Celebrating 50 Years: 1965-2015

From GMAE to Transform Minnesota: 1965 – 2015
Celebrating our history. Fresh vision for our future.
The Logos Coffee House was opened in 1971.
The Logos Coffee House was opened in 1971 as an evangelical outreach in Uptown Minneapolis.

In the past 50 years, tens of thousands of lives have been greatly impacted through Transform Minnesota, which began in 1965 as the Greater Minnesota Association of Evangelicals (GMAE). See history timeline

As we celebrate and reflect on what God has done since 1965, we can’t help but be encouraged about the future. The original promise that sparked the creation of Transform Minnesota—that the kingdom of God grows stronger when we work together—is still the promise that drives our work today and shapes our vision.

The evidence of how God has strengthened the evangelical movement, incubated life-giving ministries and served pastors through the past five decades is what inspires us to look ahead to 2025. We envision an even broader statewide network serving evangelical leaders and assisting churches as they face the unique and as of yet unforeseen challenges of the next decade.

[small_button text=”See Timeline” title=”Cool Button” url=”https://transformmn.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/View-Historial-Timeline-PDF.pdf” align=”left” target=”_blank” style=”light”]In 1954, 13 area pastors organized a local chapter of the National Association of Evangelicals. The group hosted monthly ministerial gatherings, held an annual prayer breakfast and provided training workshops on youth ministry and evangelism. Eleven years later, a group of 20 churches formalized the local chapter and created the Greater Minnesota Association of Evangelicals. They saw it as a way to collaborate in outreach ministry, radio and TV evangelism and through the creation of chaplaincy services.

Mail bags with tens of thousands of newsletters ready to send.
Mail bags with tens of thousands of newsletters ready to send.

The next several years saw numerous important developments. GMAE started a coffee house outreach, helped build a chapel at Stillwater prison, led pre-marital training seminars and hosted networking groups for chaplains, single parents and police officers. The group also began a crisis pregnancy center now called New Life Family Services, a Christian counseling center and a half-way house that today is known as Damascus Way Reentry Center.

GMAE served as a vital communications resource in those early years that connected evangelicals through tens of thousands of “Gleanings,” which was a weekly bulletin insert distributed to churches. The “Day on the Hill” legislative advocacy day each year gave access for thousands of evangelicals to meet with their representatives.

Fifty years ago, the desire to create a place where evangelicals could build relationships, serve in unity and do ministry together were the primary reasons the association was formed. In 2015, those are essentially the same reasons we exist today: to serve as a network for evangelicals who need resources and solutions and who want to connect with others in ministry.

Rev. Quint Alfors was a driving force in the founding of the evangelical association. He currently lives in Oakdale, MN.
Rev. Quint Alfors was a driving force in the founding of the evangelical association. He currently lives in Oakdale, MN.

Those first several years of GMAE give us insight into what the future holds. While evangelical churches and ministries have grown and become more mature and now have tremendous capacity for ministry, we find that culture is shifting around us and that we need a fresh vision and creative ways to meet the needs of today.

As evangelical Christians we can embody a timeless Gospel for our time and place if we are connected and in relationship with each other.

Join with us in celebrating the past five decades with a fresh vision for the decade ahead.