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History

history

In 1894, our founder, D. L. Moody, got fed up with the lack of affordable Christian books. Determined to make evangelical reading materials available to everyone—including the poor and imprisoned—he formed the Bible Institute Colportage Association (BICA). By creating an innovative printing strategy, he was able to sell books very inexpensively, beginning with All of Grace by Charles Spurgeon. That first book is still in our line over 125 years later.

D. L. Moody died in December 1899. At the time of his death, the Bible Institute Colportage Library had over 80 titles in its catalog. By then, the small books had increased in price from 10 to 15 cents per copy—the goal being to give the wagon-driving booksellers (called “colporters”) a higher commission. Colporters either rode on horseback or had horse-drawn wagons—selling Christian books all around the city and the country. Even at 15 cents, these books were still sold for about one-third the price of other paperbacks on the market!

By the time BICA became Moody Press (later changing our name to Moody Publishers) in 1941, almost 34 million copies of sermons, Bible teaching, doctrinal books, and New Testaments had been published, and over 43 million gospel tracts had been distributed. In over eight decades since, Moody Publishers has distributed more than 300 million books in over 71 languages and 130 countries around the world.

With an unwavering commitment to our founder’s vision—making Christian growth materials available to everyone—Moody Publishers continues to publish books and resources that glorify God, serve the church’s work of discipling all people, and make Jesus Christ known throughout the world.