1946 Bible Reading Crusade

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The 1946 Bible Reading Crusade was a city-wide event promoted by the New York-based American Bible Society and its Atlanta, Georgia-based Haven Agency, which distributed bibles to African Americans.

The 1946 campaign in Birmingham was initiated by Haven Agency secretary Daniel Stanton, who had been spending weekends evangelizing in the city's 4th Avenue North black business district. He recruited A. G. Gaston to lead the local organizing efforts.

The kick-off for the crusade was May 12, with a goal of reaching 50,000 black residents, or roughly half the city's African American population, for a simultaneous reading of the Gospel of John. Through the efforts of local ministers and the Birmingham Negro Business League, as many as 101,800 copies of the gospel were printed and distributed across the city, including many that were distributed directly to mine and mill workers on the job.


  • Fea, John (2016) The Bible Cause: A History of the American Bible Society. Oxford University Press ISBN 0190253088