The American Bible Society has nearly 200 years of history sharing and distributing the Word of God around the globe for the benefit of supporting Christians’ faith and evangelizing its timeless message to others just beginning to learn about its message. The society was founded in 1816 by Elias Boudinot and made its first donation of Bibles the following year. John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the United States, was its president from 1821-1828. Other notable leaders and advancements included former New York City Mayor Richard Varick as president from 1828-1831 and Frances Snow Hamilton being named the society’s agent in Mexico in 1905, the first woman to hold such a position. The society also established a branch for African-Americans in Atlanta in 1901 and has openly reached out to minorities and diverse cultures worldwide. In recent years it has developed Bibles in American Sign Language, a variety of Native American languages and hundreds of other languages around the globe. Included in this outreach and creative presentation of the Bible was the release last year of the Poverty and Justice Bible which highlights the frequent directions for Christians to reach out a hand to the needy. “While nothing should ever in any way diminish the central Gospel message written large across the pages of Scripture, I see thematic Bibles as a good way to open up and get better access to important areas of application found in the Word of God,” said American Bible Society CEO Lamar Vest. The American Bible Society is affiliated with seven mission partners including Samaritan’s Purse and United Bible Societies, which spreads the Gospel worldwide through its 145 member organizations. The American Bible Society’s approach to ministry is broad and creative. Among the American Bible Society’s current initiatives:
- A national Scripture campaign that serves churches with customized Bible resources and reaches younger generations with digital technology.
- Helping victims of catastrophic events, prisoners and at-risk children find comfort in God’s Word.
- Bringing the Bible to people in China, India, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.
- Ministering to soldiers, veterans and their families, through military chaplains, with Scripture resources created to meet their spiritual needs for strength and healing.
- Engaging Catholics through the ancient method of praying with Scriptures, Lectio Divina. Reaching out to survivors of war in such areas as theDemocratic Republic of Congo.