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Dr. Frank Charles Laubach (September 2, 1884June 11, 1970) was a Christian Evangelical missionary and mystic known as "The Apostle to the Illiterates." In 1935, while working at a remote location in the Philippines, he developed the "Each One Teach One" literacy program, which has been used to teach about 60 million people to read in their own language[1]. He was deeply concerned about poverty, injustice and illiteracy, and considered them a barrier to peace in the world. In 1955, he founded Laubach Literacy, which merged with Literacy Volunteers of America, Inc. in 2002 to form ProLiteracy Worldwide. During the latter years of his life, he traveled all over the world speaking on topics of literacy and world peace. He was author of a number of devotional writings and works on literacy.

One of his most widely influential devotional works was a pamphlet entitled "The Game with Minutes." In it, Laubach urged Christians to attempt keeping God in mind for at least one second of every minute of the day. In this way Christians can attempt the attitude of constant prayer spoken of in the book of Colossians. The pamphlet extolled the virtues of a life lived with unceasing focus on God. Laubach's insight came from his experiments in prayer detailed in a collection of his letters published under the title, "Letters by a Modern Mystic."

Laubach is the only American missionary to be honored on a US postage stamp, a 30 cent stamp in 1984.

Noteworthy was Laubach's interest in things Philippines, which was deep-seated. He wrote a biography of the Filipino national hero, "Jose Rizal: Man and Martyr," published in Manila in 1936. He also translated the hero's valedictory poem, "Mi Ultimo Adios" (My Last Farewell) and his version is ranked second in ideas, content, rhyme and style among the 35 English translations in collection.

Considered a pioneer mover of Maranao Literature

He wrote:

The Moros of Lake Lanao have amazingly rich literature, all the more amazing since it exists only in the memories of the people and had just bagan to be recorded writing. It consists of lyric and poetry with the epic greatly predominating.



Laubach, Frank C., translator. 1956. The inspired letters in clearest English. (Portions of the New Testament). New York: Thomas Nelson & Sons.

Laubach, Frank C. 1945. The silent billion speak. New York: Friendship press.

Laubach, Frank C. 1970. Forty years with the silent billion: adventuring in literacy. Old Tappan, N.J.: F. H. Revell Co.

Laubach, Frank C. 1964. How to teach one and win one for Christ: Christ's plan for winning the world: each one teach and win one. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House.

Laubach, Frank C. 1940. India shall be literate. Jubbulpore, C.P., India: Printed by F. E. Livengood at the Mission press.

Laubach, Frank C. 1925. The people of the Philippines: their religious progress and preparation for spiritual leadership in the Far East. New York: George H. Doran Company.

Laubach, Frank C. 1938. Toward a literate world; with a foreword by Edward L. Thorndike. New York: Printed by Columbia University Press for the World literacy committee of the Foreign missions conference of North America.



  1. ^ Good-bye to Frank Laubach, Apostle of Literacy, Christian History Institute web site, accessed 4th December, 2006


See also

Roberts, Helen M. 1961. Champion of the silent billion: the story of Frank C. Laubach, apostle of literacy. St. Paul: Macalester Park Pub. Co.


External links

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