Bethel Publishing Company (Elkhart, Indiana, USA)
The Bethel Publishing Company, located in Elkhart, Indiana, dated back to 1903, when the work of publishing books and the mail-order sale of books and Bibles began in New Carlisle, Ohio, by J. A. Huffman, at that time pastor of the New Carlisle United Missionary (then Mennonite Brethren in Christ) Church. The office and book room was at first maintained at the parsonage, and later moved to a business room of the Post Office building of the town. In 1907 the business was moved to Dayton, Ohio, and incorporated as the Bethel Publishing Company. In 1913 when the Dayton flood occurred, destroying all the assets of the Publishing Company except the small printing plant which had been added, which was also damaged, Huffman reorganized the company, sold the printing plant, and moved the business back to New Carlisle. In the meantime, the publication of Huffman's own books had increased, and the Bethel Series of Sunday School Literature had been launched. From this time onward, all printing was let by contract to various printers. In 1920 the business of the Bethel Publishing Company was purchased by the Executive Board of the United Missionary Church, and its management passed into the hands of the church. A few years later the business was moved to its Elkhart location, where a suitable building was erected for it.
The Bethel Publishing Company published The Gospel Banner, the Bethel Series of Sunday School Literature, and books, and engaged in a general business in church and Sunday-school supplies, including religious books and Bibles. The tithe of the business was devoted to foreign missions.
The Bethel Publishing House was the national headquarters of the United Missionary Church and the United Missionary Society, the overseas arm of the church work. The business, being church-owned, was, by the discipline of the church, under the direction of the Executive Board of the United Missionary Church, which board employed an executive agent.
The Executive Board of the United Missionary Church was composed in 1950 of the following persons: R. P. Ditmer, Springfield, Ohio, chairman; W. E. Manges, Elkhart, Indiana, vice-chairman; F. B. Hertzog, Emmaus, Pennsylvania, secretary; W. E. Manges, Elkhart, Indiana, treasurer; E. N. Cassel, Walnutport, Pennsylvania; P. T. Stengle, Allentown, Pennsylvania; T. D. Gehret, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; J. E. Tuckey, Brown City, Michigan; M. J. Burgess, Pontiac, Michigan; J. A. Huffman, Winona Lake, Indiana; A. Frey, Didsbury, Alberta; P. G. Lehman, Kitchener, Ontario Ward M. Shantz, Kitchener, Ontario; E. D. Young, Orange, California; A. B. Neufeld, Roy, Washington.
After the 1968-1969 merger of the United Missionary Church and the Missionary Church Association to the Missionary Church, the Bethel Publishing Company grew rapidly. However finances became a problem, and Bethel Publishing collapsed, ceasing both publishing and retail store operations during 1998.
Bethel College. "The Missionary Church, Inc. (est. 1969)." 2006. http://www.bethelcollege.edu/about/history.php (accessed 31 December 2006)
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p. 314. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Huffman, Jasper A. and Sam Steiner. "Bethel Publishing Company (Elkhart, Indiana, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 2006. Web. 21 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/B4871.html.
APA style: Huffman, Jasper A. and Sam Steiner. (2006). Bethel Publishing Company (Elkhart, Indiana, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 21 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/B4871.html.