HISTORY of RGMS It was 1981 and Rick was working in the Pontiac dealership as a technician in San Bernardino, California. From time to time he would see cars that had been repaired in the dealership coming back to be rechecked for repairs not done adequately the first time. In addition, he thought about the simple service work that could be done for the customer to illuminate the need for them to come to the dealership. So, the idea of a mobile service truck came to his mind and the idea for a mobile auto repair was born in his thinking. He had never seen such a business so, when he went to his service manager to present his idea, his manager said, “It would never work”.
So, on his off hours Rick would do jobs for people by bringing his tools them and performing the repairs. He could see that it was going to take some planning and practice to make it work and to smooth out the process of repairing out on the road. Other opportunities came to Rick in the meantime, such as working as a District Manager for Pontiac Motor Division and later as a Service Manager in two Southern California dealerships. Each of these opportunities as technician, district manager over multiple dealerships, as well as managing two very different service departments, all served to prepare Rick for the business that would begin to be formed in the near future.
By 1988, some 8 years later, the seed idea was ready to be tried and tested for real. Rick and Sherry had moved to Tulare, CA in central California in 1986 and the Lord had led them to develop many friendships. Through an accident while on a construction job, Rick was laid up for a time of recuperation, in which he was unable to perform his duties in construction. A close friend knew Rick was an auto mechanic and encouraged him to pursue doing auto repair during the time of recuperation, since it wouldn’t require the same physical exertion.
Friends began asking Rick to repair their cars and trucks and, before he knew it, he was very busy doing the thing he loved...auto repair. For two years he began in earnest to gather the necessary equipment beyond his own hand tools in order to perform complete auto repairs, all under the shade of a great big Valley oak tree...literally a “shade tree mechanic”! The business grew and grew until it was supporting his family and supplying their needs.
In the meantime, by 1990, Rick felt a prompting from the Lord to move the family to Indiana where his widowed mother, Mary Gillam, lived. But what about the business? How would that work? In a big step of faith, Rick and Sherry packed up their belongings and, with his service truck, moved to Indiana in June, 1990. The missionary organization, One Mission Society, where Rick had grown up with his family, was located in Greenwood, IN where his mother lived as well. After a few years of building the business on the south side of Indianapolis and only performing mobile repairs, Rick, along with his second son-in-law Bryan Stinnett, had the opportunity to move to their present location on the campus of One Mission Society. It proved to be a great boost to the business since it widened their capabilities to offer complete auto repair, while still offering the Mobile Service for which they were known from the beginning.
Joining Rick and Bryan in 1999 was his son, Brooks, who had grown up in the business. Not long after Brooks came Rick’s oldest son-in-law, Chuck Braden. When the business was being formed in the beginning there were no assumptions that anyone else would join Rick, but each year was bringing numerous young men who asked to be trained. By 2007 a full-fledged apprenticeship training began to be formed and served as the heart of what would become a passion for Rick...that of training young men in a useful skill that would serve them well for the rest of their lives.
With 30 years of business behind them, the future seems plenty bright for training and expansion of the customer base and perhaps he e another location.
So, what is the overarching goal to Rick Gillam Mobile Business. It is expressed in their voice message and on their printed material...”We can fix you car, but only Jesus can fix your life!” Rick, Sherry and the entire team believe and live that reality. We are here to serve our customers by repairing their cars and trucks. However, we live in an obviously broken world that needs fixing. All around we see hurt, pain, and brokenness. Jesus Christ offers all of us a new life and the only real answer to this dilemma of brokenness. On the bottom of the business card is this statement which sums up our entire mission:
“If you meet me and you forget me, you’ve lost nothing, but if you meet Jesus and forget him, you’ve lost everything.”