Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Musings on Muller

This post appeared on our PILGRIM SCRIBBLINGS blog in March of 2005.

George Muller - Man of Faith

My love for books parallels that of George Muller (I guess). Since I was a young boy I've had a passion for Christian reading and I've collected books since then. For 15 years I owned a Christian bookstore and "bookselling" is still in my blood. While in Florida recently I visited about six different Christian bookstores. The following excerpt appears on the Muller Foundation web site (see link to the left) or click here: I'd love to hear from other book lovers and find out what you're reading these days. I have a framed picture of George Muller at my office and I've often been asked if he is my grandfather. I reply by stating who it is but also mentioning that he "fathered" much of what I believe about "faith" and "trusting God".

This appears on the Muller Foundation site:

"George Müller was a staunch believer in the power of Christian literature. With the setting up of SKI(Scriptural Knowledge Institute) in 1834 George Müller became committed to the distribution of Bibles and tracts, not only in English but also in other languages. In that same year he founded a Bible Warehouse and Bookshop in Bristol and as the need increased it became necessary for this part of George Müller's work to be moved to separate premises. Therefore, in 1852, the Bible and Tract Warehouse, and Bookshop, was opened in Park Street, Bristol.

The work carried on from these premises for nearly ninety years until the Second World War, when the shop was destroyed by fire. The work was then transferred temporarily to other premises. These were in an area of Bristol which was away from the mainstream of city life and therefore the shop for many years occupied an unimportant role. After much prayer and waiting upon God, a new building was purchased in Park Street near the original site. This shop was opened in 1957, under the title 'Evangelical Christian Literature'.

Subsequently two other branches were opened in Bath (in 1974), and in Weston-super-Mare (1984). Yet another example of the faithfulness of God. The shops carried a very wide range of Christian books and other literature, and every need was catered for from the general reader to the serious student. The fourth object of SKI is 'To aid in supplying the wants of Missionaries and Missionary Schools'. A proportion of the profits from the bookshops were sent to support missionaries in other countries and provided Bibles for people in countries where they are in short supply.

As a result of the increasing sophistication of the Christian bookselling market, it was decided in the early 1990's to sell the shops to other Christian booksellers; the business in Bath was sold to Scripture Union and the businesses in Bristol and Weston-super-Mare to an arm of Operation Mobilisation, "Send the Light". Since then, STL has taken over the SU bookshops and all three are part of STL trading under the name Wesley Owen Books and Music. The properties in Bristol and Weston-super-Mare remain under the ownership of the Müller Homes."

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