Mennonite Publishing House (MC), Scottdale, PA, was the headquarters and chief place of business of the Mennonite Publication Board. It was a church-owned nonprofit institution. Proceeds above expenses and additional capital for expansion went into subsidies for literature and other forms of church work. It dated from 1908, when the Mennonite Publication Board was chartered and made Scottdale its place of business. Three years previously the Gospel Witness Company had been organized and had begun the publication and sale of religious literature. Jacob S. Loucks, Aaron Loucks, and A. D. Martin had an important part in these first steps in the development of a church-owned publishing house. The assets of the Gospel Witness Company were purchased by the Mennonite Publication Board, and the two privately owned buildings which had been used by the Gospel Witness Company were rented until purchased in 1914. Expanding business made it necessary to build a new four-story building in 1921-1922. Again in 1948-1949 a three-story annex was added to this building. Together with the growth in floor space there was a commensurate addition of machinery and equipment and an increase in personnel. The number of employees in 1957 was about 175.
Aaron Loucks was the General Manager of the Publishing House from its beginning in 1908 until 1935, when A. J. Metzler became his successor (since called Publishing Agent). Others who had a large part in developing this business were Daniel Kauffman, M. K. Smoker, Jacob A. Ressler, Levi Mumaw, Henry Hernley, George Cutrell, C. B. Shoemaker, C. F. Yake, and J. L. Horst.
The Mennonite Publishing House was engaged in printing, publishing, and bookselling. It published periodicals (Gospel Herald, Christian Living, Youth's Christian Companion, Words of Cheer, Beams of Light, Christian Ministry, Christian School, El Heraldo, and The Way), tracts, books, and educational materials (Herald Uniform Sunday School Series, Herald Summer Bible School Series). It printed most of its own published materials and did much work for district conferences, institutions, and other organizations of the Mennonite Church (MC), although most of the district conference organs were not published by it. It sold by mail order and through eight retail stores (Scottdale, Lancaster, New Holland, and Souderton, PA; Kitchener and London, ON; Goshen, IN; and Bloomington, Illinois, USA). Sales in 1956 totaled $1,289,646.86. The net worth of the Publishing House as of 31 December 1956 was $1,019,223.72.
The Mennonite Publishing House in 1956 was organized into five divisions: editorial, production, sales, finance, and personnel. The head of the institution was the Publishing Agent, who had an Assistant Agent. Heading the divisions, respectively, were the executive editor, the production manager, the sales manager, the treasurer, and the personnel director. Annual reports of the House were published regularly in the church organ, the Gospel Herald, from the beginning in 1908, and an annual catalog appeared every year.
In 2002 after the restructuring of Mennonite Church, the General Conference Mennonite Church and the Conference of Mennonites in Canada into Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Church Canada, the Mennonite Publishing House became the property of a new Mennonite Publishing Network with a board appointed by Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Church Canada.
Cite This Article
Erb, Paul. "Mennonite Publishing House (Scottdale, Pennsylvania, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 18 Jan 2017. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Mennonite_Publishing_House_(Scottdale,_Pennsylvania,_USA)&oldid=89780.
Erb, Paul. (1957). Mennonite Publishing House (Scottdale, Pennsylvania, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 18 January 2017, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Mennonite_Publishing_House_(Scottdale,_Pennsylvania,_USA)&oldid=89780.
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