Paul Reitzer remembers one letter that stuck with him.
“He was a Baptist pastor, and he had gotten a Bible and was rejoicing,” Reitzer said. “Before he got it there was one Bible in the whole town and it was owned by the Seventh Day Adventist pastor. That pastor would use it on Saturdays then this pastor would use it on Sundays.”
But then a shipment from Book-Link International arrived and changed everything. Book-Link — a ministry more than 30 years old — receives donations of Bibles, hymnals and Christian study materials and ships them to pastors all over the world at no cost to them.
Preaching and teaching
“We ship materials to about 40 countries,” said Reitzer, a past president of the Fellowship of Baptist Educators, which started Book-Link in 1988. “Pastors in many countries can read English but have almost no materials to help them in their preaching and teaching ministries — things like Bible studies, Bible atlases and commentaries.”
Reitzer lives in Marion where he serves as part-time pastor of two churches — Mount Olive Baptist Church, Sprott, and Newbern Baptist Church, Marion. Together he and Tom Stacey, director of missions for Cahaba and Selma Baptist associations, gather books and materials from churches in the area.
Once they’re collected Reitzer spends time dividing the books and materials into boxes of 40 pounds or less so volunteers can carry them more easily. And in December Stacey made his annual trip to deliver them all to the Book-Link warehouse in Eubank, Kentucky.
Olin Williams, director of Book-Link, said the ministry is grateful for the help.
“Many Alabama Southern Baptists have been and are involved in sharing their printed Christian materials with fellow Christians located in foreign countries,” he said.
Up until around 15 years ago Alabama also had its own collection hub and shipping center housed in a Baptist church. Williams said it would be great if Alabama could have one again some day.
“I am truly grateful for the tremendous contribution of prayers, materials, labor and funds,” he said.
For more information about Book-Link, visit thefellowshipofbaptisteducators.org/book-link.
Donations may be sent to Book-Link International, Inc., 100 Book-Link Way, Eubank, KY 42567.