Bermuda Bible Society: spreading the word of God
If you have access to a Bible, thank the Bermuda Bible Society for it.
The organisation was formed in 1955 with the aim of giving everyone the opportunity to have a Bible and engaging them with it.
Today their mission is to “spread the inspired word of God, the Bible through the dissemination of the scriptures and Bible material, to all who have need of it".
“Our early history shows that Canon Peter Evans, a long-serving priest of the St Paul’s Anglican Church, was responsible for the Bermuda Bible Society,” said the group’s president, Beverly Daniels.
“Upon his arrival in Bermuda in 1955, Canon Evans began conversations with others to develop the mission and work of the Bermuda Bible Society.”
In 1962 the Canadian Bible Society assumed responsibility for Bermuda although the local group has continued to function independently.
“We exist to distribute God’s word to as many people as possible in as many forms and mediums as possible,” Ms Daniels said. “As a result, over the period of time that we have existed many groups and institutions have been our beneficiaries.”
The society gifts Bibles to community organisations and assists churches with bulk ordering of Bibles for their pews.
“Gifts of Bibles to various groups have included Bibles for the visually impaired given to our friends at the former Beacon House, Bibles for the Bermuda Regiment soldiers and prison Bibles, for those incarcerated, are distributed by prison chaplains,” Ms Daniels added.
“You can imagine our joy and gratitude when we received a handwritten letter from an inmate, telling of his coming to faith in Christ as a direct result of receiving a Bible that we had sent.”
She continued: “More recently, in an effort to be a voice for those experiencing hardship and aiming to impact youth, we partnered with Gina Spence Productions to provide children’s Bibles in the care packets given to families impacted by recent gang violence.”
One of the society’s memorable occasions took place in 2019, when it was able to present every Member of Parliament with a Bible at the 75th annual Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast.
Ms Daniels has been a member of the Bermuda Bible Society for 11 years, having served as president for the last six of them.
“My involvement came at first as a supporter of the Bible Society, as I engaged in their sponsored activities and fundraisers when invited to do so by the then president, Mrs. Shirley White, a friend and colleague of mine,” she said.
“Later she encouraged me to become a member and then to take over the presidency following completion by Dr Erskine Simmons. As a woman of faith who had taught Bible courses to teens at my church, the Cedar Hill Salvation Army, I knew this was another way of extending my service to God.”
Ms Daniels praised the work of Dr Simmons, who continues to serve on the board.
“Dr Erskine Simmons was one of the members of the Progressive Movement involved in the Theatre Boycott. Former students at the Berkeley Institute know him as a renowned science teacher; while congregations in the AME church and around Bermuda know him as a minister of the gospel who still shares God's word with passion and conviction.
“The Bermuda Bible Society was very fortunate to have him as president for six years when he represented us both here in Bermuda and as a member of the board of governors for the Canadian Bible Society.”
The society’s board members hope to continue its work by improving its social media presence, thereby enabling it to “serve as an immediate resource” to those in need of spiritual encouragement. Another hope is for a return to more face-to-face Bible study activities within the community.
In the meantime, the society is expanding to include sign language with the assistance of new board member and trained interpreter for the deaf, Konnie Tucker.
On Thursday, the Bermuda Bible Society will host its Annual General Meeting on Zoom.
Guest speaker Rupen Das, the president of the Canadian Bible Society, will detail the organisation’s strategies for carrying out its “great commission” in these challenging times.
The Bermuda Bible Society’s AGM is open to the public. Join on Zoom with meeting ID: 832 1510 5314 and password: 860011