History From its founding in 1816, the American Bible Society has grappled with the task of making the Word of God available to Christians and churches in America. From its earliest days, it has worked to provide scriptures to the men, and later women of the military, to local and international bible societies, and to translate the Holy Bible to other languages used by peoples in the United States so that they could not only possess scripture, but could understand its importance in their own lives.
Leaders Starting with a leader of the American Revolution, Elias Boudinot, John Jay, first Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, and going right down to the most recent president Lamar Vest, The American Bible Society has always been led by “true believers” in the Bible cause.
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John Thomas Manson was born August 30, 1861 in New Haven, Connecticut, the son of Magnus and Margaret (Mowett) Manson.
Mr. Manson brought to the work of the American Bible Society the benefit of wide experience in business and religious enterprises. He was president of the Yale National Bank, and a director of the Equitable Life Assurance Society of the US, the Industrial Finance Corporation and several other companies. He was also a trustee of Lafayette College and a director of the Princeton Theological Seminary and of the Board of Home Missions of the Presbyterian Church, USA. He was vice-moderator of the Presbyterian Church's general assembly in 1916.
His obituary notice in the Managers Minutes (March 2, 1944) included the following:
To a large degree, the creative character of this period of the Society's life was due to him, to his suggestions and judgments, but more to his convictions. Constant was his concern that the Society go forward; always he was stirring up the staff to make sure that the Society was not in a rut, was not letting mere tradition direct ist policy and method. He gave particular attention to the Society's financial condition and some of its most successful experiments in program and method owed much to his faith. None ought ever to forget his casual but classic remark at the time of the Society's 125th Anniversary: “The Society is a hundred and twenty-five years old, but that's just the beginning of our work.”