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Randall House Publications
Genre Christian
Founded 1962
Headquarters Nashville, Tennessee
Industry Publishing
Revenue $4 million (2007)
Employees 40+ in-house staff
Website Randall House.com

Randall House Publications is an American publisher of Christian literature and church resources. Based in Nashville, Tennessee, it and produces about forty pieces of Sunday School curriculum each quarter. Although chartered as the publishing arm of the National Association of Free Will Baptists to produce materials for use in Sunday School classrooms that adhered to Free Will Baptist doctrine, in recent years the company has expanded their product offerings to include a variety of church resources: Bible study materials, trade books, commentaries, teacher training workshops, youth and youth worker conferences, and digital products, useful to other denominations as well.

In 2004, Randall House released its newest line of Sunday School curriculum named CLEAR Curriculum, [1] based on the CLEAR Learning System. For the first time, Sunday School teachers of all age groups (infants to adults) were able to use materials specifically designed to help a teacher communicate information that was educationally conducive to comprehension, retention, and application while keeping everyone on the same biblical topic. Randall House has 11 departments: Administrative, Book Division, Training, Design, Distribution, Digital/IT, Editorial, Marketing, Printing, Sales, and Student & Children’s Ministry. Randall House is one of the few Christian publishers remaining that houses its own design, printing, and distribution services.

Contents

History

In 1935, the National Association of Free Will Baptists (NAFWB) selected Rev. Winford Davis of Missouri to become the first Sunday School Secretary. Only three years later, the NAFWB elected the first Sunday School Board, which developed the National Sunday School Convention (NSSC) in 1940. For the next seven years (1940-1947), the NSSC functioned as the Sunday School Board, promoting its principles and acting upon directives. In fact, they worked so closely together the chairman of the Sunday School Board, W. E. Coville was also elected president of the NSSC. The Sunday School Board served as the Nominating Committee for NSSC officers, which assured that elected officers were qualified and competent individuals.

During the first year the NSSC elected 10 officers, two of which became notable men in Free Will Baptist ranks. L.C. Johnson, the Chairman of Denominational Enterprise, later became the first president of the Free Will Baptist Bible College in Nashville, Tennessee. The Chairman of Literature was L. R. Ennis who became the second president of FWBBC.

Since 1940, the work of the Sunday School Board has been promoted via the NSSC. In order to increase participation, the Sunday School Board brought back that work under the direct supervision of the Board in 1947. The NSSC continued its conventions but voted in 1950 to dissolve as a separate entity.[1] The conventions continued to meet, however, under the direction of the Sunday School Board. There is mention of a 10th annual NSSC in the 1952 Minutes.[2] The 1953 NAFWB Minutes says that future conventions will meet biennially (every two years).[3] Thus, in reality the 1938 Sunday School Board had started a separate organization (under the auspices of the NAFWB) to promote Sunday School.

The year 1955 held another turning point in the organization of the Sunday School movement within the Free Will Baptist denomination. Rev. William J. Mishler, the first full-time Sunday School Promotional Secretary (elected in 1954), began promoting regional conventions, sponsored by the Sunday School Board, to replace the NSSC, which met biennially. The purpose was to obtain more participation than was possible in national rallies. During 1955 as well, the Sunday School Department moved into its first offices at 3801 Richland Avenue, Nashville, Tennessee.

Because of the increased promotion of Sunday School benefits to churches’ spiritual growth, attendance, and effectiveness, the NAFWB approved launching their own Free Will Baptist-produced Sunday School literature program, which was initiated in early 1958. However, in 1959 the worked ceased and the office doors closed due to financial difficulties. Thus, the Sunday School Board contracted Sunday School materials from the Free Will Baptist Press (now Ayden Press, which was never under the auspices of the NAFWB) in Ayden, North Carolina as it did in the 1940s. Yet, at the same time in 1960, the Oklahoma State Association of Free Will Baptists seeing the need to publish the adult study materials began to do so when the National Nashville offices closed. They maintained the production of these materials until 1962.

