Standing beside his father’s grave in October 1945, B A Johanson strongly sensed God calling him to carry on the work of writing Christian literature in isiZulu that his father had begun. Having grown up speaking isiZulu from childhood and after eleven years of editing isiZulu manuscripts at Mission Press, Johanson was uniquely qualified for this minsitry.
It was five years later at a UBI council meeting, as principal of Union Bible institute, that Johanson suggested starting a literature department for publishing books in isiZulu. The first publication was a small book of meditations on the Lord’s Prayer. In the years that followed, UBI published commentaries on books of the Bible compiled from UBI class notes as well as other titles useful for building the church and encouraging personal devotion to Christ
From the beginning, UBI was committed to providing Biblical instruction and training in isiZulu, the language most of the students used in their work. Johanson felt that the Bible message would remain foreign unless it was communicated to the hearts of people in their own language. Because of this heritage, UBI Publishing remains committed to providing printed material for building up the church in the languages of southern Africa, primarily isiZulu.
UBI Publishing continues to be one of the largest publishers of isiZulu Christian literature, with sixty titles currently available. We give God thanks for the vision of B A Johanson that continues to this day.
Pictured is BA Johanson examining a manuscript.