Our History

Here’s a timeline with some of the highlights from our years in ministry.

 

1899

  • Samuel Hill, John Nicholson and William Knights form an association of Christian traveling salesmen
  • Association named The Gideons and the official emblem designed

1900

  • First publication of The Gideon magazine

1901

  • Auxiliary formed for wives of Gideons

1908

  • First hotel Bibles placed

1910

  • Church presentations begun

1911

  • Canadian Gideons organized on a formal, national level
  • First hotel Bibles placed in Canada at King Edward Hotel, Toronto

1913

  • First international convention of Gideons held in Toronto

1918

  • First hospital Bibles placed in Canada at Victoria Hospital, London, Ontario

1923

  • Auxiliary organized in Canada for wives of Gideons

1927

  • First Bibles provided by Canadian Gideons internationally – King David Hotel, Jerusalem

1933

  • First Bibles placed in Canadian correctional institutions

1936

  • First Bibles in Canadian public schools

1938

  • Bibles placed on Trans Canada Airlines

1939

  • Scriptures placed in army camps

1941

  • Personal Testament distribution to armed forces approved

1946

  • Grade 5 student personal distributions begin

1949

  • The Gideons International organized in forty-three countries
  • New Testaments given to student nurses

1957

  • University distribution of personal New Testaments begins

1958

  • First Bibles placed in medical and dental offices

1968

  • Gideon Scripture taken into space on Apollo 8

1972

  • First distributions to college students

1973

  • French Scriptures produced for Québec

1974

  • Collection of Memorial and Sympathy cards (SOW Bible Plan) unveiled

1976

  • Nurse Testament program begins

1978

  • First Scripture blitz as part of The Gideons International

1982

  • Sidewalk distributions to youth begins

2008

  • Testament Insert Program with local churches initiated
  • Gideon Expressions card collection unveiled for easy donor use

2011

  • Canadian association becomes autonomous; celebrates 100th anniversary
  • New Living Translation adopted for English Scriptures
  • First international Scripture distribution campaign (Peru)

2012

  • Definition of Gideon membership amended
  • Launch of NewLife app
  • First publication of Scripture magazine format (Hope)

2013

  • Launch of SendMe youth program

2014

  • Launch of Global Church Partnership Plan

2015

  • Launch of our international arm, ShareWord Global