Local churches brace for possible Bible shortage


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Proposed tariffs on imports from China have some concerned there may be a Bible shortage.

Tusculum Hills Baptist Church on Nolensville Road is one of the local churches bracing for that possible shortage.

“If it looks like it’s going to go up quite a bit, we probably will stockpile some,” said Terry Hudgins, World Outreach Pastor at Tusculum Hills Baptist Church.

Hudgins said the church may also have to adjust the budget and allocate more money for materials.

“I think it’s so important to get people God’s word that we will adjust whatever we need to adjust to get the Bibles here,” said Hudgins.

The concern stems from President Donald Trump’s proposed 25-percent tariff on Chinese imports, including books and Bibles.

Nashville, once considered the religious printing and publishing capital of America, is still home to the biggest Bible publishing company in the country, HarperCollins Christian Publishing.

In June, the company testified in front of the U.S. Trade Representative, saying it would have to possibly “discontinue certain Bible editions,” even “increase its prices and reduce its sales volume, simultaneously shifting an unfair burden on Bible readers, churches, ministries, and outreach organizations.”

While some congregations like Lake Providence Missionary Baptist Church will adjust with e-Bibles and technology, Hudgins said that likely won’t work at Tusculum Hills.

“Seventy-five percent of our refugees and internationals come from the Burma area,” said Hudgins. “Most of our Burmese refugees – they don’t have cell phones. I don’t see them ever going to e-books and especially the adults. They have a hard time adjust to life in America.”

Hudgins added if prices get too high, the church will have to rely more on Bible donations.

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