Transforming Minnesota for Christ for 50 Years (1965-2015)

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History - Quint Alfors
Rev. Quint Alfors was a driving force in the founding of the evangelical association.

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). The original promise that sparked the creation of GMAE—that the kingdom of God grows stronger when we work together—is still the promise that drives Transform Minnesota’s work today and shapes our vision.

“Transform Minnesota is a catalyst bringing evangelicals together in a creative, unifying, dynamic way,” said Wayne Pederson, former GMAE board member, and current president of Reach Beyond ministry.

[pullquote style=”left” quote=”dark”]The church was meant to serve together. Through Transform Minnesota, believers can make an impact together far more significantly than we could all accomplish separately.[/pullquote]

What started as a group of 13 area pastors hosting monthly ministerial gatherings in 1954, formally became a local chapter of the National Association of Evangelicals in 1965, creating the Greater Minnesota Association of Evangelicals, our name changed to Transform Minnesota in 2011.

“Transform Minnesota is a model for cities across America on how to network evangelical churches and serve our metropolitan areas in the name of Jesus,” said Leith Anderson, President of the National Association of Evangelicals.


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Ministry leaders gather at TCAMP – a network for pastors, field workers, agency leaders, donors and volunteers who have an interest in global & cross cultural missions.

Today Transform Minnesota continues to operate as a regional evangelical association, serving its constituents by providing evangelical leaders with relationships, resources and representation; the very same goals of the association from the beginning.

“Transform Minnesota has brought churches and ministries together with amazing blessings for fifty years,” said Anderson.

And through Transform Minnesota’s regular programs like TCAMP (Twin Cities Area Mission Professionals), Evangelical Leaders Forums and Coming Together conferences, we are providing resources and relationships for our network partners, and an opportunity for local pastors to work together.

“An old African proverb states:  ‘If you want to go fast, go alone.  If you want to go far, go together.’ The church was meant to serve together. Through Transform Minnesota, believers can make an impact together far more significantly than we could all accomplish separately,” said Pederson.

For fifty years, when cultural issues arrive, Transform Minnesota has stepped forward to speak with a unified voice as a representative for the evangelical network.

“Transform Minnesota is the voice of evangelicals in the community. They are speaking about important matters, bringing leaders together to help them form relationships, which is just terrific,” said Pastor Brian Doten, Northwood Church in Maple Grove.



In the early years, through unified collaboration, 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. [pullquote style=”left” quote=”dark”]Transform Minnesota is the voice of evangelicals in the community…[/pullquote] The group also began a crisis pregnancy center now called New Life Family Services, a half-way house that today is known as Damascus Way Re-entry Center, and started a local chapter of World Relief to help resettle refugees in Minnesota (now called Arrive Ministries).

Today Transform Minnesota’s three affiliate ministries: New Life Family Services, Damascus Way Re-entry Center and Arrive Ministries still carry out our vision of transforming the state by specifically focusing on vulnerable populations.



The evidence of how God has strengthened our evangelical movement by incubating life-giving ministries and serving a network of pastors through the past five decades, is what inspires us to look ahead to the future.

“Building on and honoring the past, it’s time for a new day and a new style,” said Pastor Doten. [pullquote style=”left” quote=”dark”]I pray God will continue to have His hand on this ministry…[/pullquote]

“The first fifty years of Transform Minnesota have been wonderful but the next fifty can be better,” said Anderson. “What will make the greatest difference for good are more churches, organizations and Christians getting on board to expand the Transform Minnesota network, and increase the united voice and effectiveness of evangelical Christians in Minnesota.”

History - Logos Coffee Shop
The Logos Coffee House was opened in 1971 as an evangelical outreach in Uptown Minneapolis.

Our vision for the future is 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.

“During this time of increased secularism, terrorism, and relativism, Transform Minnesota is needed more than ever to shine the light of God’s truth and love to a needy society,” said Pederson.

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.

“I pray God will continue to have His hand on this ministry and that the effective collaboration and partnerships surrounding Transform Minnesota will continue to grow in influence,” said Pederson.

We encourage you to join the movement. With fresh vision, Transform Minnesota continues to offer relationships, resources and representation to help evangelicals advance the kingdom of God.








October 8, 2015

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