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Update Letter 1st Quarter 2018

Countries Sent to in 2017

In 2017 we had the privilege of sending material into 101 countries, in 29 of which we have committed distributors (in bold). We praise the Lord for His provision. Albania, Antigua, Argentina, Aruba, Australia, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Belize, Bermuda, Bhutan, Bolivia, Brazil, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cayman Islands, Central African Republic, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gambia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guyana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Lebanon, Liberia, Lithuania, Malawi, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Par­aguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Republic of South Africa, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, South Korea, South Sudan, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Venezuela, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Mount Zion Bible Institute has 75 volunteer graders and 28 branches worldwide.

Mount Zion: Forty Years of Praise

The ministries of Mount Zion Bible Church began when L. R. Shelton, Jr., moved down from Litchfield, Minnesota, in 1978, starting with a radio ministry, a mimeograph machine, and a burden for worldwide evangelism on his heart. We thank and praise the Lord that He has seen fit to maintain and grow the ministry for forty years!

Mount Zion Bible Church – Starting with a handful of people, primarily connected with the outreach ministries, Shelton began Mount Zion Bible Church shortly after his arrival in Pensacola. In God’s great kindness, Mount Zion Bible Church has grown into a congregation of about 50 members and 100 in attendance. Elders Jeff Pollard and Clarence Simmons now serve as pastors of the assembly.

Because of its commitment to local church authority, the church takes full responsibility for the operations of the ministries, through volunteers, detailed reporting, pastoral oversight, and committee-based financial review. A strict separation is always maintained between local church finances and donations for the worldwide ministries.

God’s Faithfulness – From the start, Pastor Shelton believed God was calling him to operate in a way that proclaimed God’s faithfulness and the effectiveness of believing prayer. Through all these years the Lord has graciously provided funds for sending material around the world with a commitment to these principles. We continue to rely on the Lord’s faithfulness through His people, not sending promotional mailings or soliciting funds. We can only praise and magnify our Savior’s name for providing so kindly for four decades!

Chapel Library began as an audio tape, tract, and book ministry of the Nelson family in Venice, Florida, which they gave to Pastor Shelton in 1987. This has morphed into the publishing “brand” of Mount Zion, with close to 1,000 paperback, booklet, and tract titles in English and Spanish.

Free Grace Broadcaster (print and online) – Pastor Shelton took over this digest in 1988 from its original editor, W. F. Bell. We are committed to producing quarterly the most useful range of topics with the best of Christian writers from prior centuries. Each issue develops one doctrinal or practical theme in 48 pages. Besides the free print edition, email subscriptions are available through our website.

Mount Zion Prison Ministry – In 1984, Mount Zion began sending material to prisons. Through relationships with chaplains, churches, other prison ministries, and the word-of-mouth prison “grapevine,” we send material to prisons throughout the US and around the world. Last year we sent 5,800 packages to inmates in North America, and $36,000 of literature to chaplains.

Mount Zion Bible Institute began offering correspondence courses in 1995, photocopied and secured in binders. Today, we have the privilege of sending out more than 60 different courses to inmates, individuals, homeschool families, churches, and MZBI branches worldwide. Basic courses present gospel truths, while advanced courses discuss hermeneutics, church history, and church government. The nine-part Old Testament Survey (OT1-9) is a relatively new and well-loved course.

Spanish Ministry – The Lord appears to be stirring the Latin American world with interest in historical Christianity, sound doctrine, and discernment toward emotionalism. We are encouraged with very active distributors and contacts throughout the Spanish-speaking world. We currently have 170 Spanish literature titles in print, plus 20 Spanish MZBI courses.

International Distributors – The Lord has given us almost 30 committed distributors worldwide, who manage FGB subscriptions and literature requests for their country. We are constantly looking for key healthy local churches we can partner with in other countries.

We praise the Lord for blessing the ministries over the years. Many reports of souls saved and His people edified are a special encouragement. Please pray with us for more usefulness and effectiveness for these ministries!

MZBI Grading Opportunity

English and Spanish

The Lord blessed us with over 2,500 new students in Mount Zion Bible Institute in 2017, almost doubling the number of annual signups in recent years. The Bible Institute makes correspondence courses available to anyone free of charge, but most of our students are prison inmates. Many have little access to biblical truth, and MZBI serves as a vital training tool for them.

We have openings for additional graders to review students’ lessons. The qualifications are spiritual maturity, over 35 years old, male, and North American resident. We send students’ lessons to the grader at home, and he returns them to us. If you or someone you know is willing to give four hours per week, please contact us.

From an inmate in New Mexico: “I believe this study has been an answered prayer. The Holy Spirit has been teaching me and disciplining me, to bring my heart to repentance…You all have really made me feel like you truly care and have welcomed me like family. I would just like to ask if you all would please pray for me, that the word of the Lord would penetrate deep down in my heart.”

Letters from Far and Near

Texas – “I just came across your website via the Monergism website and I’ve spent a short time gleaning through the works of A.W. Pink this morning. May I tell you what a blessing it has been!... The Sovereignty of God…has literally brought me to my knees in humbleness, by discovering who God is and what He’s promised me. I just printed off the PDF file…from your website.”

Algeria, North Africa – “I am very interested in reading all of [the booklets]…As a Muslim, I want to know more about Christianity…[Here] there is a lack of resources about Christianity. I am very interested in knowing the truth, so I have to read more, to finally get to a conclusion.”

Cuba – “Today I am writing to ask for literature. Some days ago, I read a small booklet Christ Is All. I really liked the teaching, and the message is Christ-centered. These days I have read many books, but I could not agree with the teaching of some of them. Isn’t the greatest purpose to show forth Jesus the Savior?”

