American Tract Society
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The American Tract Society building in New York City
|Founded||May 11, 1825|
|Successor||Good News Publishers|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Headquarters location||New York City|
The American Tract Society (ATS) is a nonprofit, nonsectarian but evangelical organization founded on May 11, 1825 in New York City for the purpose of publishing and disseminating Christian literature. ATS traces its lineage back through the New York Tract Society (1812) and the New England Tract Society (1814) to the Religious Tract Society of London, begun in 1799. Over the years, ATS has produced and distributed many millions of pieces of literature. There is a printed pamphlet titled "Constitution of the American Tract Society, instituted in Boston 1814" referencing the distribution of 'Religious Tracts' by Christians in Europe and America during the previous twenty years. The purpose of which was to combine the energy & activities of various groups & individuals across New England.
ATS is theologically conservative. It receives funding through a combination of private donations and tract sales. ATS accepts donations to fund tract and evangelistic resource distribution including start-up funding for foreign tract distribution in regions including Africa, Asia, India, South and Central America, Canada, Australia, and Europe. Churches and other evangelistic groups in the United States can purchase ATS literature at nominal cost for use in their own evangelistic ministries.
ATS is board-governed and benefits from the visibility of its Council of Reference, an advisory board of evangelical notables from business, ministry, and other walks of life. ATS is currently headquartered in Garland, Texas.
American Tract's first home in 1825 was a four-story building at 87 Nassau Street in New York City. Later, in 1894, American Tract built a 23-story headquarters at 150 Nassau Street, which still stands today. At the time of its construction it was one of the tallest buildings in NY City.
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The American Tract Society has disseminated Christian tracts for over 185 years, and believes its mission and message are as relevant today as when it was formed in 1825.
In 1978, ATS relocated its headquarters from New York to Garland, Texas. The move came about as a result of the growing number of churches and ministries purchasing ATS literature in Texas. The leaders of American Tract Society also discovered that it would be cost effective to have the ATS office in Texas.
The ever-increasing advances in technology and social media present both challenges and opportunities for ATS in disseminating its message. Over the years ATS has developed a number of ways to present the gospel in a relevant and timely manner. ATS continues to develop new tools to communicate Christian teachings to the next generation.
Through its international division (International Tract Society) ATS has approximately 136 print partners in 70 countries who print and distribute tracts in over 100 languages. The goal is to provide ATS print partners with the necessary resources and funding to print and distribute evangelism tools among disadvantaged churches and evangelists worldwide.
- Rorabaugh, W.J. The Alcoholic Republic. NY: Oxford University Press, 1979.
- Elizabeth Twaddell. The American Tract Society, 1814-1860. Church History, Vol. 15, No. 2 (Jun., 1946), pp. 116–132
- American Tract Society home page
- American Tract Society Bible Dictionary
- Works by American Tract Society at Project Gutenberg
- Works by or about American Tract Society at Internet Archive
- American Antiquarian Society. Dating American Tract Society Publications Through 1876 from External Evidences: A Series of Tables. By S.J. Wolfe, 2001.
- Timeline of American Tract Society
- Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability
- American Tract Society Building in New York
- Charity Navigator