From 1908 to 1940, The Gideons International placed Bibles only in hotels and motels. Then one Gideon had an idea of creating a pocket-size New Testament, adding Proverbs and Psalms, and handing it out to members of the military.
In January of 1941, the International Cabinet of The Gideons International approved the decision to supply the Armed Forces with copies of God’s Word. Acting wholly in faith, the Cabinet ordered 50,000 Testaments.
In December, some of the first Service Testaments were distributed to members of the armed forces at Pearl Harbor. Who other than our Lord could have known at that time how perfect the timing of the distribution of these New Testaments was?
On December 7th, Pearl Harbor was bombed. Over 2,000 people were killed, including 2008 from the Navy, 109 from the Marines and 228 from the Army. Plus over a thousand people were wounded.
Today, working through military chaplains, Gideons ship hundreds of thousands of New Testaments to military installations all around the world. Within the United States, Gideons offer God’s Word to reserve forces and the National Guard as they train and mobilize. Gideons also present these New Testaments to military nurses and members of the National Guard and Reservists called out on active duty. A Gideon or military chaplain personally hands each New Testament to a soldier.
Over 48.6 million Service Testaments have been distributed to military personnel through The Gideons International.*
To all of our members and donors, thank you for allowing God to use you to provide Scriptures to military men and women. And to those who serve in the military, thank you for protecting our country, our freedom and our right to worship our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
*As of May 31, 2010