CBU began in the early 1970’s as Christian book distributor in the 1970's. Through sponsoring Spirit-filled Bible-teaching conferences, God opened doors for international ministry. Today we work with church planters and pastors to advance the gospel of Jesus in difficult areas. Our particular focus is Europe.
CBU began through the collaboration of two unlikely men at the height of the charismatic movement. With a background in IT, Ivery Haynes founded Christian Books Unlimited to reach people with the gospel by placing Christian books in secular shopping establishments. Meanwhile, a businessman named Jim Jackson was radically changed through a powerful encounter with Jesus at a conference in Montreat, North Carolina. Ivery met Jim and, sensing that he may be open to a mid-life course correction, persuaded him to leave his discount drugstore business and “work for God.”
Under Jim’s leadership, CBU invited several authors of Christian books to its first conference in November, 1974. Held in the historic Anderson Auditorium at Montreat, North Carolina, Bob Mumford, Kathryn Kuhlman, and Jamie Buckingham attracted a standing-room only crowd of over three thousand people. The success of this initial event launched CBU into a conference ministry that spanning four decades.
CBU World Missions was established in 1989. The original focus was on giving Americans exposure to international gospel ministry through short-term mission trips. In 1990, however, God opened a unique door in Ukraine while it was still part of the Soviet Union. Tom Jackson led a series of outreaches to Ukraine and planted several churchesd in cities including L'viv, Ternopil, Novodnstrovsk. CBU has since worked to establish churches in Scotland.