After a year of discussion and surrendering their ideas to the
Lord, Bible League International (BLI) and World Bible Translation
Center (WBTC) announced on Friday their plans to merge in an effort to
deepen their impact and ministry around the world.
“We began to understand that if any of us in the Christian
ministry world are going to be successful it will not be on our own.
It has to be through partnership,” President and CEO of Bible
League International Robert Frank told Charisma News.
The decision to merge came as a result of a unanimous vote by both
Historically BLI has provided training materials and has worked
through networks of churches and other community organizations around
the world in 63 countries to get the Word of God in the hands of
people in order to bring them into fellowship with Christ and His
church. For more than 30 years, WBTC has provided accurate
translations of God’s Word into various languages of the world.
As Frank sees it, the two organizations have complimentary
“The decision [for WBTC] to merge with our organization was
really based on the commonality of what we do,” explains Frank.
“When we looked at the two organizations we said, ‘You know, we
compliment one another.’ WBTC does not have a global footprint but
they have products. Bible League has the global footprint but does
not have the ability to develop product.”
Although mission and impact are the main reasons for the merge, on
the heels of that comes a more attractive donor community. Frank
explains that a common denominator for many today is the economy.
“The investor community is saying, ‘OK, at one point in time I
supported five of six agencies with my gift. Now I’ve only got the
ability to support one or two agencies with my gift. What gives the
biggest impact? Where am I going to have the biggest impact with my
“The way you’re going to have the biggest impact with your
dollar is working with organizations that cover a multiplicity of
programs and a multiplicity of ministry fields.” Frank sees the
merge of these two ministries doing just that.
World Bible Translation Center President Eric Fellman believes
partnership is the only way to be effective today because he sees God
moving in a new way in the 21st century. Fellman reflects on a
well-known prayer of Jesus in John 17, where He prays both present
believers and all future believers may be one.
“I like to say Jesus’ method of evangelism was oneness and I
have the sense that He’s drawing us all together instead of being
separated by the entrepreneurial individualized ideas. He’s drawing
us together in Him on many different levels.”
Each organization will maintain their specific brand and entity
for the time being—BLI will continue to be based in Illinois while
WBTC will remain in Texas. There will be some blending of
responsibilities and oversight down the road, but as it stands now,
the two will remain status quo.
Bible League International was founded on a “ridiculous prayer”
that was lifted up in 1936. Now, 75 years later, these merging
ministries are not shy to lift up in prayer, what some may say are
“I think what would seem ridiculous to some people is the impact
that we want to have,” says Frank. “Oftentimes people get hung up
on traditionalism and they look at new things and new approaches as
being totally ridiculous and not applicable to do. And our prayer is
that people will accept this idea of merger, that people will accept
this idea of new product and that we’ll be able to reach people that
before have not been able to be touched in traditional means.”
World Bible Translation Center will will function as a ministry of
the parent organization Bible League International beginning Sept. 1.