Innovative Christian publisher Melvin E. Banks dies at 86

Melvin E. Banks, founder of Urban Ministries, Inc., died on February 13. He was 86.

In 1970, UMI—the largest, indepen­dent, Black-owned Christian publishing company in the country—pioneered the practice of creating contextualized images of Black people in the Bible.

“So many people have been introduced to the life-changing message of Jesus because of Dr. Banks’ ground-breaking initiatives,” said Terri Hannett, UMI’s vice president in a statement.