As an African American S. D. A. I have never understood how we have this inordinate desire to go along with the majority even if it is to our detriment. I was a high school junior on May 17, 1954; When the Supreme Court voted that the separate but equal concept in public schools was unconstitutional. Jim Crow Laws under the onslaught of bus boycotts, sit-ins, freedom rides, and protests caused segregation to crumble. Integration, however; brought a new challenge. Many felt that we could forsake our own institutions and business and join those of the majority culture. But we soon discovered that we had left ours behind to share what belonged to others. I liken it to the dog in Aesop’s fable who seeing his reflection in a nearby pond reasoned he could take the bone from the other dog. Having plunged into the pond he lost the bone that he had and ended up with nothing. Sadly, this fable adequately describes our naïveté as African American Seventh-day Adventists.
In the 1970 African American leaders instituted our own publishing ministry which we dubbed Family Health Education Service because the original program did not feature African American in our publications and the pay-by-mail plan did not work well for minority customers. Whether strong or weak F. H. E. S. Is our baby. Why should we discontinue our ministry because of what others have done? When the majority of our unions in the North American Division closed their publishing departments at the union level, regional conferences did not follow suit. However, eventually; some of our conferences followed the examples of their respective unions. Therefore we can blame no one for the demise of our publishing ministry but ourselves. In 2007, the constituency of our conference voted to refer the future of the publishing department to the conference committee. Seven months later the conference committee voted with only one dissenting vote. At this time the publishing department had over $40,000.00 in it’s treasury. This money was merged into the conference treasury despite my protestations.
The Review and Herald as well as the Pacific Press our two United States publishing facilities, are presently facing tremendous financial challenges. What can you expect when the spiritual marines of our church are being decimated? Why have armories to prepare ammunition, if there are no soldiers
The Painful Divorce
Have you ever thrown away something, that you later discovered that you needed I know I have. Our Educational system is in a state of dissolution because we have killed the economic system is in s state of dissolution because we have killed the economic arm of our church, publishing. Many of the people in our constituency owe their present positions and success to the funds they earned as student literature evangelists. Are we now willing to chop down the bridge for future generations? A little Israeli boy had a friend that was coming to Israel for a visit. The Jewish lad pondered long and hard over what he could show his American friend that would be impressive. When his buddy from the U. S. arrived, the Israeli, lad lead his friend down to the shore of the dead sea and said: “That’s the dead sea, my father killed it” will it be said of us who through the neglect and disdain for the literature evangelism program will cause us to say something similar to our constituency “That’s The Publishing Ministry, We Killed It.”