vision

Our vision is to launch 1,000 Gospel Justice Centers transforming lives in the name of Christ. That is a big, hairy, audacious goal and it won’t happen apart from God and you. But we believe that “all things are possible with God.”

With your help, we can build vibrant justice communities to free people from legal burdens so they can flourish. Together, we will seek justice.

GOD IS SEARCHING

THE LORD LOOKED AND WAS DISPLEASED
    THAT THERE WAS NO JUSTICE.
HE SAW THAT THERE WAS NO ONE,
    HE WAS APPALLED THAT THERE WAS NO ONE TO INTERVENE;

 – ISAIAH 59:15b-16a

DEMOCRACY SUFFERS, FREEDOM SUFFERS, & GOD IS APPALLED WHEN WE FAIL TO INTERCEDE FOR JUSTICE. WHEN GOD LOOKS DOES HE SEE US INTERCEDING ON BEHALF OF THE POOR? DOES HE SEE YOU?

justice-is-complex

In 2016 we ranked 65th in the world, tied with Pakistan, for providing affordable access to justice. If you’ve ever been caught in our justice system, or know someone who has, you understand that the costs are excruciatingly high – not only financially but physically and emotionally. Our nation pledges ‘justice for all’ while millions of Americans cannot receive fair access to justice because they don’t have the money. Does it bother you that whole communities suffer injustice because of broken systems?

OUR STAFF

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BRUCE STROM

Founder & CEO

I didn’t always care about justice. I was busy as the senior partner of a successful multi-office law practice. But I missed something. God was less concerned about me building my kingdom and more concerned about how I was advancing His kingdom by loving and serving others.

How about you? Ever so busy you’re afraid you might be missing something God has for you? Then like the Good Samaritan, maybe you should stop. That’s what I did to start a legal ministry called Administer Justice which is now one of the largest legal ministries in America. Along the way I made a lot of mistakes but I also learned a lot about injustice in our legal systems and what God has to say about justice. Now I use my knowledge and experience to coach others. I’ve keynoted our nation’s only two Faith & Justice Summits hosted by the Tennessee Supreme Court and the Mississippi Supreme Court. World Magazine recognized our work at Administer Justice with a national Hope for Effective Compassion Award and Moody published my book Gospel Justice, widely acclaimed by many justice leaders.

I practiced law for almost 40 years. During that time, I connected with Bruce first as an undergraduate, then as a law student and thereafter during his law practice and time at Administer Justice. Bruce has always been a guiding light for me with regard to Christian Legal Aid ministry. We would continually discuss my “life after law practice” and the possibility of some “partnership”.

In 2015, when God called me from the practice of law to full-time vocational ministry, it seemed clear that a portion of my time should be devoted to Bruce’s newer ministry, Gospel Justice Initiative. I serve as Bruce’s COO, handling ministry and administrative matters. To be used in this capacity is a calling and blessing from God “To engage Christ followers to serve the legal and spiritual needs of the poor.”

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BRENT AMATO

COO

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LEAH GEOCARIS

Executive Administrative Assistant

Newly wed and new to northern Illinois, a friend from a Bible study group told me about Bruce and his passion for social justice. I had worked in several legal offices previously and felt I was ready to move on to a different field. She assured me the faith based, non-profit world be nothing like the law firms I was used to. That was almost 10 years ago. I can’t imagine where I would be if I hadn’t said yes to God’s call and Bruce’s invitation. In this particular setting, I get to see God work in the lives of individuals using skills and talents of people just like you and me. I believe very strongly in stopping negative cycles, and when you bring the law into hopeless situations, it has a miraculous effect. For example, now a homeless mother of two can stop asking her church for food and money to get by … because her ex-husband has been made to pay child support. Broken lives find hope through this work we are doing – “Administer[ing] true justice; show[ing] mercy and compassion to one another” (Zech 7:9).

