MINERAL SPRINGS – In 2014, Jim Bebee had a brain bleed. He had three brain surgeries within one week and suffered a stroke that put him in the intensive care unit (ICU) for nearly 10 weeks.
“They told him he would die,” said Ben Jones, pastor of Central Baptist Church, Mineral Springs. “They told his wife that there was no hope.”
While in the ICU, Bebee said he had a vision of a Bible.
“I didn’t know what it meant,” Bebee wrote in a letter. “What about the Bible? Was it about his Gideon’s Bible ministry? What was God wanting me to do? I just couldn’t get the Bible off of my mind and heart.”
Bebee slowly started to recover and shared with his wife the vision.
“She said it was definitely a God thing, and we started praying and asking God to reveal his plan for sparing my life,” wrote Bebee.
Part of Bebee’s recovery was walking to get strength back in his legs. While walking around Dollar Tree with his wife, he discovered some Bibles for sale on the bottom shelf. The Bibles were the same ones he saw in his vision.
“That’s the Bible,” said Bebee. “That’s the Bible God wants me to give out for free.”
The Bebees bought all the Bibles that were in stock. They made labels with Central Baptist’s information and plan of salvation. Each Bible was stamped with “Compliments of CBC.”
“My vision was to give out as many Bibles as we can,” wrote Bebee. “I shared my vision with our neighbors, our Sunday school class and gave my testimony for our church congregation.”
Central Baptist joined Bebee in his vision. Congregation members donated money, and the church purchased $1 Bibles from Dollar Tree. They have passed out Bibles in front of Walmart, at vacation Bible school and their fall festival. A local radio station, a doctor’s office, a liquor store, and four convenient stores have a crate full of Bibles for people to pick up.
“The church bought into this ministry real fast. It’s a great vision,” said Jones. “It’s the word of God. It shouldn’t cost you anything.”
“If we can get a Bible in the hands of anyone that needs it and at least one person comes to know Jesus, isn’t it worth it?” wrote Bebee.
Bebee spread his vision to more than 25 churches in five states. More than 9,000 Bibles have been passed out; Central Baptist has given out 3,500. His dream was to give a million Bibles away.
In 2019, Bebee was diagnosed with cancer and lived for three more weeks. On Dec. 22, he died.
“The church is really supportive,” said Jones. “Memorials have been given to the ministry. Bebee’s wife wants to keep it going, and she is willing to talk to any church that wants to get it going.”
Jones dreams that this Bible ministry begins in every church to fully saturate the local communities with Bibles.
“We can’t give to every community, but we can give to our local community,” said Jones.
According to Jones, handing out Bibles is an easier way to meet someone you don’t know.
“It leads you to talk to people. Eventually, you share your testimony,” he said.
Contact Sarah Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
© Copyright 2019 Arkansas Baptist Newsmagazine, Inc. Use of this article in print or through electronic means a violation of copyright. Request permission to reprint here.