The mission of Love INC is to transform lives and communities, In the Name of Christ. This is accomplished by mobilizing people in churches to help people in need. One of the presenters at an annual fundraising banquet put it this way, “Love INC is the collective conscience of the Christian Community.” We give churches opportunities for Christian service, that’s opportunities not an obligation!
The major difference in Love INC’s approach to “helping” is that we do not focus on the need, as most others do, we focus on the person! Because, how do you transform a life without having a relationship with that person?
How It Works
When resources are not connected, many needs go unmet.
Love INC brings resources together so more needs can be met.
Love INC identifies gaps in services and resources in the community and helps churches develop ministries to “fill in the gaps” not being met by agencies or the government.
These Gap Ministries constantly grow and evolve as needs become known. Most Love INC networks include a wide array of Gap Ministries, including food pantries, clothes closets, health care, and prescription medication advocacy, senior care, transportation, home repair, auto repair, hair cut services, laundry services, sewing ministries, school supplies, furniture, baby cribs and baby supplies, bedding and blankets, personal care items, and many more. Love INC helps coordinate these ministries by procuring items from the entire network to supply these outreaches with the resources they need. Love INC then refers verified needs through its Clearinghouse to the ministry. Love INC also helps promote the Gap Ministry to the community and facilitates sharing of best practices to grow the ministry.
Love INC History
LOVE INC National
- LOVE INC was founded in 1977 as a way to encourage churches to become more engaged with needy people in their community. LOVE INC’s founder, Dr. Virgil Gulker, was a social worker and outreach director in Holland, Michigan in the late 1970s. He was certain God had called Christian churches to the same mission.
- Dr. Gulker realized that Christians wanted to help people who had needs, but they did not know where to begin. Christians often did not realize that they could have a positive, life-changing impact on someone else’s life! LOVE INC also brought local congregations together so that they could more effectively help their neighbors.
- Dr. Gulker’s idea for integrated church ministry in his community inspired Christians in other regions. Other communities duplicated the LOVE INC model—with success—as they sought to meet the needs of hurting individuals and families in their own areas. By the late 1980s, fifty LOVE INC affiliates were operating in fourteen states.
- As the LOVE INC ministry spread, so did the need for national leadership and support. In 1988, LOVE INC became an arm of World Vision U.S., an international Christian relief and development organization. Under World Vision, LOVE INC continued to grow throughout the 1990s. In 2001, LOVE INC separated from World Vision and again became its own national nonprofit organization. In 2011, LOVE INC completely restructured its operations going to a “virtual” (on-line) office model, significantly reducing its costs while providing timely resources and improving networking among the affiliates
- Today, there are currently 135 Love INC affiliates in 30 states representing a network of more than 8,600 churches, 9,200 community-based organizations, and 100,000 Christian church volunteers.
Learn more at Love INC National.
LOVE INC of Charlottesville/Albemarle
- In 1989, Al McCauley from First Baptist Church on Park Street desired to see the poor and needy ministered to in Christ’s name. He had heard of Dr. Virgil Gulker and the rapidly expanding ministry. LOVE INC representatives presented the ministry to Charlottesville area churches and agencies.
- The meeting produced mixed results. Some were very excited about the prospect of establishing an exclusively Christ-honoring clearinghouse focusing on not only material needs, but emotional and spiritual needs as well. Others felt that another agency was not necessary.
- The first planning committee established the Charlottesville / Albemarle LOVE INC ministry. Seven churches of different denominations formed the first Board of Directors and opened the first phone lines on February 18, 1991 in the basement of the YMCA. Currently, Love INC rents office space on Pantops in Albemarle County. The ‘dream’ is to own a building with an adjacent building for donations and life-transforming classes.
- The LOVE INC board consists of five to twelve men and women from different churches and denominations. The number of churches involved with LOVE INC grew from the initial seven in 1991 to thirty-two in 1996. Currently, LOVE INC connects with over sixty churches in Albemarle, Charlottesville, and surrounding counties. Churches reach out to the needy with the transforming power of the gospel, and Christians work together for the sake of spreading the gospel in our community.
- Love INC Charlottesville/Albemarle opened in 1991 with the following founding churches:
- Aldersgate United Methodist Church
- Charlottesville Church of the Brethren
- Charlottesville Mennonite
- First Baptist Church, Park Street
- First Christian Church
- Incarnation Catholic Church
- Trinity Presbyterian Church