Who We Are
The Women’s Bible Society of New York is one of the oldest Christian organizations in continuous operation in the State of New York.
The Society began in 1816 amid economic downturn and escalating immigration following the War of 1812. On Saturday, May 11, 1816, nearly 400 women met at City Hall, having founded The New York Female Auxiliary Bible Society.
The earliest efforts of the New York Female Auxiliary Bible Society focused on visitation of the poor and the provision of Bibles. As the city expanded, it became impossible to accomplish the work solely by volunteers, and Bible Readers, an idea adapted from The London Bible Mission, were hired.
Today, the Women’s Bible Society of New York continues its ministry of proclaiming and providing God’s timeless Word through the work of its transit campaigns, camp scholarships, ministry partners, and events.
A longstanding tradition of the Society, membership allows our broader audience to participate in our ministries and partner in our mission of spreading God’s eternal Word to the people of New York. By joining the Society through membership, you become part of our long legacy of proclaiming God’s Word in the city for nearly 200 years:
1816 - Four hundred women — sisters, wives, and mothers of the founders of American Bible Society — took on the distribution and teaching of the Bible as the New York Female Auxiliary Bible Society.
1830s - Churches began to aid in this effort in the city-wide gospel effort.
1861 - The first Bible Reader was hired. Records show that during the first two weeks more than 450 families were visited.
1861-65 - Bibles were given to soldiers during the Civil War.
1870s-1890s - An increased number of Bible Readers reached out to immigrants. One Bible Reader reported the distribution of scriptures in seventeen different languages in one month.
1877 - Incorporated as a women’s Bible society.
1900s - Support of Christian organizations expanded our reach to children, teens, college and international students, United Nations delegates, the hospitalized, Russian immigrants, and others.
1994 - Added public transit campaigns to share scripture and offer free Bibles, partnering with city churches.