Timeline of Faith

1800s – 1920

The Birth of a Mission

The Union Gospel Mission Twin Cities
Inspired by the pioneering work of “city missions” around the world and growing social pressures at home, faith leaders in the young city of St. Paul create a refuge for those who are poor, suffering, and without hope.

1800s: Start of the City Mission Movement.

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed.

Luke 4:18 (NASB)

1870-1900: Economic calamity and an immigration boom.

1900: Social services rise to meet the challenge.

City life stands, on the whole, for mental, moral and physical deterioration.

Twin Cities businessman

1902: Union Gospel Mission is founded.

1902: An enduring resolution.

1902: Reverend E.R. MacKinney, first superintendent.

1902: A haven for “Soup, Soap and Salvation.”

1902: The central role of women.

1904: The Gospel Wagon.

Located on a corner where we can gather a crowd, the singing, testimonials and some short, sharp addresses by the converts have been blessed by God.

from an early Mission report

1905: Union Gospel Mission's Second Annual Report.

1909: Peter MacFarlane, Mission Man.

I came to the Mission half-starved spiritually.... I’m not starved anymore, for I have learned to feast on the good things of the kingdom.

Peter MacFarlane

1910: The Mission’s Seventh Annual Report.

1910: A home for seven decades.

The greatest and most rewarding charity work that I did was with the Union Gospel Mission.

Dr. Harvey Ogden Skinner, the clinic’s founding doctor

1910: A new medical clinic for St. Paul.

1916: The Mission receives influential support.

1917: U.S. Enters World War One.

1919: The West Side Mission is established.

1920: Help for unwed mothers.

1920: A new Sunday School.

1920s: A youth problem, a Mission solution.

1920 – 1940

Everlastingly At It

The Union Gospel Mission Twin Cities
As the 1920s roar into the Great Depression, the Union Gospel Mission redoubles its efforts to help those in need, from a hotel to house the homeless to clubs and camps for youth.
1940 – 1960

Tradition and Transition

The Union Gospel Mission Twin Cities
At the mid-century mark, Union Gospel Mission loses its longest serving leader and launches new initiatives in employment and addiction recovery that define its next era.
1960 – 1980

The Struggle for a New Home

The Union Gospel Mission Twin Cities
Despite the Mission’s essential role in the community, the upheaval of urban renewal eventually displaces it. The organization embarks on a decade-long search for a new location — led by one of its loyal graduates.
1980 – 2000

Confronting Crisis with Compassion

The Union Gospel Mission Twin Cities
From its new home on University Avenue, Union Gospel Mission is tested by a wave of homelessness, addiction and families in need — and responds with innovative new programs to pull people out of crisis.
2000 – 2020

A New Century Dawns

The Union Gospel Mission Twin Cities
As the new century dawns, Union Gospel Mission again redoubles its efforts, expanding programs and developing new approaches to meet the increasingly complex needs of those it serves.