Cook Communications Ministries'
history of David Caleb Cook (founder of Piru) and of his successor companies
which in 2001 were headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colo.
1864 At age 14, David C. Cook prays, "O God, make all you can of my life."
He moves with his parents from a rural farm outside Wheaton, Illinois to
Chicago, where he becomes a "printer's devil" one who set type by hand.
Next door is a sales office for sewing machines, where he also works. With his
Sundays free, he becomes a teacher in the Wards Rolling Mills Sunday school,
Moody's Sunday school on Milwaukee Avenue and Wicker Park Sunday
1875 Several years after rebuilding his sewing machine parts mail-order
business from the ruins of the great Chicago fire in 1871, David C. Cook
begins printing his own Sunday school materials in his father's shop. Until this
time, Sunday schools had no lesson helps. The increasing demand for his
materials leads Cook to sell his successful business to his partner so he and
his wife, Marguerite can devote all of their time and energy to writing, editing
and printing Sundays school quarterlies, take-home papers, magazines for
boys, girls and parents, and greeting cards.
1901 Forced to leave his growing operation in the hands of others, Mr. Cook
moves to California to rest. After oil is discovered on land next door, an oil
company offers to buy some of Cook's land in hopes of finding more oil. David
and Marguerite take the money and head back to Chicago to build a
state-of-the-art printing plant on the banks of the Fox River in Elgin, Illinois.
1942 Mrs. David C. Cook Jr. (Frances Kerr Cook) establishes the David C.
Cook Foundation known now as Cook Communications Ministries
International. This not-for-profit ministry is governed by an independent
board of trustees "to aid and promote the work of religious education without
profit to any person or group." This ensures that revenues generated by our
ministries are directed toward ministry efforts that benefit Christians
1964 A new Sunday school curriculum is introduced: Bible-in-Life, based on
a comprehensive Bible-study plan called "unified themes."
1970 Successful Living is incorporated in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Started
by a number of Christian businessmen concerned about the type of literature
available to people throughout the world, they look for ways to bring people
and positive, inspirational reading together through home parties and through
placing Christian books in high traffic areas. Sucessful Living joins the Cook
ministries in the late-1980s.
1971 Outreach Publications (DaySpring), is started in California by Dean
Kearns, Don Leetch, Roy Lessin and Russ Flint. The first products include
Gospel tracts, mini-stickers and postcards with Christian messages, and a
greeting card. DaySpring joins Cook in the late 1980s.
1973 The first complete collection of Bible-in-Life picture strips rolls off the
presses. Later published as the Picture Bible, this collection has sold millions
of copies and has been translated into hundreds of languages.
1983 Lion-U.S. begins, based in Belleville, Michigan. Three years later, it
moves to Batavia, Illinois. In 1992, Lion Publishing-U.S. joins Chariot Family
1969 Outreach Publications (DaySpring), now based in Siloam Springs,
Akansas, joins the Cook family of ministries.
1991 Rainfall Toys, founded by Randy Scott of Grand Rapids, Michigan,
joins Cook as part of the Chariot Children's Products ministry.
1992 Accent Publications of Denver, Colorado joins the David C. Cook
Church Ministries group.
1993 Kingsway Trust Group Limited, Nova Distribution and Christian Art in
the United Kingdom join Cook Communications Ministries. Kingsway formed in
1977 when Coverdale House and Victory Press merged. Victory Press was
originally the Elim Publishing house, founded in 1929. Coverdale marketed
U.S. Tyndale's Living Bible in the U.K.
1994 The board of trustees votes in favor of changing our name to Cook
Communications Ministries to reflect the nature of our expanding ministries.
1994 Singles Ministry Resources, started by Jerry Jones in 1983 as a
newsletter for singles, joins Cook. SAM Journal contains the latest in news
and trends in single adult ministry. One-day leadership seminars and a
national convention gives singles ministers the opportunity to network and
1995 Cook Communications Ministries moves to a new facility in Colorado
Springs, Colorado, allowing us to house more of the ministries in one central
location and to prepare for service for another 100 years.
1996 Scripture Press and Victor Books of Wheaton, Illinois joins the CCM
1999 DaySpring is sold to Hallmark.