Celebrating a Night of Faith and Liberty

American Bible Society welcomes hundreds of distinguished guests to historic Philadelphia for its inaugural Faith and Liberty Gala.

“Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.”

Leviticus 25:10

On the evening of Thursday, September 23, 2021, American Bible Society welcomed hundreds of distinguished guests and financial partners to the National Constitution Center in historic Philadelphia for its inaugural Faith and Liberty Gala.

The evening served as a vibrant celebration of the newly opened Faith and Liberty Discovery Center, the Bible’s influence on the American story, and the modern-day Changemakers who are using the Bible’s message of hope and love to serve their local communities.

“In each generation, American Bible Society has innovated new ways to deliver the Bible to those who need it most,” said American Bible Society Board Chair Karen McDonald as she welcomed guests to the gala. “The Faith and Liberty Discovery Center was designed to be the launch pad for a movement of Bible-informed Changemakers bringing God’s love, hope, freedom, and justice to neighborhoods and cities across our nation.”

Following in the footsteps of our founders.

When American Bible Society President and CEO Robert L. Briggs took the stage, he declared that launching the Faith and Liberty Discovery Center fulfills the bold vision of the organization’s founding president, Elias Boudinot—a patriot who, despite his illustrious political career, believed that founding American Bible Society in 1816 was the most important thing he ever did for the United States of America.

“In the face of America’s many imperfections, Boudinot knew that the best course of action was to help ordinary men and women across our land engage with the life-changing message of the Bible for themselves—and then and be Changemakers in their own communities,” Briggs said. “Today, I can only imagine how excited Boudinot would be to see the Faith and Liberty Discovery Center planted right here in his hometown of Philadelphia—a guiding light for the nation that he founded, loved, and prayed for. Here, guests of all backgrounds, regardless of their beliefs, are discovering how Faith and Liberty influence our shared American values of Justice, Love, Hope, and Unity.”

Briggs also challenged gala attendees and all friends of American Bible Society to help finish the task of fully funding the $60 million Faith and Liberty Discovery Center.

Honoring Changemakers—past, present, and future.

In conjunction with the Faith and Liberty Gala, American Bible Society and the Faith and Liberty Discovery Center established the first annual Faith and Liberty Award, which honors exemplary American Changemakers who have demonstrated the biblical values of Faith, Liberty, Justice, Hope, Unity, and Love in their public service and pursuit of the common good.

The 2021 Faith and Liberty Award was presented to professor and author Arthur C. Brooks, whose stirring keynote address on overcoming political hatred through the practice of biblical love was met with a standing ovation from gala attendees.

“Dr. Brooks is one of our nation’s most prolific and insightful lights into how the Bible and faith are indispensable to form a free, virtuous, and happy American Republic,” says Rev. Alan Crippen, who is the Executive Director for American Bible Society’s Faith and Liberty Initiative. “It was our pleasure to present him with the Faith and Liberty Award!”

After Dr. Brooks’ keynote address, American Bible Society’s Senior Vice President for Ministry Impact Nicole Martin led a panel discussion on the Bible’s transformative role in America’s churches and cities with Rev. A. R. Bernard, whose leadership has guided the Christian Cultural Center to become New York’s largest and fastest-growing house of worship, and Dr. Ed Stetzer, an esteemed pastor, professor, researcher, and the Executive Director of the Wheaton College Billy Graham Center.

Throughout the gala, guests were treated to dramatic and musical performances from two stage productions produced in partnership with the Faith and Liberty Discovery Center: Penn: A New Musical, about the life of William Penn, and Sojourner in the White House, about the courageous abolitionist Sojourner Truth.

The evening concluded with an inspirational video and light show championing the nationwide spread of biblical truth needed to transform America.

Celebrating the impact of your generosity.

American Bible Society gives thanks to God for all the passionate prayer warriors and generous givers who made it possible to establish such a bold witness for the power of the Bible in America’s public square—both here in historic Philadelphia and in cities across our nation. Because of you, guests from all over the world are learning about the role of God’s Word in our nation’s history and considering the enduring importance of the Bible at the Faith and Liberty Discovery Center.

As American Bible Society’s Pat Murdock, who oversaw the planning and launch of the Faith and Liberty Discovery Center, put it, “None of this would have been possible without you: our generous partners, sponsors, and donors!”

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Jack Newman
Jack Newman

Jack Newman is a Senior Content Specialist for American Bible Society. He loves telling stories about the life-changing power of the gospel and the modern-day heroes who share God's Word where needed most. Jack lives in the Philadelphia suburbs with his wife and daughters.

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