Christian Library International incorporated in March 1996 after Kathleen Skaar received Christ at a women’s retreat in 1995. The Lord used Christian books to help Kathleen know him better and she wanted to help others grow in Christ.
The first Christian library began at a local YMCA in Raleigh, North Carolina with 100 books. Within several years, it grew to include a number of other outreaches.
In 2002, Kathleen’s husband contacted prison chaplains offering some of the Christian books that had been donated. The response was overwhelming. Many chaplains exclaimed that CLI “was a real answer to prayer!” That same year, her husband officially joined CLI full time as Mission Director.
CLI began to receive letters from inmates and it soon became obvious that God was working in the prisons. In 2006 CLI refined its mission to focus its resources on prisons where Christian books were dramatically changing lives.
Today, Christian Library International is primarily a prison ministry serving inmates in over 1,000 prisons in all 50 states.
1995 Kathleen Skaar becomes a follower of Jesus Christ
1996 CLI founded at a local YMCA
1998 CLI expands to 5 YMCAs and website launched
1999 CLI holds first board of directors meeting
2000 CLI begins serving 12 shelters
2001 CLI begins stamping our address in books
2002 CLI begins serving US and international prisons
2003 CLI begins inmate correspondence ministry
2003 CLI moves to new and larger offices
2003 CLI hosts first banquet celebration
2004 CLI visits a fellow prison book ministry
2005 CLI receives a truckload of books from Billy Graham
2006 CLI begins a prison correspondence Bible study
2006 CLI re-focuses on prisons exclusively
2007 CLI proposes a future Mission Center
2008 CLI moves to new and larger offices
2009 CLI re-focuses on US prisons exclusively
2012 CLI hosts the first Charlotte and Georgia banquets
2015 CLI launches the first shipping hub in Georgia
2015 CLI publishes a tract in English and Spanish
2016 CLI moves to new and larger offices
2016 CLI publishes a custom large print Bible
2016 CLI celebrates 20 years in ministry
2017 CLI observes more than 2 million books sent to prisons
2018 CLI recognizes over 1,300 confirmed decisions this year