Several Adventist publications based in North America received recognition for their work in a variety of categories at the Associated Church Press (ACP)* “Best of the Church Press” awards held May 12, 2022. Winners in 78 categories — representing 67 organizations and 885 entries — highlighted the best of faith-based journalism produced in 2021. Several new categories were added this year, including a book category and expanded audio/visual classifications, while the entire category list received a refresh with some streamlining.
Twenty-four awards total, ranking at honorable mention (third place), award of merit (second place), or award of excellence (first place), were earned by six different Adventist publications in a broad range of categories. These include the Lake Union Herald, Canadian Adventist Messenger, NAD NewsPoints, Adventist Review, Ministry magazine, and The Journal of Adventist Education.
Honors in writing categories included news reporting, science, poetry, biographical profile, scholarly article, service journalism, and devotional. Visual communications awards were designated for magazine cover design, magazine spread or story design, magazine design entire issue, newsletter design entire issue, illustration, publication website, news story video, and documentary short video.
In the North American Division
The Lake Union Herald, produced for the Lake Union Conference, received five awards, including an award of excellence for publication website by Felicia Tonga, assistant director of Communication for the Lake Union Conference. The judges said, “The Lake Union Herald was first published in 1908 but has kept up with changing trends. The publication’s website is easy to follow and comprehensive. The visual design is stunning; breathtaking photos are used for section banners and within the stories. Content is informative, easy to read, and concise.”
Lake Union Communication director and Herald editor, Debbie Michel, said this was the first time participating in the ACP contest and to be recognized in this fashion is an honor. “Our team strives for excellence, and we are always looking for ways to improve. We praise God for the validation of our efforts” she said.
The Canadian Adventist Messenger, produced for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Canada (SDACC), received four awards, including two awards of excellence in design by Aimee Perez, graphic designer: illustration “Creation Corner for Kids: Flashlight Fish” and magazine design entire issue (September 2021). The judges called the children’s illustration “very engaging and attractive.”
“On behalf of the Canadian Adventist Messenger team, I am honored to receive these Associated Church Press awards, which validate the quality work done by our editorial team last year under the leadership of Stan Jensen,” said Evaldo Vicente, editor of the Messenger and communication director for the SDACC, who replaced Jensen beginning in March 2022. “We are blessed that we can reach more than 20,000 households every month across the country, telling the inspirational story of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Canada. Our team does that with professionalism and dedication.”
NAD NewsPoints garnered six awards with two awards of excellence. One award of excellence went to the video news story “Adventist Community Services Provided Shelter in Louisiana” by Pieter Damsteegt, NAD video producer. Judges said, “strong interview supported by complementary b-roll and images. The story is cohesive, has a definite timeline, and fits the accompanying text.” The second award was given for the article “Breaking Bread, Serving God, Building Community” by Kimberly Luste Maran, associate director of Communication for the North American Division and editor of NewsPoints.
“In a tough year dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and staffing shortages, I’m grateful we were able to produce high-quality material for the members of North America — and I’m delighted our work was seen as top-notch by the ACP,” said Maran. “While we serve God in our communication roles and strive to tell stories that share His message, it is gratifying to be recognized in this way.”
*The Associated Church Press, which began as the Editorial Council of the Religious Press in 1916, is a North American professional organization brought together by a common commitment to excellence in journalism as a means to describe, reflect, and support the life of faith and the Christian community.