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5-12-14 Adventist publishing houses recommend restructuring proposal
Boards of Review & Herald, Pacific Press set final vote for June 17
On May 12, 2014 the Boards of the Review and Herald Publishing Association and the Pacific Press Publishing Association, meeting respectively in Hagerstown, Md. and by telephone conference in Silver Spring, Md., approved and recommended to their respective constituencies a proposal to reorganize their operations. The restructuring plan was jointly proposed to the publishing house boards by the executive committees of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and its North American Division in meetings held on May 8, 2014.
The General Conference and the North American Division have spent considerable time assessing optimal publishing house arrangements for the future that would meet the needs of both the General Conference and its North American Division. Publishing plays an integral part in the mission of the Church, and its close linkage with other church programs is of vital importance. Changes in the publishing industry and the church’s publishing ministries have caused financial challenges to operations, particularly at the Review and Herald, and have made this evaluation and proposed reorganization more urgent.
Under the restructuring plan the Pacific Press Publishing Association, located in Nampa, Idaho, will become an institution of the North American Division. It will serve as the base for the North American Division’s publishing program and also provide printing, production and fulfillment services for the General Conference.
The Review and Herald Publishing Association will cease operations at its current location in Hagerstown, Md. but will continue as a General Conference institution. Its corporate office location will be transferred to the church’s world headquarters in Silver Spring, Md. where the reconstituted organization, without printing and production facilities, will oversee the publishing of various products that are currently produced by the General Conference headquarters, such as the Adventist Review, Adventist World, Ministry, The Journal of Adventist Education, Elder’s Digest, the Mission magazines, children’s and youth Sabbath School materials, the Sabbath School Adult Bible Study Guides, Biblical Research Institute publications and other products. The Review and Herald Publishing Association will also serve as publisher of other products as determined by the General Conference to meet the needs of the world field. This reorganized publisher will require minimal staffing since the editors of the present products are already employees of the world church headquarters.
“The General Conference recognizes the tremendous significance of the publishing work, not only to past evangelistic blessings in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, but also to our current and future heaven-entrusted mission of the proclamation of the Three Angels’ Messages of Revelation 14 and the fourth angel of Revelation 18,” said world church president Ted Wilson. “We want to follow the inspired counsel of the Spirit of Prophecy regarding the publishing ministries work and our goal is to see these institutions are best positioned to aid in finishing the work of preparing the world for Christ’s soon return through the power of the Holy Spirit. We greatly appreciate the dedication and commitment of the employees in the publishing houses and in every aspect of publishing ministries. God is blessing the publishing ministries worldwide and the North American Division will reach its full potential in utilizing an unprecedented expansion of publishing ministries outreach in fulfillment of its mission goals for its territory.”
“We understand that this is an emotional time for so many dedicated workers at both publishing ministries,” said Dan Jackson, president of the North American Division. “We will move forward only after prayerful consideration and consultation. As ministry models change, one thing remains constant: our commitment to utilizing publishing as a means of reaching people with the hope of Jesus and its serving as a conduit to spreading the message of His soon return.”
A Memorandum of Understanding between the General Conference and the North American Division will outline additional details of the transition and future operations. The North American Division will establish a transition team to determine how the physical assets of the Review and Herald Publishing Association and the Pacific Press Publishing will be used going forward.
The transition team will also determine which personnel currently employed by the Review and Herald Publishing Association will be needed at the Pacific Press Publishing Association location. Every effort will be made to accommodate as many as possible of the current Review and Herald staff and incorporate them into the Pacific Press operations. However, a major restructuring will involve loss of jobs from the cessation of operations in Hagerstown, Md.
This restructuring plan does not become official until the constituent bodies of each publishing association approve it. The two constituencies will meet independently of each other on June 17, 2014, at the General Conference headquarters. The proposed plan, would take effect on July 1 if those constituencies give their approval.