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

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Joe Abraham

Entrepreneur & Founding Parter, lifezone360

A professional entrepreneur with multiple successful company launches under his belt, Joe is now founder of BOSI Global – operating partner to venture-backed and privately held companies. Winner of numerous awards for his impact on global entrepreneurship, Joe is author of Entrepreneurial DNA (McGraw Hill 2011) – a critically acclaimed book based on his multi-year research into entrepreneurial teams. In 2008, he developed the BOSI methodology – now used around the globe as the gold standard behavioral assessment for business owners and their teams. He has been featured on Fox News, CNN, ABC, CBS and the Wall Street Journal as subject matter expert in small business, entrepreneurship and free enterprise. Joe lives in Chicago with his wife and two sons. They attend Harvest Bible Chapel.

tom-atchinsonTom Atchison

Senior Pastor, Fox Valley Evangelical Free Church

Tom is the senior pastor of Fox Valley Evangelical Free Church where he has served for the past 23 years. He holds a PhD from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and Th.M. from Dallas Theological Seminary. He served on the board of Administer Justice prior to joining the board of Gospel Justice Initiative. He lives in the Chicago area with his wife, Cathy, three children, and three grandchildren.

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Chris Purnell

Executive Director, Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic in Indianapolis

Chris has served at Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic in Indianapolis, Indiana since September 2008, when he began working as a staff attorney in the areas of housing and consumer law. He was promoted to the Managing Attorney role in 2010 and appointed Executive Director by the Board of Directors in February 2015. Along with his work at the Clinic, Chris is an Adjunct Professor at Taylor University and is very involved in serving at Village Life Church in Broad Ripple. Chris and his wife, Christy, live in Indianapolis with their two young and always vivacious children.

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Kristina Robb-Dover

Writer, Editor & Author

Kristina Robb-Dover is a writer, author and minister. Books include The Recovery-Minded Church: Loving and Ministering to People with Addictions (InterVarsity Press, winter 2015) and Grace Sticks: The Bumper Sticker Gospel for Restless Souls (Wipf & Stock, 2013). Her articles have appeared in a number of publications, and you can find her musings at the Beliefnet blog, “Fellowship of Saints and Sinners.” Kristina’s granddad, John D. Robb, a life-long champion of the rights of the poor and avid supporter of GJI’s work, boldly dreamt of a day when 1,000 justice centers would be serving the legal and spiritual needs of the poor in communities across this nation; so what most excites Kristina about serving on GJI’s board is the opportunity to keep that dream alive and to help make it a reality. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband Paul and their two kids.

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Steve Keist

Attorney, Keist Law
Director, Christian Legal Aid of Arizona
President, West Maricopa County Bar Association

Steve is a sole practitioner in Glendale Arizona with 39 years experience in civil litigation, family law, criminal defense, personal injury, bankruptcy, estate planning, and aviation law. In 2002 he was appointed to the bench as Judge pro-tem in the Family Law division and mediates for the courts Alternative Dispute Resolution division. Steve is the current Director of Christian Legal Aid of Arizona and past President of the West Maricopa County Bar Association. Steve enjoys flying and in 2000 obtained his private pilot’s license.

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Amy Schauble

Administrative Assistant, Clare Oaks Continuing Care Community

Amy is a full time wife to Greg, mother to teenage son, Max and a part-time Administrative Assistant at Clare Oaks Continuing Care Community. As a former Administer Justice client, she is passionate about seeing the legal and hope-filled help that she received spread across the nation.

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Daniel C. Arnold

Director of Exhibits, Museum of the Bible

Born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Dan spent his early years in Peru, South America, where his parents provided medical and mechanic services to the Peruvian people. Dan has a MDiv from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. While a student, Dan started a successful electrical contracting service. Dan used his Biblical knowledge and experience in the trades to lead teams to design, build, and install large-scale theatrical sets for Sight and Sound Theaters. The success of this work caught the attention of Museum of the Bible and Dan was invited to join them in 2012 as Director of Exhibits. This provides opportunity to travel the world spreading the good news of the Bible through powerful exhibits which bring the Bible to life. Dan served in the United States Navy trained to repair and maintain the shipboard MK-26 guided-missile system and as an emergency medical technician. He served in Operation Desert Shield. Dan is married to Diana and they have a son and daughter.

