THE HISTORY of local BAPTIST Church Bible publishing in America
Somewhere in church history, the doctrinal position of Scripture printing was lost. Throughout the Old Testament, scribes faithfully copied the Word of God for future generations. The early church carried on this tradition until the mid-15th century when Johannes Gutenberg invented the movable type printing press.
This breakthrough proved to be a blessing and a snare. On one hand, it was now economically advantageous to reproduce many copies of Scripture. Yet, for some reason, the church abdicated this sacred task to the secular world. Eventually, commercialism was the factor behind Bible printing and the WORLD’S PUBLISHING COMPANIES started SELLINGcopies of the WORD OF GOD back to the church!
Dr. Don Fraser is the originator of the “Bearing Precious Seed” concept of Local Church Publishing. The words, Bearing Precious Seed do not signify an organization; but a BIBLICAL concept.
The BIBLICAL concept: “to put Bible publication back into the hands of the local New Testament church”. It is “a ministry of local BAPTIST churches working together to publish God’s Word for worldwide FREE distribution to Independent Baptist missionaries”.
Dr. Don Frazer (1926 - 2003)
Dr. Don Frazer (1926 – 2003) of Bowie, Texas, was the man with the original vision for the Bearing Precious Seed concept in 1962. Dr. Frazer didn't like being called the founder of Bearing Precious Seed… he saw himself as the “modern day initiator” of a work which dates back through the centuries. It was he that renewed this scriptural vision and began teaching these principles to men of GOD who were willing to base their work on the Bible rather than on a traditional methodology. Dr. Frazier’s burden was to get the pure Scriptures into the hands of missionaries around the world, and he understood that it is the Biblical RESPONSIBILITY of local New Testament churches, not commercial Bible publishers, who were to do it. The local New Testament church; the pillar and ground of truth according to I Timothy 3:15…YES, printing and publishing Scriptures through the Local New Testament church is scriptural!
The following is a quote from an historical record of Local Church Printing:
“In 1962 Bro. Donald M. Frazier went to Mexico to begin a mission work to reach the areas that had never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ. On that trip he witnessed with his own eyes the tremendous need for Bibles on the foreign fields. He came home with a great burden for the people of the world who did not have access, either because of poverty, or the unavailability of the Word of God. Because of this burden he began to go out to Independent Baptist Churches to raise funds to furnish free Bibles to the people of Mexico, at first, then to other areas of the world. At first he called the work ‘Send the Word of God Abroad’. He was given an office at his home church, Rolling Hills Baptist Church, from which to operate. One night as he was working in his office he began to pray. He was seeking the leadership of the Holy Spirit concerning the work he was doing. As he cried out to the Lord, he said, ‘Lord, what is this that is happening, what am I doing?’ Bro. Frazier said that he did not hear an audible voice answer him, but in his mind came the words, ‘You are BEARING PRECIOUS SEED’. Reaching for his concordance he looked up the passage in Psalm 126:6, “He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” From that moment forward the work became known as Bearing Precious Seed.”
The First INDEPENDENT BAPTIST Church to Print Scriptures
Brother Bobby Lemmon working in his home church, Hemphill Baptist Temple of Ft. Worth, TX was the first to produce scripture as a Bearing Precious Seed Ministry. Bro. Lemmon Sr. and his son Bobby Jr. operate the Bible & Literature Missionary Foundation of Shelbyville, Tennessee.
Dr. Charles Keen who is probably the best known of all men in the Scripture printing ministry. It was Dr. Keen, the former Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church, Milford, OH, who led his church to start a scripture printing ministry in 1973. They have printed millions of John/Romans Booklets, New Testaments, and whole Bibles for mission works worldwide.
NOW, over these past thirty-five [35+] years other churches, whether with roll presses and/or sheet fed presses, are printing the Scriptures - scripturally. Some of these churches use the name “Bearing Precious Seed”; while others may name their LOCAL CHURCH printing ministry something different…i.e.: Lighthouse Baptist Press Ministry of Rapid City, South Dakota…yet these Local Church printing ministries adhere to the same scriptural principles set forth by Brother Don Frazer at the inception of Local Baptist Church printing.
The following is a listing of the LOCAL BAPTIST CHURCHES which Over The Years, have had high volume production print shops:
Berean Baptist Church, Indianapolis, Indiana (started in 1977);