he Review and Herald Publishing Association (RHPA) continues to be the oldest institution of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, predating even the organization of the church itself. It is impossible to review the history of the church without appreciating the contributions that the RHPA has made to the development, encouragement, and growth of the church.
From the Present Truth . . .
It is amazing to think that more than 165 years ago one little paper could jump-start an ever-growing, ever-changing, worldwide ministry. Our Adventist pioneers used publishing to nurture their growing membership, as well as to share with an audience wider than they could reach by voice alone. That outreach gained momentum through the Holy Spirit’s power to a church that has grown to more than 18 million members today.
The published works of the Review and Herald have grown to include more than 15 magazines, thousands of books (both digital and print), tracts, promotional materials, videos, and apps, all created to reach everyone with the truth, and nurture those within its membership.
Many gained their early knowledge of the Bible from The Bible Story and My Bible Friends; acquired good characters from The Bedtime Stories; studied biblical and church history through reference sets such as The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary; and have been drawn closer to Jesus through stories, daily devotionals, and the writings of Ellen G. White. This is truly a fulfillment of Ellen White’s understanding that church publications would be scattered like “leaves of autumn.”
During this past quinquennium the Review and Herald published approximately 200 books, including the long-awaited Ellen G. White Encyclopedia, a compendium referencing all aspects of White’s life and ministry; and the first volume of The Ellen G. White Letters and Manuscripts With Annotations, covering the years 1845-1859, which contains previously unpublished letters and manuscripts and includes explanatory notes.
In the 1990s the North American Division (NAD) was established in a more formal way. The two publishing houses located within its territory, RHPA and Pacific Press Publishing Association (PPPA), did not transfer to NAD supervision, but remained General Conference (GC) institutions. The two publishing houses, while serving the world, focused much of their publishing and printing on North America.
In 2014 the PPPA was transferred to the NAD. The RHPA was retained as a General Conference institution, operating out of the GC headquarters, maintaining various publishing activities but without a printing facility. Throughout this process the RHPA and the General Conference have been grateful to faithful and dedicated RHPA employees who have championed the publishing work over many years and have subsequently transferred to the PPPA or taken advantage of other employment opportunities during this transition period.
The RHPA will continue as a GC institution. It will be the publisher of many of the major publications of the church, including Adventist Review, Adventist World, Ministry, Elder’s Digest, Sabbath school materials, Ellen G. White materials, GC Biblical Research Institute publications, and other GC departmental publications.
Our mission is to participate with Jesus Christ in His ministry by developing, producing, and distributing books, periodicals, and digital media that will introduce people to Jesus and affirm the Seventh-day Adventist faith as we point people to Christ’s soon second coming.
The publishing ministry has brought, and will continue to bring, hope and God’s love to many throughout the world. As Ellen White observed: “In a large degree through our publishing houses is to be accomplished the work of that other angel [of Revelation 18] who comes down from heaven with great power and who lightens the earth with his glory.”*
*Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacfic Press Pub. Assn., 1948), vol. 7, p. 140.