American Tract Society

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Four catechisms by Isaac Watts, published by the American Tract Society and used in the Rainham Mennonite Church in latter 19th century Ontario.

American Tract Society, founded in New York City, 1825, was a merger of some 50 local and sectarian societies, interdenominational and international in its work, for the purpose of publishing and circulating "whatever would best diffuse a knowledge of Christ as the Redeemer and promote the interests of true religion and sound morality." In 1841 it inaugurated a missionary colportage program. By the 1950s its emphasis has emphasized reaching foreign language groups among American immigrants. Its publications were once widely used in Mennonite Sunday schools in America, and found their way into many Mennonite homes in the United States and Canada, especially before the inauguration of denominational publishing programs. The Society remained active into the 21st century. It depended for support upon voluntary contributions from individuals and churches.

In 2012 the American Tract Society entered a joint publishing agreement with Good News Publishers for the publication and distribution of gospel tracts throughout North America. The American Tract Society's website closed and all administrative activity related to tracts was turned over Good News Publishers.


"Good News Publishers and American Tract Society Finalize Joint Publishing Agreement." Crossway (7 September 2012). Web. (accessed 19 November 2013).

Author(s) Harold S Bender
Samuel J. Steiner
Date Published November 2013

Cite This Article

MLA style

Bender, Harold S and Samuel J. Steiner. "American Tract Society." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. November 2013. Web. 29 Sep 2020.

APA style

Bender, Harold S and Samuel J. Steiner. (November 2013). American Tract Society. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 29 September 2020, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p. 88. All rights reserved.

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