The reach and impact of Gideon Bibles was the topic for the Kiwanis Club of Dougherty County’s weekly luncheon program on May 7. Jiles Parham, a Dougherty Kiwanian who is also president of Gideons’ Albany West Camp, spoke passionately about the organization’s mission to spread the Word of God and encourage people to become Christians. The Gideons, he said, are “an association of born-again business and professional men.” Bibles in hotel and motel rooms are a well-known symbol of Gideons, but Parham noted they are also distribute to students in 5th grade and above, jail and prison inmates, emergency and military personnel, hospitals, convalescent homes, medical offices, and domestic violence shelters; or basically just about anywhere people are in need of spiritual uplift or inspiration. Parham said since it began 104 years ago in a hotel in Montana, Gideons International has distributed 1.6 billion Bibles in 197 countries translated into more than 90 different languages. He also related several stories of how the Gideons’ work has impacted people’s lives, including one instance that led to the Angel Tree program, the well-known Christmas ministry that provides gifts to underprivileged children.