Our History

Bibles International is the Bible Society of Baptist Mid-Missions, an independent Baptist mission agency based in Cleveland, Ohio. Since its beginning in 1920, Baptist Mid-Missions has grown to hundreds of workers serving in multiple countries, focusing especially on evangelism, church planting and development, and church leadership training.

In their church-planting efforts, Baptist Mid-Missions workers saw the need for a Bible in the language of the people to whom they ministered, and often they attempted to do the translating themselves. But adding time for translation to their already demanding responsibilities was frustratingly overwhelming. In 1981, Baptist Mid-Missions felt led by God to establish their own Bible society to come alongside BMM workers and others of like faith and provide the expertise necessary to accurately translate the Bible. Dr. and Mrs. Paul and Genella Versluis were asked to take on this fledgling ministry, which began in the basement of their home in Grand Rapids. God began adding capable, godly people, including nationals, to the team and the ministry has been growing ever since. The headquarters remains in Grand Rapids where BI began, but affiliate offices are now located in other parts of the world.

We give thanks to God for His provision of personnel, funds, and safe travels through the years. With the cooperation of national churches we have published several complete Bibles and New Testaments, and many smaller portions which represent continuing translation projects. We have also published many literacy primers, accompanying teachers' manuals, and Old Testament Bible storybooks. We have also produced writers' handbooks for various languages.

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Eternity will reveal the fruit of the vision and labor of our founder Dr. Paul Versluis (1924-2011) and his co-workers, the first translation and literacy consultant Dr. Henry Osborn (1924-2011), and the first projects manager Fred Carlson. Many lives are touched by the Word of God as BI staff and national workers labor together to provide a good translation of the Bible in the languages of many people groups, some receiving the Word of God for the first time.

May He allow Bibles International to continue spreading the Word to the far corners of the earth until Christ returns!

Enjoy reading about the first 36 years of our history in The Lord Gave the Word.

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