The Bible and Literature Missionary Foundation was born that day with a goal and a vision to print New Testaments and whole Bibles as soon as the funds could be raised to purchase the necessary equipment. Up to and until that time, we had been limited to printing Gospel tracts, pocket size Gospels of John, and the individual book of Romans. Realizing the necessity of having someone on the road to raise support of this new ministry, Pastor Lemmon resigned his church in 1970 to challenge churches to help us financially. The verbal response was positive, but the financial response was slow! It is very likely that we could have accomplished so much more and much earlier given the funds, but most pastors were very skeptical about a church printing Bibles. Bro. Lemmon's response was, "You are exactly right, one church by itself cannot, but together WE can!" We thank and praise the Lord for those pastors and Christian friends who caught a vision early, and were willing to get involved. As a result of their faith and generosity, BLMF was finally able to get off the ground, enabling us to print our first New Testament in 1972 and first whole Bible in 1978.
God had actually planted the seed for this ministry in Bob Lemmon's heart twenty-four years earlier in 1944, while he was serving as a chaplain's assistant in WWII. His becoming a chaplain's assistant is an interesting story and miracle within itself! He was also greatly influenced by Dr. J. Frank Norris and his time with the First Baptist Church and Seminary. This gave him the opportunity to meet and get to know hundreds and hundreds of pastors across the States. After pastoring for nineteen years, and with twenty-four years of full-time Christian ministry, God provided a printer. It wasn't, however, until after Bob and Bobby had moved back to Fort Worth that everything came together. Immediately after getting moved and settled in at the Hemphill Baptist Temple, Bobby started printing letterhead, envelopes, and newsletters for their very dear friend and fellow laborer in the Lord, Don Fraser, the founder of the Bearing Precious Seed ministry out of Ft. Worth. Oddly enough, the fact that Bro. Fraser and the BPS ministry were there had not even played into the decision to move to Ft. Worth, but God seemed to have a purpose in it. The church in Memphis that Bob had started from scratch in 1951 and pastored for fifteen years had been one of the first churches to take the BPS ministry on for support in 1962. Bro. Bob Sr. had spent a considerable amount of time, effort, and energy in helping to introduce Bro. Fraser and the BPS ministry to other pastors. Now, for whatever reason, here we were in the same city just a few miles from each other!
From printing the BPS newsletters and materials, Bobby started printing Bible portions and tracts in Spanish and English to be distributed through BPS. Over the next six to eight months, that production grew to the point that it was taking most of Bobby's time. Bobby recalls, "God just pushed us into this ministry; we started out printing a few things to help Bro. Fraser and before we knew it, we were printing night and day, five and six days a week.” Believing that the Lord had brought us to this point and time for a purpose, one day Dad asked me the question, “Son, do you think the Lord would be pleased that we do this full time with the goal of printing New Testaments and whole Bibles?” My answer was a resounding yes, because the Lord had already spoken to my heart about it. In all of the years that I was growing up in our church, I remembered that there were always, regardless of the language or country, the same three requests from missionaries. Every missionary would request our prayers, financial support, and Bibles, New Testaments, tracts, and Christian literature to provide for their people. Bro. Fraser was going around to churches to raise money so that he could buy new Testaments and some Bibles when they could be found at a reasonable price from the commercial publishing companies. Dad said, "Bro. Don, that's not right! The church ought to be the one printing and publishing the Word of God!” That's when God spoke to Dad's heart and said, “That's right, Bob. What are you going to do about it?” Dad answered that call and spent the next 39 years of his life, until the Lord called him home, trying to raise enough money to send one more Bible to a missionary on some foreign mission field who was requesting Bibles for his people! As Dad answered the doubters of 43 years ago, “You're exactly right. One church can't, but together we can!”
What are you and your church doing to get the precious, verbally inspired, infallible, inerrant, pure, preserved, Holy and living Word of God to those who do not have it?