NASHVILLE, TN – The Board of Directors of The United Methodist Publishing House (Cokesbury and Abingdon Press) held its annual meeting this week which included the July 28th dedication ceremony of the new headquarters building. Joining the board and UMPH staff for the celebration were Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, Nashville Area UMC Bishop William McAlilly, and several former chairs of the UMPH board.
In 2012 the board voted to sell the 201 8th Avenue South property that had housed UMPH operations since 1957. The construction of the Music City Convention Center across the street and the attendant demand for hotel and retail space created an opportunity to relocate. In July of 2014 UMPH announced the purchase of the new property.
That campus, now called New House Commons, features the extensively remodeled John Dickins House main building, named for the first book steward of the Methodist Publishing Concern. Founded in 1789, the “publishing concern” would eventually become The United Methodist Publishing House. The New House Commons campus is situated along the banks of what has been dubbed Lake Wesley and features the Georgia Harkness Library. The striking contemporary interior design incorporates state of the art digital technology along with historic artifacts -- visually linking the ministry's past, present, and future. Highlights include new digital tools, abundant use of natural light, flexible work spaces and multiple settings for collaboration and teamwork.
“As we celebrate the dedication of the New House Commons Campus and The John Dickins House, we also rededicate ourselves to the on-going mission and ministry of the United Methodist Publishing House. We find ourselves in a new place, with new technologies, building upon a rich tradition in ways that have great relevance and promise for the future. It is an exciting time to be a part of this arm of ministry for God's church,” shared Dr. R. Carl Frazier, Jr. who serves as chair of the Board of Directors for UMPH and lead pastor at First United Methodist Church in Cary, North Carolina.
The UMPH board also reviewed positive financial results for FY15 (the fiscal year closes July 31) and endorsed legislative proposals to be sent for consideration by the General Conference in 2016. The board’s Search Committee gave an update on the continuing process to identify and recruit a new CEO who will succeed President & Publisher Neil Alexander who will retire after more than 20 years in the position, pending the selection of a successor. Referrals and recommendations may be sent to Amy Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.