He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.
Vanguard Street Ministry started in 1998 in Kalamazoo, MI with a core group of people who attended different churches and had a heart for the community. It was in the homes of Bobby/Natalee Blakely and Nathaniel/Starr Bull that this group would meet to pray for family, church, and the community. Every prayer would be answered as they were lifted up before God. It wasn’t long after that a true hunger for God to do great things began to surface.
This hunger led Nathaniel and Bobby to pray for the community while posting themselves upon inner city neighborhood streets. Through this act of faith, God began to reveal His love for the lost and His desire to reach people on the front porches of their homes, the corner stores, at parks, or as they walked down the streets. He also revealed that unity in the church was a must in order to reach the people by the masses. Because of these revelations, street ministry, prayer, and unifying the church became the focus of the group.
Not seeking to become a church, the ministry started to take form. It was obvious that this was a front line approach to building God’s Kingdom and therefore “Vanguard Street Ministry” became the official name.The word ‘vanguard’ was introduced through a book that identified a particular group of people as the front line advancing army of God. In this book, this particular group reclaimed areas of the world for God. Everywhere that the soils of their feet touched was transformed. Where there wasn’t any life, they would bring life to that area. They worked together in complete unity to restore the Kingdom of God.Working on the front line and building unity to get the work of God done is at the heart of Vanguard Street Ministry. Since its conception, Vanguard Street Ministry has partnered with local ministries and agencies toward evangelical efforts that have powerfully impacted the community. The ministry has grown to include more street ministers and volunteers who support on-going efforts of reaching the lost every week.In Kalamazoo, the ministry continues its street ministry on the North, South, and East sides and has produced teams that work in the juvenile centers, the adult jail, homeless shelters, neighborhood home bible studies, and as prayer intercessors.
Through numerous partnerships, Vanguard Street Ministry has become a bridge for spreading the love of Jesus through its formation of non-profit Urban Alliance, Inc., “Jesus Loves Kzoo”, Vanguard Street Ministry Sierra Leone in Africa, training programs for individuals, churches and new street ministry teams in other cities. They have incorporated a screen-printing program that helps support future street ministers, but also inner city youth who would normally involve themselves in unhealthy activities.
Today the ministry seeks to build more partnerships with local churches and other non-profits. These partnerships will prove to be both valuable to those within the community and those who serve the community by creating a stream in which connections can be made and the love of Jesus can be shared continuously.
Watch for more info soon — but please contact us right away if you are interested in going with us to minister in Sierra Leone or if you are able to help with fundraising!
Vanguard Street Ministry is a subsidiary of Urban Alliance Inc. Urban Alliance is a non profit involved with street ministry, housing, employment and business mentoring. Click here to find out more.