Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures

Timeline: David C. Cook, Founder of Piru.

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 school.

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 worldwide.

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 Publishing.

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 receive training.

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 family.

1999 — DaySpring is sold to Hallmark.

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