THE source for rare Bibles, antique Bibles, ancient Bible leaves, & antiquarian theology books is GREATSITE.COM
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ABOUT US
Our Company History & Our Showroom

bookvault
Inside our Bookvault
In 1987, the International Director of the World Bible Society, Dr. Craig Lampe, decided to create a very special company. He approached his long-time friend, Dr. Jonathan Byrd, and presented him the idea: to corner-the-market on rare and antique Bibles, and set up an organization that would restore and preserve the ancient printings of God’s Word for future generations, and make these wonderful treasures available for sale. This new company would be the world’s primary source for antiquarian Bibles.

Dr. Byrd had just sold off all seven of his Kentucky Fried Chicken franchises, and was preparing the build the largest cafeteria in the United States. You can read more about the intriguing story behind that cafeteria in this article from Guideposts Magazine. Jonathan Byrd Racing is also one of the biggest names in Indy Car Racing, and Dr. Byrd was the 2002 pick for the Indianapolis Speedrome Hall of Fame, which you can read about here.

bibles

Dr. Byrd decided to fund Dr. Lampe’s idea, and “Jonathan Byrd’s Rare Books & Bibles” was born. Originally, the company had no public showroom or store-front. It was housed in a small windowless storage room in the offices above Jonathan Byrd’s Cafeteria in Greenwood, Indiana. The only way people found out about the company at all was essentially through word-of-mouth referral… yet by 1989, they were already the world’s largest dealer of rare and antique Bibles!

John Jeffcoat and Dr. Craig Lampe
John Jeffcoat

Five years later, in 1994, John Jeffcoat took up the hobby of collecting old Bibles. After visiting more than twenty “rare book dealers” he was very discouraged to find that Bibles printed prior to the 1800’s seemed to be completely unavailable. In voicing this concern to one rare book dealer, he was told, “Of course you can’t find any ancient Bibles… one man has them all… but he will sell you whatever you want if you call him. His name is Dr. Craig Lampe… here’s his phone number.” Two brief phone calls later, John was in his car, driving over 1,200 miles round-trip, to see this little shop above a cafeteria that had managed to become a world-wide-near-monopoly in the niche market of rare and antique Bibles. Two days later, he returned home, having made the first of what would be tens of thousands of dollars in purchases from this wonderful little shop over the next few years.

John Jeffcoat and Dr. Craig Lampe
Molly Lampe (L) & Dr. Craig Lampe(R)

In 1996, John Jeffcoat approached Dr. Lampe with an idea: to build a website that would showcase a sampling of the company’s inventory of ancient Bibles and Bible leaves, and through search engine listings and printed advertisements for the website, make this awesome material known and available to the public… world-wide. Through nothing less than divine providence, John was able to secure possession of the highly desirable URL address “GREATSITE.COM”, and a few weeks later, the virtual store was open for business. The response was so great, that within a few weeks, John quit his full-time job so he could handle the calls and emails that were coming in every day from around the world.

Much like John’s own personal experience two years earlier in suddenly discovering the availability of these awesome rare Bibles… once the availability of this material was made known to the world… many people instantly became collectors. After all, what more rewarding hobby could there be than collecting the earliest printings of God’s Word? What more valuable and precious commodity is there? What better investment or family heirloom?

showroom exterior
Outside Our Showroom

With millions of dollars in annual sales, and a website drawing over 1,000 visitors per day, the world’s largest for-sale collection of rare and antique Bibles now needed a store front showroom more elegant than an unmarked storage room above a cafeteria. Fortunately, Dr. Byrd had continued to expand his entrepreneurial ventures, and was now building three new luxury Hotels in suburban Phoenix, Arizona.



The Grand Lobby
The Grand Lobby

In 1999, the company moved its headquarters from Greenwood, Indiana, to Goodyear, Arizona. Our Rare Bible Showroom is now housed in the Grand Lobby of one of Arizona’s most beautiful new hotels, where the showroom is open for visitors 24 hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week, (though in-person purchases can only be made during regular business hours). You may want to read the article written about us in the Arizona Republic which details how more than 50% of Jonathan Byrd’s profit is given to missionary ministries each year, and so far the company profits have enabled us to fund the printing and distribution of several million Bibles for missionaries through groups like “The Bible League”, and to help found the largest Christian Church in the predominantly Hindu nation of India. You may also want to read the Wall Street Journal article written about GREATSITE.COM. If you would like to visit us and tour our Rare Bible Showroom and “Bookvault”, and perhaps even stay the night in our Hotel, just CONTACT US. We can also arrange to pick you up at the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, and give you free transportation to our facility which is only 20 minutes west of the airport, and less than one mile from Interstate 10.

showroom interior
Inside Our Showroom

Each suite features an oversized whirlpool tub, large screen televisions, and breathtaking views of the mountains and the world-class golf course that surrounds the hotel. A beautiful center atrium with a pool, hot tub, and exercise facility are on one side of the Rare Bible Showroom, and for your convenience an in-house Avis Car Rental office is right across the hallway by the 24-hour snack room and concierge desk. On the other side of our lobby is our banquet facility, which can hold up to 500 people for special events, such as our Bible History Symposium which we hold about three times a year.

In 2004, due to ongoing health concerns, Dr. Jonathan Byrd retired, leaving his business empire to his sons, and selling his interest in the Rare Bible business to his business partner of many years, Dr. Craig Lampe. “Jonathan Byrd’s Rare Books & Bibles” was re-named “The Bible Museum, Inc.”, and is now fully-owned by Dr. Craig Lampe. World-wide sales, marketing, and customer service, is still handled exclusively by “Greatsite Marketing” at GREATSITE.COM which is owned by John Jeffcoat, who is also the Director of Marketing for The Bible Museum.

If you have any questions, please CONTACT US any time.


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