Digital Bible ministry reaches 100 million landmark

Faith Comes By Hearing started as a small tape lending library in 1972. Today it is engaging believers and newcomers to the faith around the world with its Bible apps.

Back in its early days the ministry was known as Hosanna and provided audio Bibles to a largely US audience.

In the mid-80s, it started to spread its reach to other parts of the world with the start of audio Scripture recordings into different languages.

The latter decades of the 20th century saw the shift from tapes to CDs and a solar-powered digital device the ministry called the Proclaimer.

In this pre-digital chapter of Faith Comes By Hearing, the organisation estimates it reached around 50 million people with its audio scriptures.

The first decade of the new millennium saw yet another dramatic shift in technology and engagement with the arrival of digital media.

Three years ago, Faith Comes By Hearing sought to match this shift with the launch of its Digital Bible Platform, providing free access to digital audio Bible recordings through streaming, podcasts, and apps for mobile devices. The site also features videos from the Jesusfilm.

The latest edition to the ministry's family of apps offers Scriptures for the deaf and the ever-expanding catalogue now includes Bible recordings in over 700 languages.

This year, Faith Comes By Hearing saw the number of people accessing its resources cross the 100 million mark.

"I remember starting out in ministry by handing out pamphlets on the street to people who passed by. We never knew if anyone really read them or if it got them to read their Bible," states Jerry Jackson, founder and president of FCBH.

"But now we can actually see when someone interacts with God's Word – what language they are listening to and how long they are listening, or how long they are viewing a video. It's certainly an exciting time to be laboring in the field of Great Commission work."

Jackson knows, however, that the work is not yet done. That won't happen until God's Word is available in a format that can be used by every nation, tribe and tongue.

"This job will only be completed by the Body of Christ – the church – coming together and working together to fulfill the command to 'go into all the world and proclaim the gospel'," he said.

"This is our work, and we are honored to stand side-by-side with our countless partners throughout the world who are committed to completing the task."