200 Years of God’s Faithfulness

A photo journal documents the watershed moments from American Bible Society's 200-year history.

American Bible Society celebrated its bicentennial anniversary on May 12, 2016, thanks to generations of generous financial partners and the abiding faithfulness of God. These snapshots from the past show how God has worked through American Bible Society throughout 200 years of ministry. While much has changed in the world since 1816, one thing has remained the same: God’s unfailing Word.


Since distributing 65 Bibles to sailors on the U.S.S. John Adams in 1817, American Bible Society has provided nearly 60 million free Bibles and Bible resources to military members and their families. This photo shows service members in World War I.


American Bible Society’s founders included passionate leaders of the emerging nation. Elias Boudinot (1740– 1821), the founding president of American Bible Society, also served as president of the Continental Congress and director of the U.S. Mint.


American Bible Society distributed Bibles in African American communities in the post-Reconstruction Era.


As the United States expanded, American Bible Society’s reach expanded too. Here, American Bible Society members Mr. and Mrs. Bowie and their dog Ted distribute Bibles from the Pacific Agency, which was headquartered in San Francisco.


The full Good News Bible was published by American Bible Society in 1976. Artist Annie Vallotton (1915–2013) illustrated the Bible, which was originally called “Good News for Modern Man.”


Making God’s Word available in a format everyone can understand is a guiding aspect of American Bible Society’s mission. Here Helen Keller sits with American Bible Society’s first Braille Bible. When American Bible Society presented the standard Braille copy of the Bible to Keller in 1931, she gifted American Bible Society with her raised-letter Bible from 1908.


After 9/11, American Bible Society published and distributed the Scripture Portion “God Is Our Shelter and Strength,” which offered spiritual comfort in the aftermath of the trauma. Here former American Bible Society President Eugene Habecker hands out the Scripture Portions at Ground Zero.


Today, God is continuing to work through American Bible Society and its partners to accelerateBible translation, help people in the U.S. engage with Scripture through relevant cultural channels, including social media, and bring the healing power of God’s Word through Bible-based trauma healing to those who have experienced great pain.

Thanks to the support of our faithful financial partners, American Bible Society has been engaging people with the life-changing message of God’s Word for more than 200 years.

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