The Founder's Journey



Dr. Charles F. Keen

I was a kid of seven on the streets of Akron, Ohio, when I was introduced to the Akron Baptist Temple, where I received my first Bible in 1947. It was at this same church that Mary and I received salvation the second Sunday of October 1958. In 1960 I surrendered for full-time Christian service, and upon graduating in 1964 from Midwestern Baptist College in Pontiac, Michigan, I accepted a call to pastor the First Baptist Church of Milford, Ohio, where I spent the next 35 years of my ministry life. (1964-1999).

The chronology of my ministry life in Bible publishing is as follows:

BEARING PRECIOUS SEED In 1973 while pastoring in Milford, I was convinced it was God's will for the local church to be a custodian of His Word (Col. 4:16). That conviction resulted in starting a ministry called Bearing Precious Seed out of First Baptist Church of Milford. Obviously, this was a big step. Men like Carlos Demarest and Sam Caudill were at my side, and the church was a willing partner. The founding principle of BPS was to provide Scriptures to missionaries ministering in places where there was a shortage of God's Word in written form.

FIRST BIBLE INTERNATIONAL In 1999 I was made aware of what I considered to be a larger problem than a shortage of Bibles: 6000 nations (people groups) in the world without any Bible in written form in their mother tongue. This fact so moved me that I resigned my pastorate of 35 years and gave myself to work on this problem full-time, establishing a ministry called First Bible International, with the goal of getting a Bible to those who had never one.

THE GREAT COMPANY OF PUBLISHERS In 2007 I saw the underlying problem in all our Bible work was the absence of Bible translations to print. Compounding that problem was the absence of translators, who are practically nonexistent in fundamentalism, and the reason, to my knowledge, is that there's not a bona-fide college with a curriculum designed to train translators. So we founded the Great Company of Publishers based upon Psalms 68:11, “…The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it.” GCP’s goal is to work on the Bible need at the translation level. We believe that until translators are being trained, the problem of the Bibleless people cannot be effectively addressed.

We invite you to join a growing parade of Christians that are seeing the need for Bible translating and printing for the unreached peoples of this world. You can join us by giving, going, and praying.

*Bearing Precious Seed and First Bible International are ministries under the authority of the First Baptist

Church of Milford, Ohio. The Great Company of Publishers is under the authority of the Calvary Baptist Church of Lakeland Florida.