Greater Birmingham Ministries is a multi-faith, multi-racial organization dedicated to serving people in need, pursuing justice, and building stronger communities. GBM began in 1969 when three different denominations each launched new ministry efforts to respond more effectively to people in need and to seek to a faithful community of justice and peace in Birmingham. These three efforts, begun by the United Methodist Church, the Episcopal Church and the United Presbyterian Church (now Presbyterian Church USA), merged in 1971 and set the pattern for GBM’s work as shared, ecumenical ministry. Today GBM is sponsored by 20 different faith communities, making GBM now an interfaith as well as ecumenical organization.
GBM is an expression of the commitment to social justice and to mercy and compassion for all which is found in the core beliefs of these faith communities. The faith, prayers and generosity of these groups, along with the support of many other groups, congregations and individuals, make GBM’s work possible. GBM’s initial focus on responding to poverty and building faithful community relationships for all people continues to guide its work today.
During its history, volunteers and staff working through GBM have assisted thousands of area residents and have worked closely with low-income individuals and neighborhoods. Many times that has meant meeting immediate needs, such as food, clothing or assisting families with expenses for rent, power, gas, water, medicines, and transportation.
GBM has also worked consistently on the hard, slow work of systems change, particularly in the realm of state constitutional reform, seeking to make the social networks of the community open and fair to all, especially to those with little economic and social power. At the heart of this commitment is a belief in human dignity which connects all of us to each other, regardless of our relative economic or social position.
Through the years, the three basic areas of ministry at GBM have also helped organize several additional groups and organizations that continue to serve low-income and other vulnerable people in our community.
Work in many of these areas continues to go on at GBM, and there is always new work underway…