In 1977, the Greater Jackson Fund for Emergency Relief was chartered as a non-profit organization.  The fund was handled by local ministers on a rotating basis.  In 1980, it was deactivated.

The recession in the early 1980’s impressed upon the churches the need for cooperation in response to the increasing number of emergency assistance cases in the area.  In 1982, representatives from several churches met and discussed the urgent need to reactivate the fund with a salaried staff person to coordinate the activities.  This was made possible by a gift from the First Presbyterian Church of Jackson.

Since persons from the church community would assume responsibility for supervising the fund’s administration, as well as contribute to its support, the name changed to “The Greater Jackson Churches Fund for Emergency Relief.”  Over 40 churches are involved in some way with the fund’s operation.

In 1983, the fund was made a member agency of the United Way of West Tennessee.  This funding provided the financial stability which permitted the Fund to provide both staff and resources to address the emergency needs of individuals and families in the Jackson area.

In January 1991, the Board of Directors and the Executive Director created a mission statement which focused on providing emergency aid and helping people in need become self-sufficient.  We recognized the need to help people break out of the poverty cycle.  The name was changed to “Area Relief Ministries” to make it more recognizable to the public.

In 2006, ARM”s founder and Executive Director, Mary Tyler, retired.  After much prayer, the board hired the current Executive Director, Michael L. Roby.

ARM is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors with day-to-day missions being carried out by a staff. While its mission statement has changed, it’s mission has remained the same. ARM works to build a stronger community by alleviating suffering, promoting dignity, and fostering hope. To learn more about the mission of ARM, CLICK HERE.

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