Thanks to the determination of several leaders within the Free Will Baptist ranks, especially Rev. Roger Reeds who was the Sunday School Board Secretary, the Nashville office reopened and literature publishing resumed in 1962. Roger Reeds became the first full-time General Director of the Sunday School Department (SS Department). Finally, Free Will Baptist churches now had an established curriculum by Free Will Baptists for Free Will Baptists.

The next few years boasted several milestones for the SS Department. In 1965, the SS Department took up residence in the new NAFWB offices on Murfreesboro Road in Nashville, Tennessee. The SS Department occupied 859 square feet (79.8 m2) of floor space, sharing shipping and warehouse space with the other departments. Its first non-curriculum publication—Pauline Epistles by Dr. Robert E. Picirilli—released in 1967. One year later, the SS Department moved into its new 10,000 square feet (930 m2) building behind the Murfreesboro Road office complex. The following year in 1969 the first Sunday School curriculum for adults was created, marking the first time every age level had Free Will Baptist curriculum.

In 1971 the company expanded to a 53,000 square feet (4,900 m2) building on 9 acres (36,000 m2) of land on Bush Road, still the location for Randall House Publications. In 1972 the SS Department adopted Randall House Publications as their trade name in honor of Benjamin Randall, the founder of the Northern line of Free Will Baptists. The next year brought a record sales of $1 million.

The Church Training Service (CTS) and the SS Department (Randall House) merged in 1978. CTS created materials and curriculum for use during Sunday night and Wednesday evening church services. These products were also used as preparatory materials for students competing in various Bible competitions at the NAFWB Convention held every July. The joining of these two departments meant all curriculum publishing was now governed under one board. At that time, Dr. Malcolm Fry served as the General Director for CTS.

Alongside its curriculum publishing, Randall House intermittently published trade books, mostly concerning Free Will Baptist distinctives and Arminian theology. The year 1987 marked the first installation of the Randall House Commentary—Romans by Leroy Forlines—with all remaining New Testament volumes to be completed in the following years.

After 31 years of service, Dr. Roger Reeds retired, making way for the newly elected General Director, Dr. Alton Loveless. Dr. Loveless began his tenure at Randall House in 1994. Under Dr. Loveless’ direction, Randall House upgraded much of the Department’s prepress technology and developed an extensive backlist of print-on-demand titles. He also developed a solid editorial team. His business acumen set Randall House in the direction for a sound financial future.

In 2002, Dr. Alton Loveless retired, and Ron Hunter Jr. became the third Executive Director and CEO of Randall House Publications. Under his creative and visionary leadership, Randall House made great strides in producing more relevant and reputable publisher. (You may want to follow his blog WriteIdeaOnLeadership [2]. In 2004, the launch of CLEAR Curriculum marked a huge feat in the redevelopment of curriculum targeted not only at Free Will Baptist churches, but all evangelical denominations. In 2005, the new Book Division released its first children’s book to the CBA [3] marketplace—The Case of Stewart’s Ship by Stan Toler and Debra White Smith. What followed was a concerted effort to provide not only quality Sunday School curriculum for all age levels, but also trade books, Bible studies, and other church resources to the whole Church community. In 2007, the NAFWB voted to file “Randall House Publications of the National Association of Free Will Baptists” as the official name.[4] Randall House is their DBA name.

Thanks to Randall House's belief in building believers through Christian education, they launched the longterm D6 [4] campaign in 2007. Over the next decade, this movement will encourage church members to adopt the D6 [5] lifestyle where parents reconnect to their kids and transfer their spiritual heritage and values by regular interaction every day. D6 is where the parents are to be the spiritual leaders of the home teaching morals, character, and biblical insights as prescribed in Deuteronomy 6:7. Randall House believes that most parents want to connect with their kids in order to pass along their faith and values, but discovered so many simply do not know how. By using D6family.com as a resource, Randall House allows parents to subscribe to free resources that can help them launch forward in leading their family. The principles and products of D6 help parents reconnect to their kids.

