The New Room auditorium at the United Methodist Publishing House headquarters building recently was packed with current and former UMPH staff members and many friends. They gathered to celebrate the ministry of United Methodist publishing and the work and friendships forged at the current headquarters location.
Bishop Bob Spain reminded everyone that they had come not for a funeral but for a time of rejoicing to recall the rich history that led up to and continued in this place and will now blossom in the new facility.
Robert Feaster (president and publisher 1983-1996) urged all to remain vigilant and strive to be relevant in proclaiming and living the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the sake of God's people and all Creation. He said that what matters most is not so much where we locate but what we do to reach more people in more places with quality services and resources.
The new UMPH facility, the John Dickins House (named for the very first book agent), will include a working editorial library where a representative historical collection of books and hand presses will be displayed. Other items will be transferred to libraries and archives well suited to care for and assure access to this rich treasure trove of collected works spanning the centuries.
The dedicating of the new facility is Tuesday, July 28, 2015 when the UMPH Board of Directors gathers in Nashville, Tennessee. History suggests, that will be the next phase in a continuing journey of a ministry characterized by a big heart and broad reach.