Stories & Commentaries

Christian Record Services for the Blind Marks 125 Years of Transformative Service

Legally blind Austin O. Wilson makes first braille magazine on a device he invented, circa 1899

In the heart of compassion and dedication, Christian Record Services (CRS) stands tall as it celebrates an incredible milestone — 125 years of unwavering commitment to serving individuals worldwide who are blind and visually impaired. Since its inception in 1899, CRS has been a beacon of hope, breaking down barriers and providing life-changing services to individuals facing vision challenges. 

Founded on the principles of love and Christian values, CRS strives to meet the changing needs of its members. For over a century, the organization has been at the forefront of initiatives aimed at empowering individuals who are blind or visually impaired, fostering inclusivity and enabling independence. 

The 125th anniversary is not just a celebration of longevity but a testament to the enduring impact CRS has had and continues to have on the lives of countless individuals. 

“The organization’s founder, Austin O. Wilson,* dreamed of more Christian braille resources for people like himself to learn more about God’s love for them. Reaching this monumental milestone demonstrates how his vision was fulfilled with the expanding services and programs offered through the years. We look forward to continued growth and meaningful service,” stated Diane Thurber, president. 

As CRS commemorates 125 years of service, it stands as a shining example of love, resilience, and the transformative power of dedicated service as it continues to illuminate the path toward a more inclusive, accessible world for the blind and visually impaired community. 

*In 1899, Austin O. Wilson (pictured above), a legally blind young man in his early 20s, was concerned about the lack of Christian reading material available for the blind. He decided to try an experiment. Taking a clothes wringer, he modified it to accommodate two metal plates with a sheet of heavy paper between them. As the plates were squeezed through the wringer, the raised dots on the plates made an impression on the paper, producing one page of a braille magazine he entitled the Christian Record. More than one hundred years later, the Christian Record is still being published, along with eight other periodicals. CLICK HERE to learn more about Christian Record Services.