Honduras – “It's been a blessing to work in our church with all these materials for many discipleship areas like marriage, youth groups, single men, leaders, elders, and all. We hope to continue edifying the church with such biblical resources.”

United Kingdom (serving Africa) – “Thank you so much for your warm generosity to us. We appreciate this more than we can say…The Lord continues to be gracious to us and, besides helping out pastors in desperately needy and often isolated areas, we have contact with a number of fairly basic Bible schools who are desperate to build up their libraries.”

Canada (serving Ecuador) – “Thank you once again, we received the package and are excited to distribute it once I get to Ecuador, praying that the Lord may use it.”

Kenya, Africa – “The resources have helped me to grow and even help others who are struggling in seeking what is truth…I am in need of a good amount of past centuries tracts. Am much involved in tract evangelism. I happened to get one tract by A.W. Pink and I always wish I had many of these to share.”

Mississippi – “I just wanted to let you know how much your work means to me and my friends. As inmates, we aren’t afforded many opportunities for true spiritual growth. That is why we get excited when I receive booklets and tracts from you. As soon as they come in I am passing them out to friends and they in turn pass them around…We all look forward to each shipment and thank you so much for the work you do and for thinking about those of us in prison.”

Texas – “A lady in the Bible class introduced me to your catalogue and it was like opening the door to a candy store. I wanted to read them all…I passed many on to others.”

South Africa – “I am a member of a Reformed Baptist congregation in the city of Polokwane, situated in the Limpopo Province of South Africa. Like many of my people, the Afrikaner nation, I was not without Christ, but I certainly was without a sound biblical knowledge of who Christ is. Through the providence of God, a…missionary…was put on my path about a year and a half ago…[He] handed me material to read at home which included a large number of Chapel Library tracts...I have never looked back since and attribute a large part of the transformation of my Christian life to the sound biblical teachings included in your tracts...It was due to these teachings that I re-examined my Christian life during which I realized how much of it was entrusted to a deadly, blind presumption. This consequently necessitated a move to a church that teaches sound biblical doctrine. Your tracts were the key to a treasure room filled to the brim with the truthful exposition of God's Word, an unknown pearl to me, before I got access to that key.”

California – “I would like to thank you for the wonderful service you provide to those of us in prison. It’s very rare that you find a ministry that is sending out faithful material like yours. I just want you to know that the body of believers over here will continue to lift you up in prayer.”

Mexico – “We are on the Matamoros border between Texas and Mexico…You have provided us with abundant literature and we have given several churches to make a mini loan library…We just sent a small box of literature to a small Reformed church in Cuba. Thank you!”

Crisis and Christ in Venezuela

Map of Venezuela

Venezuela continues to endure an intense crisis that affects our brothers and sisters in Christ in every aspect of life, but Christ’s gospel is making headway.

During his decades-long rule, socialist military leader and president Hugo Chávez took over much private land and business and nationalized foreign assets. He temporarily reduced poverty for many of the very poor but did so at great cost to the overall economy long-term. After Chávez’s death in 2013, his successor, Nicolás Maduro, inherited a country entering incredible economic and social ruin. Each passing year has seen the ruling regime grappling to retain control, and “recovery efforts” only increase the agony of unending widespread protest, chronic malnourishment, and utter inadequacy of resources for basic needs.

Chapel Library sends literature to several active contacts in the country. Among these is Rafael Rodriguez, a member of Iglesia Evangélica Reformada Nueva Vida (New Life Reformed Evangelical Church) in Maracay, and an organizer of a Reformed blog site (www.CristianosBiblicosenVenezuela.blogspot.com). He reports that our Savior is building His Church in Venezuela even in these trying times:

“Despite the great difficulty we are experiencing in Venezuela with the crisis and all these tough things going through our nation, our good God has been planting biblical churches. Many Reformed Baptist works are rising up in our country. Different groups of people that are meeting in various parts of Venezuela are benefitting from this Chapel Library material.”

Please join us in praying for Venezuela’s recovery of security and economy through righteous governance, together with earnest prayer for the progress of the gospel and establishment of churches in the country.

Chapel Library Online Rebuild

With increased activity on our website (www.ChapelLibrary.org), we want to make it as user friendly as possible. As technical needs began to crop up, we saw the need for an overhaul, and decided to do a full rebuild in the process. A friend of the ministry is working with us to rebuild the site with a streamlined database, fully optimized user experience, and updated look. Please pray with us for usefulness of the new website as we look forward to seeing it live by mid-2018.

“I am reading the book Thoughts for Young Men and it has been very edifying to me...I minister to youth and my longing is for young people to love God and always put Him in first place. As this book has been so edifying to my soul I want it to be so for them as well. Thank you for sharing the material by internet and I hope this book will be read by many young people all around the world.” – Mexico

Download hundreds of free eBooks in PDF, ePub, and Kindle formats from ChapelLibrary.org. We are continually in the process of preparing new eBook releases.

“I thank my God for the wonderful kindle version of Thomas Manton’s Treatise on Self-denial. It is beautifully formatted for Kindle, and of course Manton's text is a revelation of the godliness we are called to. I have saved so many notes from this wonderful book.” – England, UK

Send a Friend the FGB

Broadcasters display

While we avoid sending material to third parties (where one person requests materials to be sent to a friend), we are able to offer “gift subscriptions” for the Free Grace Broadcaster. Mail us your friend’s name and address, and we will sign them up for a free one-year gift subscription to the quarterly magazine. As always, we do not ask for donations or send promotional mailings. The FGB will include a letter to the recipient announcing the gift subscription and mentioning your name.

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