Gideons International is an Evangelical Christian association for men founded in 1899 in Janesville, Wisconsin. The Gideons' primary activity, along with their wives in the Auxiliary, is "encouraging each other to do the work of the Lord, focusing on who they are before God, and strengthening the power of their personal testimony for the Lord Jesus Christ". They are most recognized for distributing copies of Scripture free of charge, paid for by freewill offerings from local churches and from members themselves. This Bible distribution is a worldwide enterprise taking place in around 200 countries, territories and possessions. The association's members focus on distributing complete Bibles, New Testaments, or portions thereof. These copies are printed in over 108 languages. The association is most widely known for its Bibles placed in lodging rooms. The Gideons also distribute to hospitals and other medical offices, schools (usually in first year) and colleges, military bases, as well as jails and prisons. The association was named after the Biblical figure Gideon depicted in the Book of Judges (chapters 6–8). In 1908, the Gideons began distributing free Bibles. The first Bibles were placed in rooms of the Superior Hotel in Superior, Montana. Members of The Gideons International currently average distribution of over 70 million Bibles annually. On average, more than two copies of the Bible are distributed per second through Gideons International. As of April 2015, Gideons International has distributed over two billion Bibles. The headquarters of Gideons International is in Nashville, Tennessee.
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