It’s hard to believe that it’s has been 14 years since the re-publication of Strength for Service to God and Country.
From its humble beginnings as an Eagle Scout service project, this little devotional book, first published in World War II, has been given to thousands of public service personnel, including members of every branch of the military.
In 2014, SFS became a separate nonprofit corporation (SFS, Inc.) with its own board of directors and advisory committee. SFS remains a partner of the men’s commission.
Some interesting facts about SFS include:
- 485,000 books have been distributed toward the goal of 1 million copies as of May 15, 2015.
- There have been 11 printings of the book.
- Over $2 million has been raised, with all funds plowed back into the project.
- 5,000 donors have contributed to the book (approximately 50% are UM Men’s groups and UM churches).
- Strength for Service to God and Community, a devotional book for first responders, was introduced in 2013; over 30,000 copies distributed to date.
- A BSA edition of SFS to God and Community was introduced in 2014; and it enjoys brisk sales through BSA Council Scout shops,
- Over 1,200 separate chaplain distributions.
- Churches and organizations in every annual conference have raised funds for SFS.
- L. W. Smith, former SEJ men's president, was elected president of SFS.
- Every member of commission staff devotes some percentage of their time to SFS.
We continue to get requests for both devotional books as a result of stateside tragedies such as the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., and the Boston bombing. And chaplains continue to request free books.
You can support SFS efforts through your prayers, gifts and/or service.
On behalf of L. W. Smith as well as our staff and board of directors, thank you for your gifts of time, talent and treasure that have made SFS a significant outreach ministry of The United Methodist Church.
Larry W. Coppock, CFRE
Acting executive director, SFS, Inc.