Bill Stevenson

Senior Vice President-Wealth Management & Wealth Management Advisor, Merrill Lynch

Bill has worked as a Wealth Management Advisor at Merrill Lynch since 1987. Prior to joining the Gospel Justice Initiative board Bill served on the board of Administer Justice for 5 years. Bill’s life verse is 2 Timothy 2:2 “And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” Bill enjoys mentoring young men and serves as Chaplin of the Concordia Chicago University football team. Bill has been married to his wife Vicki for 30 years and they have 2 adult children.

FOUNDING STORY

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John D. Robb, Board of Directors

(1924-2014)

Gospel Justice Initiative’s founding board chair, John D. Robb, was perhaps the nation’s leading advocate for justice for the poor.

For five decades John led the charge for providing equal access to justice. He served as National Chairman of the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants in the 1970’s. He testified before Congress and was involved in the creation of the Legal Services Corporation.

In the 1980’s John started one of the first Christian Legal Aid ministries. In the 1990’s he joined with other national leaders from Chuck Colson to Jim Wallis to advocate for justice for the poor. In the late 1990’s and 2000’s John persuaded Christian Legal Society (CLS) to get involved leading the effort through CLS as their first public ministries director.

In 2009 John wrote a book, Defending the Poor with the Love of God, where he laid out a vision given to him from God of 1,000 organizations, primarily churches, joined together in meeting the spiritual and legal needs of the poor. The vision was an impossible dream. Only 60 Christian Legal Aid organizations existed across the country after more than a decade of effort and John was 86 years old. How would God advance his purposes?

God was separately moving in the heart of Bruce Strom to write the book Gospel Justice to encourage the church, individuals and attorneys to seek justice for the poor and vulnerable. Bruce left a highly successful law practice to start Administer Justice in 2000. Bruce’s work with Administer Justice earned World Magazine’s National Hope for Effective Compassion Award in 2013. Bruce built teams of churches, hundreds of attorneys and hundreds of support volunteers who together serve thousands of individuals every year.

Bruce wrote a letter to John in December 2009. Recognizing a common calling, John and Bruce began weekly phone calls spending hours praying and listening to God. Through intensive prayer over two years, John and Bruce sought input from several leaders across the country which led to the formation of Gospel Justice Initiative (GJI) in the fall of 2011. That group of leaders would work together to build the tools for equipping Christ followers to serve the legal and spiritual needs of the poor. Gospel Justice Initiative officially launched in January 2014 when Bruce left Administer Justice to serve as GJI’s CEO.

John Robb died in July 2014. The foundation he laid and legacy he lived for continues.

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Bruce Stom, President & CEO

“Bruce Strom has been a pioneer in challenging the church in the United States to seek justice for the vulnerable in our society.”
– Matthew Sorens, U.S. Director of Church Mobilization, World Relief

Author of Welcoming the Stranger

OUR STATEMENT OF FAITH

We believe in a God of justice eternally existing in a loving unity of three equally divine Persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

We believe justice for the poor and vulnerable is a prominent theme in the Bible which as originally written was inspired by God, hence free from error, and is the ultimate authority for faith and practice.

We believe Jesus demonstrated justice in his life, ministry, and teaching as an example for all to follow. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, and His substitutionary death on the cross made provision for the redemption of mankind from sin. He is raised from the dead and is now seated at the right hand of the Father.

We believe that man, created in God’s image, wilfully sinned and brought injustice into the world. That man is without hope apart from the grace of God, through faith in Christ.

We believe the Holy Spirit indwells all believers equipping them for good works, sanctifying them to love God supremely and others sacrificially and empowering them to show care for one another, compassion toward the poor, and justice for the oppressed.

We believe in the spiritual unity of all believers in our Lord Jesus Christ and His church and that cooperation for the great objects of the Kingdom of God, including justice, is desirable between the various Christian denominations, churches and organizations.

We believe in the imminent return of Jesus as King to rule on a throne of justice and righteousness and that the dead shall be raised, both the saved and the lost – those who are saved, unto the resurrection of life, and those who are lost unto the resurrection of damnation and that the mark of a true saving faith is in loving concern for the poor and vulnerable.