Forty years ago (1962) as a pastor in Indiana, I (Dr. James Gardner) started going to local fairs in an attempt to win souls to the Lord Jesus Christ. God has blessed beyond all I could have expected!!! It should be no surprise when God does what seems to be impossible, just as William Carey said, “Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God.”
The beginning was slow with the first year seeing no decisions for Christ. I began the next year using “props” to attract people to a small booth where I could engage people in conversation in an attempt to determine their “spiritual condition.” Using these methods I was able to ask the person, “would you like to see what the bible says about how you can get to heaven?” To my surprise, many people did want to know, and for many they had never heard the “good news.” This simple attempt to reach people where they are: the market place, has blossomed from a few decisions the second year to over 25,000 decisions for Christ in 2002.
Amazing Grace Mission, founded by myself in 1983, is embarking on a 2nd phase of the vision to bring Jesus into the market place. Just as it began for me forty years ago, this new phase of AGM appears impossible, but just as William Carey said, we must “attempt great things for God.” We are now embarking on a new effort to expand the mission to have a world impact on bringing the gospel to the worldwide market place.
In 1983, the mission began with my wife and I, and has expanded during the years into a dynamic group of 125+ soul winners who minister at 300+ fairs in all 50 states, Australia, Canada, and Mexico, with others asking us to come to their country.