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Missionary Spotlight – Chapel Library

November 2007 | by Jeff Pollard

Missionary Spotlight

Chapel Library

a grace-exalting ministry

Mount Zion Bible Church (MZBC) in Pensacola, Florida, oversees six gospel ministries. The best known is Chapel Library which reprints and distributes tracts, booklets and paperbacks free of charge.
Chapel publishes literature by great preachers and writers of the past, such as Charles Spurgeon, Arthur Pink, the Bonar brothers, J. C. Ryle and the Puritans. We publish a few living authors, such as A. N. Martin and Erroll Hulse.

Magazines

A second ministry is publishing two quarterly magazines: Free grace broadcaster (FGB) – our quarterly digest of reformed articles – and A. W. Pink’s Studies in the Scriptures.

Each issue of FGB develops a theme with Christ-centred, grace-exalting articles and sermons by Spurgeon, Lloyd-Jones and the Puritans, along with many others. The mailing list for the FGB has grown to 16,000 in North America and 3500 internationally. Subscriptions to FGB are always free of charge (in the UK from: Graham Glassbrook, c/o Emmanuel Church, 8 Wilton Road, Salisbury SP2 7EE).
By God’s grace, MZBC sent literature into 64 countries in 2006, and the staff prays fervently that the Lord will provide international distributors for every nation in the world.
Our third ministry is to prisoners and reaches 2500 prisons and thousands of inmates throughout North America.
Fourthly, MZBC oversees a large audio library of sermons from preachers who extol the grace of God. Fifth is Mount Zion Bible Institute, offering Bible correspondence courses free of charge to churches, individuals, prisoners, or anyone interested in better understanding God’s Word.
Sixth, our website, www.mountzion.org, is home to the John Bunyan Archive and an increasing number of literature titles.

History

Founded in 1978 by Lee Roy Shelton Jr, MZBC is a local church of approximately 40 members with a regular attendance of 50-70 people. The church’s doctrinal position is best expressed by the 1689 London Baptist Confession.

Thus began in 1972 – with a mere 200 on the mailing list – what would become a worldwide Christ-centred literature ministry. Two friends sponsored a radio outreach in 1974 which grew to 257 stations across the country.
In 1978, Lee Shelton and his family moved to Pensacola, Florida. In 1979 the prison ministry began and by the start of the new millennium had grown to involve contact with 10,000 inmates in 1300 prisons. Today the prison ministry extends into prisons in every state of the US.
The year 1987 saw the commencement of Chapel Library with its lending library, tract production and tape library.
In 1988 MZBC inherited the FGB magazine. God also faithfully provided a computer system and other equipment, and a further building to help with all the work.
Then in 1995 the Lord established MZBI, which offers Bible courses at no charge. This is the fastest growing ministry of the six. By 1996, the mailing list had grown to 14,000 in the US and 2000 in foreign countries.

Exalting God

In 2000 MZBC installed Steven Frakes as an elder and by 2001 had expanded to 17 countries, adding its 34th branch and sending out 27,000 courses. In 2002 Jeff Pollard was called to labour as an elder with Pastors Shelton and Frakes.

Then on 16 January 2003, the Lord Jesus was pleased to call Brother Shelton home. Lee Roy Shelton Jr had served his generation well as a man of fervent effectual prayer.
So today, MZBC and its six ministries continue by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. We do not ask for donations, send out promotional mailings, or share our mailing list. Our desire is to exalt the Lord Jesus Christ; to edify his churches; to call the lost to ‘repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ’ (Acts 20:21); and to see Christ and his glorious gospel declared for ‘salvation unto the ends of the earth’ (Acts 13:47).
In harmony with this, the FGB purpose statement reads: ‘To humble the pride of man, to exalt the grace of God in salvation and to promote real holiness in heart and life’.

Jeff Pollard