History of the General Council National Office
Mon, 12 Apr 2010 - 9:46 AM CST
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In 1913, Rachel Sizelove came to Springfield, Missouri, to visit family. While in prayer one day, she saw a vision of a sparkling fountain in the heart of Springfield. The fountain sprang up gradually and began to flow to the east, west, north, and south until soon living water covered the entire land. In 1914, the General Council of the Assemblies of God formed in Hot Springs, Arkansas. A small headquarters and print operation was set up in Findlay, Ohio. Then, in 1915, the operation moved to St. Louis, Missouri where it remained until 1918. It then relocated to a building on Pacific Street in Springfield.
In the early morning hours of January 1, 1915, five teenage boys on their way home from a New Year's Eve service decided to take a short cut through White City Amusement Park, which sat on the corner of Boonville and Division streets in Springfield. The boys knew the park had developed a poor reputation due to the nature of some of its entertainment. They decided to pray and ask God to use the property for His glory. The boys claimed a two-block area for God that stretched from Boonville Avenue to Campbell Avenue, and from Division Street to Calhoun Street. White City Amusement Park closed shortly after and was replaced by a baseball field where a minor league affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals played.
The baseball team eventually moved and the Assemblies of God purchased the property and built the Gospel Publishing House Plant in 1949. Today, the building houses Plant Operations, Pre-Press Center, Printing, Bindery, and warehouse areas. A four-story administration building was added on Boonville in 1961 and currently includes national ministries offices, Human Resources, Computer Services, Public Relations, Pentecostal Evangel, Enrichment, and executive offices. A six-story distribution center was added in 1972 on Campbell Street. The building houses U.S. and World Missions, GPH Customer Services, Mailing Services, Literature Mailing, Merchandise Shipping, Customer Services, Product Services.
Today, the Assemblies of God occupies all of the land the boys claimed and several additional blocks. It produces an average of 12 tons of gospel literature each week day and coordinates with over 2,600 missionaries in fulfilling Rachel Sizelove's vision of the gospel spreading throughout the world starting from Springfield.
- The AG National Offices complex includes 18 buildings covering 10 city blocks.
- The General Council employs approximately 900 employees.
- The Gospel Publishing House currently employs 255 people.
- GPH prints 12 tons of Gospel Literature every day.
- About 150,000 copies of the Pentecostal Evangel are printed in a 20-hour period each week.
- It takes 160 miles of paper to print the Pentecostal Evangel each week. If stretched out the paper would span the distance from Springfield to Kansas City, MO.
- GPH Publications includes:
- One weekly
- 6 quarterly, 235 quarterly-curriculum items
- Two annual
Other GPH Statistics
- Average number of active jobs in production: 200 jobs.
- Average number of jobs closed out each month: 450.
- Total paper purchased in an average year: Approximately 6 million pounds.
- Total cost of paper each year: $3,300,000.
- Total ink purchased each year: 110,000 pounds.
- Total cost of ink each year: $295,000.