105 Years Of Placing Bibles In Hotels

This week we celebrate the 105th anniversary of our first order for hotel Bibles, which was placed with The Gideons International on November 9, 1908.

That first placement was funded by Archie Bailey, who was a Gideon and a regular guest at the Superior Hotel in Superior, Montana. He approached the operator of the hotel and asked for permission to place Bibles in rooms. Permission was granted, and Mr. Bailey placed an order for 25 copies of God’s Word with The Gideons International. He covered the cost of the Scriptures with a personal contribution.

Today, Gideons and Auxiliary distribute and place Scriptures in a number of approved areas such as schools, college campuses, prisons, hospitals and medical facilities. But hotel Bibles are what most people think of when they think of Gideons.

How Do The Bibles Get Into Hotels?

Hotels may contact their local Gideons to request Scriptures for their guest rooms, or in some cases, Gideons may first contact the hotels. There is no charge to the hotels, as the Scriptures are funded through donations to The Gideons International. Gideons personally deliver the Scriptures to the hotel for placement in each of the rooms. Gideons also check hotels for worn Scriptures that need to be replaced.

During the early days of the hotel Scripture placements, some hotel owners had to be sold on the value of having Bibles in their guest rooms. However, hoteliers today understand that this is a convenience many guests expect.

Each year more than a million Scriptures are placed in hotels through The Gideons International. A single copy of God’s Word in a hotel or motel room has the potential to touch up to 2,300 lives during its six-year life span. Over the years, we’ve received many testimonies from individuals who checked into a hotel and, as a result of reading a Bible placed there by the Gideons, came to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Some of these testimonies were from people who had checked into a room at the end of their hope.

We thank God, as well as our members and donors, for making it possible for us to reach the hearts of so many through the placement of His Word.

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