European Partnership Ministries was started in 1991 by Scott Kirby to respond to the newly opening doors caused by the fall of the Iron Curtain. At that time we incorporated as a non-profit 501(3)c mission. Our primary focus was Romania, although we facilitated a lot of teams also to Russia, Ukraine, and Moldova.
As we grew, we also began to work in Central Asia and Africa. This led to a corporate name change in 1996 to Global Partnership Ministries. Our primary international mission strategy has been church-to-church partnerships — partnering American churches with national churches overseas.
An essential element of partnerships has been the faciliation of volunteer mission teams. Over the past 27 years we have taken more than 3000 people overseas on mission teams.
In 2005, Scott moved the ministry headquarters to Anchorage, Alaska in order to open up Alaska as a new field of ministry.
Although Scott still leads yearly international teams to Romania, the great focus of the mission has become Alaska. Alaska is ranked the LEAST church-attending state in America. About ten years ago, we changed the focus and renamed the ministry here in Alaska – now GraceWorks Alaska. Our focus is using volunteer teams to reach out to neglected urban communities and remote villages in Alaska. The model has succeeded far beyond our wildest dreams! Here in Alaska, Global Partnership Ministries dba’s (is known as) GraceWorks.
The growth in the ministry since that time has been phenomenal. From about 120 volunteers a year in 2005, we are now hosting more than a thousand volunteers serving each year in Alaska.