One Million Bibles: A Crossway Global Initiative

Help Provide God's Word Where It's Needed Most

$936,996 raised of $1,250,000

Phases Phase 1 - $500,000 Phase 2 - $1,250,000

A Plentiful Harvest

Do you remember the moment when you received your first Bible? What did it mean to you, and how did it help you grow in your faith and knowledge of God? Many of us received our first Bible as children—maybe so early that we can’t remember not owning one.

Getting the Bible into the hands of a child can be instrumental in their trusting Christ as Savior, and subsequently their growth in discipleship throughout their lives. But Bibles are difficult to access in regions like Africa, which will approach a population of one billion children in the coming years.1 If these children don’t have access to God’s Word, how are they to come to believe (Rom. 10:14)?

The Future of the Church: Africa

For the church to flourish and the gospel to faithfully pass from one generation to the next, God’s people must invest in the discipleship of young believers around the world:

If we care about the future of the church—the future of the church is in Africa, because the next generation of the church is going to be there—then we ought to help them by providing Bibles, study Bibles, and sound doctrine. We should flood the continent with God’s Word. —Karen Elliott, Executive Director of the Rafiki Foundation

Demand for the most fundamental resource—Bibles—among children is outpacing supply. But getting a copy of God’s Word into the hands of a child has the potential to make an eternal impact:

The importance of a child having access to read a Bible begins with a very basic reason: the only way a child will come to know God is through the Scriptures. Yes, it is helpful for us to tell them Bible stories and give them books offering a biblical theology of the whole Bible, but at the end of the day what they need is the holy, inspired Word of God in their hands. The more we familiarize children not with summarized lessons about the Bible, but with the actual Bible, the better off it will be for them. We don’t want to raise up a generation that is Bible illiterate or gospel illiterate. To avoid this we must start early. —Ken Mbugua, Pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church, Nairobi, Kenya

For churches and communities in the Global South to flourish spiritually, children need direct access to God’s Word.

The Opportunity

We invite you to partner with us in our ongoing effort to distribute one million ESV Bibles around the world. Our focus in Phase 2 is to freely distribute Bibles to children and families throughout the Global South, especially on the continent of Africa. By partnering with the Rafiki Foundation, Awana International, and other organizations serving in the Global South, our goal is to provide the Word of God to 100,000 children who may otherwise not have access to their own Bibles. To resource Phase 2 of this initiative, our goal is to raise $500,000 by June 30, 2023.

Every $50 you give puts Bibles into the hands of ten children. These children represent the next generation of the global church. Would you prayerfully consider a gift to help distribute God’s Word to these young people?

The Result

We rejoice that, through the gifts of so many faithful partners, God has provided funding for the initial printing, delivery, and distribution of more than 125,000 Bibles. Pastor German Banda recently received a shipment of 500 ESV Bibles to his village in Lusaka, Zambia. He shared this update:

What a grace from the Lord these Bibles are, and for all these souls to receive the Word of God at no cost to us. Surely, it is our prayer that as they read the Bible a miracle of salvation will manifest itself in many hearts. We would like to express our gratitude for these Bibles. More gatherings have been planned to distribute Bibles, which are distributed after the gospel is shared.

God’s Word is life-giving and powerful. Through the Bible, Christians grow in their understanding of God and salvation and are equipped to share the Good News with others.

Through the Bible, children grow as disciples of Jesus and continue to share this good news with the next generation. Would you partner with us to give children in need the most valuable thing this world affords?


  1. UN News. “‘Imagine the potential of one billion children;’ UNICEF urges investment as Africa’s youth population surges.” Africa Renewal, October 26, 2017.


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How Fast is Africa's Population Growing?

“The question is not, will there be a church in Africa? The question is, what kind of church will it be? . . . [This] frames our work as God’s people around the world. . . ."

One Million Bibles: Phase 1 Goal Met

More than 100,000 additional Bibles will be printed, delivered, and distributed by partners around the world in the coming months.

Frequently Asked Questions

What types of Bibles will be distributed as part of this campaign?

Crossway is planning to distribute English language ESV study Bibles as well as a variety of ESV editions featuring other content or just the Bible text.

Are there other ways I can give to this initiative (e.g., wire transfer, cash, stocks, etc.?)

Crossway is providing a number of ways for supporters to give to this initiative. We can receive gifts of stock, monthly giving, planned giving, employer-matched giving, wire transfers, and phone, mail, or email.

If you have questions regarding Crossway’s ability to receive your donation, please contact us at

How much of my donation will go toward Bible distribution?

100% of your gift will be used for the specific purpose of funding the distribution of 1 million Bibles, with Crossway covering all administrative costs.

Your gift of $50 could provide 10 Bibles to a rural church where members are sharing copies. $100 could equip 20 pastors with study Bibles so they can faithfully understand and preach God’s Word. $1,000 or more could provide Bibles to an entire church network and help make it possible for a community to sustain its own Bible distribution in future years.

How will Crossway choose the recipients of these Bibles?

Crossway has a large number of close ministry partnerships around the world, and will deliver many of these Bibles into the hands of recipients through these trusted networks. We will focus on the areas we and our ministry partners identified as having the greatest immediate need.

What countries or parts of the world will receive Bibles through this initiative?

We anticipate distribution in dozens of English-speaking countries and territories, especially in Africa and Asia.

When will distribution of the Bibles begin, and when will distribution be completed?

The first distribution projects funded by this initiative are already being planned and will begin in early 2023. Bibles will be distributed on an ongoing basis as funds are received during the course of the campaign. Our goal is for the distribution of all Bibles to be completed by the end of 2026.

Will all Bibles be given away, or will any be sold?

The vast majority of these Bibles will be given away for free. However, in some communities, the most strategic way to meet the need for God’s Word is through assistance in building sustainable Bible distribution markets. Christians in these communities can afford to pay something for a Bible, and ministry partners on the ground are investing in the network infrastructure needed to sell and distribute Bibles at low, locally-appropriate prices for years to come.

In these communities, Crossway will provide Bibles at our manufacturing cost (no margin) and will use a portion of donated funds to underwrite shipping costs. This will enable our ministry partners in these regions to resell Bibles at affordable prices to those who desperately need a Bible, and to invest their proceeds toward distributing more Bibles.

Will Crossway profit from the sale of Bibles subsidized by this initiative?

Crossway will not profit from the sale of any Bibles subsidized by this initiative. We will sell Bibles at our manufacturing cost to ensure our partners can resell these Bibles at the most affordable prices possible.


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(630) 682-4300
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Wheaton, IL 60187

Crossway is a not-for-profit Bible-based, gospel-centered ministry. It is tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. All gifts to Crossway are deductible to the full extent permitted by U.S. tax law. Your contributions are used to further the ministry of Crossway under the oversight and control of its Board of Directors.