A tiny black and white print hangs on the wall above the chaise lounge where I write in our home office. It may be small, but it holds a mighty message: We all have a story to tell.
It’s no secret that I revel in both reading and writing stories. Ken Taylor, the founder of Tyndale House publishers, was no different.
A godly man, with an incredible passion for scripture and literacy, Taylor began paraphrasing the Bible for his 10 children in the 1950s. He wanted to make sure they understood their nightly readings from God’s Word.
In 1954, as he rode the commuter train to his job at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Taylor started paraphrasing the entire New Testament into modern English.
Taylor wrote and rewrote for seven years. But several publishing houses rejected his manuscript.
Ken Taylor persevered. Convinced that there was value in the work for more than just their children, Taylor and his wife Margaret, decided to use their limited savings to publish Living Letters.
And with its publication, Taylor started Tyndale House Publishers in 1962. The company operated in the Taylor’s dining room until 1965.
Ken and Margaret established the Tyndale Foundation in 1963 as a fulfillment of one of Ken Taylor’s life goals to establish a charitable fund that could make grants to support Christian work around the world.
From 1963 to 2012, the Foundation’s grants totaled $76 million. But after adjusting for inflation, this equates to $170 million in today’s dollars. Recipients include Wycliffe Bible Translators, Operation Mobilization, The Seed Company, and many others (250-300 grants per year since 2010).
Tyndale’s purpose today continues to reflect that of Ken Taylor’s vision of so many years ago: “Minister to the spiritual needs of people, primarily through literature consistent with biblical principles.”
God used the rejection of Taylor’s manuscript to begin a publishing house that has now taken the gospel all over the world.
Being a self-proclaimed bookworm, I am so thankful for the work of men like Ken Taylor, whose hard work has resulted in such rich reading material that continues to this day!
This post was sponsored by Tyndale House.