Wycliffe was founded in 1942 by William Cameron Townsend. A missionary to the Cakchiquel Indians of Guatemala, Townsend caught the vision for translation after Cakchiquel-speaking men expressed their concern and surprise that God did not speak their language.
Townsend resolved that every man, woman and child should be able to read God’s Word in their own language. Borrowing the name of the Reformation hero, John Wycliffe, who first translated the Bible into English, Townsend founded "Camp Wycliffe" in 1934 as a linguistics training school. By 1942, "Camp Wycliffe" had grown into two affiliate organizations, Wycliffe Bible Translators and the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL).
Today, SIL and Wycliffe Bible Translators work together to translate Scripture, train field personnel and promote interest in translation. More than 700 translations have been completed, and hundreds more are in the process. With God’s provision, Townsend’s vision will be realized.
Learn more on the history of Bible translation.