Christian Retailing

IBS, STL announce merger plans Print Email
Wednesday, 17 January 2007 07:00 PM America/New_York

After three months of due diligence, the International Bible Society (IBS) and Send The Light (STL) announced plans this week to merge, forming one of the largest not-for-profit literature organizations in the world.

“The blending of these organizations is a powerful combination,” said Keith Danby, CEO of STL. “It's not often that two ministries can come together with the potential to have such far reaching global impact for the cause of Christ and the Bible.”

Following the completion of the merger, Danby will assume the position of Global CEO for the blended organization. The boards of both organizations agreed to work toward a March 1 official merger date.

“This is a momentous occasion in the world of international ministry,” said Mike Richards Sr., acting CEO of IBS. “For nearly 200 years, IBS has worked to reach people with Scripture. Now we're entering the next era in our history-an era filled with even greater opportunity to share God's Word with a world in need of its message.”

The merged organization will be called IBS-STL and will have operations in the United States, the United Kingdom, India, Asia, Africa, Latin America and other parts of the world. IBS-STL will also combine Bible translation, Bible and Christian book publishing and global distribution.

Founded in 1809, IBS, one of the world's largest translators and distributors of Scripture, began its ministry in New York City, providing Scriptures to immigrants, hospital patients, the Armed Forces and churches. Based in Colorado Springs, Colo., IBS is also the copyright holder of the New International Version, the world's most widely read contemporary English translation of the Bible.

George Verwer founded STL in 1957, when he was at Moody Bible Institute. He moved to the United Kingdom in 1962 with a passion for literature evangelism. In 1963, he founded Operation Mobilization (OM), which now operates in 110 countries. In 1993, OM released STL to operate as a separate organization, concentrating on the publishing, distribution and retailing of Christian resources.

In July 2005, STL increased its U.S. presence with the purchase of Appalachian Distributors. Based in Waynesboro, Ga., STL is a subsidiary of Send The Light Ltd., with headquarters in Carlisle, England, the largest English-language distributor of Christian resources in Europe.

Read the full report on the merger in the March 5 issue of Christian Retailing.