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Celebrating 150: Arch Books

Think back to when you were a child. Your day likely consisted of being woken up by your parents, playing with your toys, and eating grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch. When the day was over, mom or dad might have read you a bedtime story, and that book may have been a book with an arch in the corner. For many Lutherans, this was a childhood staple.

Arch Books have been bringing the Bible to life for young children for years. With many authors contributing to the series, hundreds of Arch Books have been published for preschoolers and beginning readers.

In the mid-1900s, with the publication of A Child’s Garden of Bible Stories and Little Visits with God, Concordia Publishing House began to grow its reputation for beautiful children’s books. CPH wanted to continue teaching stories from the Bible to young children, so a new children’s series called Lantern Books, costing only thirty-five cents per book, was introduced in 1959.

In 1965, the series became Arch Books. The name was chosen in honor of the Gateway Arch, which opened the same year. Thus began CPH’s tradition of publishing books for children. From easy-to-read books for young kids to fictional, contemporary books for middle schoolers, these books teach children about God and help to make them disciples for life.

In 1994, CPH published the PassAlong Arch Books series for the company’s 125th anniversary. The first book of this series, God’s Easter Plan, was distributed to each family in The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod as well as Christian bookstore owners across the country who have partnered with CPH over the years. Concordia Gospel Outreach continues this “pass along” tradition today by distributing Arch Books and other CPH resources to children and their families around the world.

Arch Books may remind you of your childhood, but they mean so much more. The growth of children’s books published by CPH also brought growth in its mission work. Arch Books have touched millions of children’s lives around the world. With more than sixty million copies sold in the last sixty years, Arch Books continue to teach younger generations about God and His Word.


CPH 150 Anniversary

Written by

Megan Pellock

Megan Pellock is from Edwardsville, Illinois. She is a senior public relations major at Illinois State University. Megan has been a volunteer at her church’s VBS as well as a child actor in VBS videos. She is formerly an intern for Concordia Publishing House in the Public Relations department.


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