, but a number of Camino missionaries also focused ministry on scripture translation to bring God's Word to the indigenous Kaqchikel, Q'anjob'al, and Mam peoples of Guatemala. Among them was Cameron Townsend, who served with the Central American Mission during the 1920s before founding SIL in 1934 and Wycliffe Bible Translators in 1942.
The Central American Mission became CAM International in 1975. In 2012, CAM became Camino Global, its rebranding focusing on serving the global Church, journeying with Spanish speakers everywhere to transform communities, equip believers and reach the world. Camino merged with Avant on July 1, 2019. Learn more about the merger at https://avantcamino.org.
Following the merger, Avant's active membership exceeded 500 for the first time in its history, serving in some 50 countries on 5 continents.