American Bible Society’s history of Scripture outreach to Service members

American Bible Society is celebrating 200 years of sharing God’s Word with America’s heroes! Since 1817, we have delivered nearly 60 million free Bible resources to America’s armed forces.

The mission of distributing Scriptures and engaging members of the military in God’s Word began on the deck of the USS John Adams in 1817. We distributed God’s Word to that spiritually hungry crew and never looked back.

Since that time, American Bible Society has served our American heroes in the Navy, Coast Guard, Army, Air Force, Marines and National Guard. God’s Word brought peace to Service Members in conflicts like the Mexican War, Civil War, World Wars … all the way up to the War on Terror.

Here are just a few of the testimonies of lives transformed over the years:

“I depended on American Bible Society to provide me with free Bibles and Bible engagement resources to help meet the significant spiritual needs of my soldiers and their families.” –Jim Shore*, Chaplain (Colonel) US Army, Retired

“(My ABS Bible) helped me become right with the Lord.” – Army soldier

“I listened to the Word of God. I realized God will help me in every situation. I asked God to wash all my iniquity and transgressions.” – Navy airman

“The Bibles (I received) reached out to more than 7,000 soldiers, sailors and airmen. This was helpful when I led two soldiers to Christ.” – Chaplain Bob Mann*

“Many soldiers are coming to the Lord, Jesus Christ, because of the worship services we are providing and the Bibles distributed.” – Chaplain Jack Carter*

“My soldiers have a very special and high stress mission. Life and death are a part of what they do every day. One wrong move can end their lives, and the thought of their own mortality must come up. Having resources that answer those questions and others are vital. Thank you for providing them.” – Chaplain Mike Smith*

“Due to an extreme lack of funding, God’s Word would not have been available to (service members) without American Bible Society.” – Chaplain Sean Gates*

American Bible Society is grateful for the opportunity to continue this 200-year legacy of sharing God’s Word with those who sacrifice so much to serve our nation through the military.

*All names changed to protect identity for safety.

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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