Much of what makes Gleaner what it is today was set in motion more 125 years ago when Grant Slocum, a farmer's son, had a vision for a fraternal society that would protect farmers and their families. On October 12, 1894, he founded Gleaner Life Insurance Society. Gleaner’s membership has expanded since then to include people from all walks of life, but our principles and goals remain the same: to help our members and their communities live better.
Grant Slocum was inspired by the biblical story of Ruth the Gleaner and her words to her mother Naomi: “Entreat me not to leave thee or return from following after thee, for whither thou goest I will go, and where thou lodgest I will lodge; thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God.” This sentiment reflected Grant's passion for the farmers and their families. He believed that they had strength in numbers and could take care of each other by banding together.
Grant chose prudens futuri as the Gleaner motto, a Latin phrase meaning “thoughtful for the future.” As principles for the new society, he chose benevolence, protection and fraternity. Gleaners would be brought together to help others while protecting their families in every life event.
Throughout the 20th century, Gleaner expanded its reach to 16 different states, establishing arbors in six. As the Society grew, our Michigan-based headquarters moved from Caro to Detroit, then to Birmingham before settling in Adrian. Wherever Gleaner members are located, the values of community service and financial stability are sure to be found.
Throughout the years, Gleaner has continued to grow and add more products and services for its members. On the financial side, assets total over $1.3 billion dollars, ensuring that our certificates are a secure and sound foundation for any financial plan. Year after year, we continue to be rated one of the top fraternal benefit societies in the country.
On the community engagement side, Gleaner also claims many successes. The Samaritan program was introduced to Gleaner arbors in 1995. Designed to recognize arbors for the benevolent acts and hours of service they perform, Gleaner gives out "Star Awards" and money that arbors donate to their communities based on the number of charitable activities completed. During the 2017-18 Samaritan program, Gleaner arbors reported 42,424 hours of volunteer service. Arbors donated $512,560 to their communities. Learn more about arbors.