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FLASHBACK: The Book Table

FLASHBACK: The Book Table

  • Kevin Mungons
  • September 8, 2021

At 3:30 in the afternoon on August 1, 1927, William Norton stepped to the WMBI microphone with a stack of books—and proceeded to read for an hour. Christian radio was barely a year old and filled with experimental programming. As director of the Bible Institute Colportage Association, Norton thought the new medium could be used to introduce his newly published books.

“Money should be spent freely for sound literature,” Norton wrote in the Moody Monthly, “and its wise distribution should be pressed upon every child of God. As never before, Christians themselves need to be clearly taught in the truth.” He named his new show The Book Table, using the time to promote a literature ministry in local churches. “A carefully arranged book table should be maintained wherever Christians gather,” he would say. “Many progressive churches are now maintaining a book table.”

Norton worked and lived on campus for 50 years, a quiet man who kept a one-room apartment in the men’s dorm. As the last Moody employee to be hired by D. L. Moody himself, Norton’s secret to success started every morning at 4:00 a.m.—an hour of prayer before he started writing and editing. And when he found a passage that was especially interesting, he marked it and set it aside for the radio show. His essential idea lives on today, with Moody Publishers offering hundreds of titles as audio books.

About the Author

  • Kevin Mungons

Kevin Mungons is backlist curator for Moody Publishers.