International Bible Society (IBS) and Send the Light (STL) have announced their plans to merge the organizations following a three-month due diligence period.
IBS is one of the world's largest translators and distributors of Scripture, while STL is a leading global distributor of Christian literature.
"The blending of these organizations is a powerful combination," said Keith Danby, CEO of STL. "It's not often that two ministries can come together with the potential to have such far-reaching global impact for the cause of Christ and the Bible."
Following the completion of the merger, Danby will assume the position of Global CEO for the blended organization.
The boards of both organizations agreed to work towards March 1, 2007 as the official merger date. "This is a momentous occasion in the world of international ministry," said Mike Richards, Sr., Acting CEO of IBS.
"For nearly 200 years, IBS has worked to reach people with Scripture. Now we're entering the next era in our history – an era filled with even greater opportunity to share God's Word with a world in need of its message."
"We haven't yet worked out all of the details," said David Passman, U.S. CEO for STL, "but we do know that STL and IBS can do more together than apart. This is truly a case of one plus one equals three."
The merged organization will be called IBS-STL and will have operations in the U.S., U.K., India, Asia, Africa, Latin America, and other parts of the world.
In addition, it will combine the core competencies of Bible translation, Bible and Christian book publishing and global distribution into one of the largest and most far-reaching Christian literature agencies in the world.
"I'm humbled by the opportunity to lead this new ministry. Our prayer is that together the reach and impact of God's Word and other Christian materials that introduce people to Jesus Christ will be extended beyond our wildest imagination," Danby added.
"There are many areas that still have to be clarified as the two organizations come together, but these details will be worked out as we conduct a strategic review in the coming weeks and months, and as our respective staff get together to begin the logistics of merging," Richards said.
Founded in 1809, IBS began its ministry in New York City, providing Scriptures in hotel rooms, to immigrants, hospital patients, the Armed Forces, and churches. Since its founding, IBS has distributed countless millions of Scriptures to people on every continent. IBS is also the copyright holder of the New International Version (NIV), the world's most widely read contemporary English translation of the Bible. IBS is currently headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colo.
STL was founded by George Verwer in 1957 when he was at Moody Bible Institute. He moved to the U.K. in 1962 with a passion for literature evangelism. In 1963, he founded Operation Mobilisation (OM), which now operates in 110 countries around the world. In 1993, OM released STL to operate as a separate organization, concentrating on the publishing, distribution and retailing of Christian resources.