A Bible on the Moon
The Untold Stories of Apollo Astronauts
Who Tried, Failed, and Tried Again
to Land a Bible on the Moon.
(formerly published as The Apostles of Apollo)
by Carol Mersch
When NASA scientist and Chaplain John Stout accepted a position in the Apollo program
at the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston, he planned to stay for only one year – no more.
That all changed on January 27, 1967, when Apollo 1 astronaut Ed White II, the young astronaut he
had often ministered to, died with his crewmates in a flash fire on the launch pad. As a chaplain
to many of the astronauts, Stout had grown close to White, and knew the young astronaut had planned
to carry a Bible to the moon.
With this, Reverend Stout vowed to stay on and see Ed White's dream fulfilled. But undertaking a
religious endeavor in the midst of a government space program was not an easy task.
Among Stout's obstacles was a lawsuit launched by renowned atheist Madalyn Murray O'Hair against
NASA to prevent religious acts in space. It fell to Stout and his Apollo Prayer League to find a way.
The result was an extraordinary drama that unfolded behind the scenes as America rushed headlong to the moon.
The story of the Apollo Space Program is as unknown as it is unique. The technological
triumphs of the Apollo missions were the focus of unparalleled media frenzy in the 1960s
and '70s as America rushed headlong to the moon.
Yet behind the forgotten bylines are the stories of those in NASA who undertook a challenge
of a different sort. These astronauts were not only men of science, many were men of faith
as well, and a daring that allowed them to leap into the unknown. The result is an
extraordinary drama that unfolded behind the scenes.
Their stories are as remarkable as the men and women who lived them.
Praise for A Bible on the Moon
"It's a classic."
– Edgar Mitchell, Lunar Module Pilot, Apollo 14
"The technological side of things changes quickly. The side shown here is the side that endures."
– Apollo 17 Commander, Eugene Cernan
I have only just started reading this incredible story. . . . What I can tell you
upon starting it, is that it is an astounding read. You do not have to be a Christian—or
even remotely religious—to enjoy the story of the tenacious dedication that the Apollo
Prayer League provided to make astronaut Edward White II dream of seeing a bible reach the
lunar surface and return safely, a reality. They exceeded his dream by a further 299. The book
is an engaging read and is skillfully crafted by interweaving the story of the Bible into the
history of the Apollo Program. It is by no means a religious book. It is the story of the American
Manned Space Program, and the dream of some dedicated Christians who worked as part of NASA's team
to place a Bible on the surface of the Moon and returning.
– Andy Clark
Carol Mersch, a long-time friend and confidant of Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell, is an Oklahoma author
and journalist specializing in narrative non-fiction. She has published many books and numerous articles
which she authored and co-compiled with others in areas of space exploration, law enforcement, and spirituality.
Her close friendship with Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell led her to develop The Apostles of Apollo: The
Journey of the Bibles to the Moon (Pen-L Publishing, 2010) and A Bible on the Moon (Pen-L Publishing, 2022), for which she was accepted into the Mayborn
Literary Guild, and The Space Less Traveled (Pen-L Publishing, 2013), a book of quotations gleaned from her
years of companionship with Mitchell. In 2013, her literary document "Religion, Space Exploration and Secular
Society" was accepted by Taylor & Frances, a national consortium in the UK offering document subscription
services used by museums, libraries, and universities, including the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum.
Prior to this, Mersch was instrumental in publishing several books, including The Seamless Bible (Destiny Image,
2004), a chronological presentation of the King James Bible and The Seamless Gospels (Destiny Inage, 2005),
Coming Home: For Those who Serve and Those who Wait (Elm Hill Books, 2004), a devotional/journal for US troops,
Year of Promise, a 365-day devotional/journal (iUniverse Publishing, 2011), and The Heart of a Cop: Stories of
Personal Faith from the Line of Duty (Clovercroft Publishing, 2016). Her latest books, Undaunted: The Unflinching
Faith, Audacity and Ultimate Betrayal of an American Legend (Pen-L Publishing), and The Incredible Reverend Stout:
Presidents, Astronauts, and the woman he loved (Pen-L publishing), chronicling the life of ordained
Presbyterian pastor and NASA Chaplain Reverend John Stout, was released in September 2019.
For more information see www.carolmersch.com.