During the 19th century, the missionary movement swept much of the world, leaving many new Christians in its wake. This movement created a greater need to make the Bible accessible to those new believers and drove the creation of a new type of organization that would distribute Bibles to all those who had a desire to have their own copy of God’s Word. These organizations became known as Bible societies.
In Maryland the call was heard and in April of 1810, a diverse group of Christian men met. They came from all walks of life but they shared the same passion. That year a butcher, a doctor, a teacher, a dry-goods merchant, a milliner, a stationer, a surveyor, a silk dryer, the Collector of the Port of Baltimore, the president of the Athenian Society, and a businessman from Bowley’s Wharf met with clergymen from the Baptist, Episcopal, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, and Swedenborgian churches to form the Baltimore Bible Society, now known as the Maryland Bible Society. It is the 3rd oldest Bible Society in the United States. The mission of MBS was ”to encourage the circulation, distribution, and printing of the Bible in all languages without note or comment.” For over 200 years, the Maryland Bible Society (MBS) has succeeded in not only delivering English language Bibles to our own citizens, but has also supplied Bibles in many languages to diverse peoples throughout the world.