Divisions

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Editorial

The Editorial Department is responsible for the production (writing, proofing, editing) of printed and digital Sunday School curriculum, small group Bible studies, materials for Student & Children ministries, and all marketing pieces associated with these products. The Sunday School curriculum provides studies for all ages: nursery, preschool, elementary, junior high, senior high, young adult (college and career), and adult—a total of 39 curriculum pieces each quarter.

The Editorial department produces digital curriculum or “curriculum-on-demand,” delivered primarily on the Internet as well as electronic resources that supplement existing printed curriculum and products. The goal of the digital curriculum area is the publication of professionally written, edited, and designed materials for purchase, download, and immediate use.

To date, the Editorial Department’s most noted achievement is developing and implementing the CLEAR Learning System. CLEAR Curriculum is a coordinated, whole family approach to Bible study that enables the entire family to study the same scriptural theme each week. CLEAR is an acronym that stands for five steps in the learning process. Each lesson is built around these five steps: Connect, Learn, Explore, Apply, and Respond. Connect captures the student’s attention and plugs the lesson into life. Learn presents the facts of the Bible logically and chronologically. Explore delves deeper into the historical and background elements. Apply involves the student to see how biblical principles should be lived out today. Then, finally, Respond calls for a decision or action that reflects the work of the Holy Spirit impacting daily life. Through this interrelated Sunday School curriculum families have the opportunity to discuss and apply truths learned together as they study God’s Word.

Since its release in 2004, CLEAR Curriculum has received recognition and various awards from throughout the publishing industry. CLEAR Curriculum received Best of Division and the Award of Excellence from the Printing Industry Association of the South [6] 2006 Graphic Awards for CLEAR Living: Character of Christ. The Award of Excellence was awarded to Explorer’s Guide 2: The Gift of Grace; CLEAR Horizon: On a Mission From God; and My Cuddle Time Bible Storybook: I Believe in God! The same year the Evangelical Press Association [7] awarded CLEAR Horizon 1st place in Publication Design.

Book publishing

In 2004, Randall House separated book publishing from the curriculum editorial department. This allowed new guidelines and greater resources to enable the Book Division to grow. The Book Division publishes various genres—Christian living, Bible reference, pastoral helps, small group studies (book and DVD), fiction, and theological materials.

Randall House Student & Children’s Ministries

Randall House Student & Children’s Ministries (SCM) serves to equip youth workers to be more effective in ministry. This goal is achieved through training and ministry programs for youth and youth workers. The annual National Youth Conference (NYC) [8] draws young people from across the country to participate in worship services, training opportunities, service projects, and more. The Truth & Peace Leadership Conference [link to Non dated T&P site] provides intensive leadership training for high school students. The 25th year of Truth & Peace (T&P) was celebrated in 2008. T&P alumni serve in leadership positions around the world in local church ministries, national ministries, and international missions.

Over two thousand hours of community service are logged in three days during the NYC by the students who participate in Reach That Guy , serving homeless shelters, rescue missions, and other charitable agencies. The Music and Arts Festival and Bible Competition encourages students to discover, develop, and dedicate their talents to God’s service. Select participants are chosen for the National Youth Evangelistic Team, which travels during the summer to minister in churches and youth camps.

The SCM department continues to develop Bible studies and programs to assist local churches and youth workers. Networking opportunities encourage youth workers to share their experience, needs, and challenges. OutpostX.net [9] provides additional information about the ministries of Randall House Student & Children’s Ministries.

References

  1. ^ NAFWB Minutes, 1951, pg 45.
  2. ^ NAFWB Minutes, 1952, pg 38.
  3. ^ NAFWB Minutes, 1953, pg 31.
  4. ^ Information in "History" section obtained from interview with Jack Williams, a FWB history buff, and researched information from historical documents and minutes.

External links


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