‘Copies of scripture in the pathways of life’


Joseph Barringhaus

FILE PHOTO: Ed Bogner speaks to students by Shocker Hall and gives out free copies of the New Testament.

Anyone who frequents Wichita State’s campus has likely encountered the men handing out green, pocket-sized copies of the Bible to passersby, rain or shine.

Ed Bogner has been handing out copies of the New Testament on college campuses in Kansas for three years.

“The most important decision I’ve ever made in my life was to trust in Jesus Christ,” the Winfield, Kansas native said.

Bogner is part of Gideons International, an association of evangelical Christians who distribute free copies of the Bible.

“We try to place copies of scripture in the pathways of life,” Bogner said. “This is one of the pathways of life — a college campus.”

Bogner has spent time on the campuses of Wichita State, Cowley College, and Southwestern College in hopes of offering a “spiritual GPS” to help college students navigate life’s challenges, he said.

“I hope it will help them live life in a more abundant way,” Bogner said.

“There’s this verse where Jesus says, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone but by the word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ We eat daily. This is our spiritual food that we need daily.”

Bogner said he holds onto hope that students may pick up the Bible weeks, months, or years down the line.

“I doubt if there are many that look at it right away,” Bogner said.

“It’s the most important commitment that I have made. Marriage was important. Trusting Christ was more important.”

He said he hopes others can feel the same way.

“It keeps me in tune with God. I find if I don’t do that, I’m gonna be a little distressed.”