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Gospel Publishing House installs new press

Fri, 07 Jan 2000 - 12:00 AM CST

At 140 feet in length, 12 1/2 feet tall, and weighing nearly 400,000 pounds, the Harris M1000 web press being installed at Gospel Publishing House in Springfield, Mo., represents a major engineering project. It also represents the future of Assemblies of God publishing.

Gospel Publishing House produces some 16 tons of Christian literature a day at the U.S. Assemblies of God Headquarters in Springfield. Since 1979, a Harris M200 web press has been the backbone of this operation, printing the Assemblies of God's Sunday school curriculum and all its major periodicals. Leader of the pack is the church's weekly magazine, the "Pentecostal Evangel," with a press run of about 250,000 copies. Once a month, the foreign missions edition of the "Evangel" prints more than 300,000 copies.

The Harris M200 could only run 16 pages of color in one pass. The "Evangel's" 32 pages of color require two separate runs, each of a quarter million or more copies. The M1000 will run 32 pages of color on the "Evangel" in one pass at speeds up to 40,000 impressions per hour, or 15 per second, eclipsing the current speed of about 22,000 per hour.

"This will almost triple our productivity," said Michael Murphy, Production Operations Center manager at GPH.

By purchasing a reconditioned press from Graphic Innovators of Itasca, Ill., and trading in the M200, the Gospel Publishing House has cut costs significantly. Though reconditioned, the M1000 is outfitted with state-of-the-art components and will increase the quality of GPH publications while dramatically reducing production time. The M1000 will be equipped with two folders, allowing multiple jobs to run through simultaneously. Where the M200 required three shifts filling a 24-hour day to run jobs on schedule, the M1000 is expected to handle GPH's production load in 2 shifts.

"The transition from the M200 to the M1000 poses a challenge for our press crews," said GPH General Manager Arlyn Pember. "We plan to run the M200 until the last possible moment, complete the last job on this press, and shut down with a minimum amount of time before start up for the M1000. Considerable planning and scheduling has been made to ensure this is a smooth transition. Present plans call for a 2-week window where we will change over support systems and conduct test runs. On March 10 we're scheduled to shut down the old press, and on March 27 we're scheduled to run the new press with an issue of the "Pentecostal Evangel" as the first job.

When asked, about the future of Gospel Publishing House, Pember stated, "The Assemblies of God has been printing and distributing Christian literature from its founding in Hot Springs, Ark., in 1914, through the Gospel Publishing House. This recently purchased press is the largest (8 unit), fastest and most versatile. It will allow Gospel Publishing House to better meet the printing requirements of the various ministries of the church. This equipment is the most significant purchase of production equipment over the past 20 years and speaks to the commitment the church's leadership has made toward the printing ministry of the Gospel Publishing House."


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At 140 feet in length, 12 1/2 feet tall, and weighing nearly 400,000 pounds, the Harris M1000 web press being installed at Gospel Publishing House in Springfield, Mo., represents a major engineering project. It also represents the future of Assemblies of God publishing.

Gospel Publishing House produces some 16 tons of Christian literature a day at the U.S. Assemblies of God Headquarters in Springfield. Since 1979, a Harris M200 web press has been the backbone of this operation, printing the Assemblies of God's Sunday school curriculum and all its major periodicals. Leader of the pack is the church's weekly magazine, the "Pentecostal Evangel," with a press run of about 250,000 copies. Once a month, the foreign missions edition of the "Evangel" prints more than 300,000 copies.

The Harris M200 could only run 16 pages of color in one pass. The "Evangel's" 32 pages of color require two separate runs, each of a quarter million or more copies. The M1000 will run 32 pages of color on the "Evangel" in one pass at speeds up to 40,000 impressions per hour, or 15 per second, eclipsing the current speed of about 22,000 per hour.

"This will almost triple our productivity," said Michael Murphy, Production Operations Center manager at GPH.

By purchasing a reconditioned press from Graphic Innovators of Itasca, Ill., and trading in the M200, the Gospel Publishing House has cut costs significantly. Though reconditioned, the M1000 is outfitted with state-of-the-art components and will increase the quality of GPH publications while dramatically reducing production time. The M1000 will be equipped with two folders, allowing multiple jobs to run through simultaneously. Where the M200 required three shifts filling a 24-hour day to run jobs on schedule, the M1000 is expected to handle GPH's production load in 2 shifts.

"The transition from the M200 to the M1000 poses a challenge for our press crews," said GPH General Manager Arlyn Pember. "We plan to run the M200 until the last possible moment, complete the last job on this press, and shut down with a minimum amount of time before start up for the M1000. Considerable planning and scheduling has been made to ensure this is a smooth transition. Present plans call for a 2-week window where we will change over support systems and conduct test runs. On March 10 we're scheduled to shut down the old press, and on March 27 we're scheduled to run the new press with an issue of the "Pentecostal Evangel" as the first job.

When asked, about the future of Gospel Publishing House, Pember stated, "The Assemblies of God has been printing and distributing Christian literature from its founding in Hot Springs, Ark., in 1914, through the Gospel Publishing House. This recently purchased press is the largest (8 unit), fastest and most versatile. It will allow Gospel Publishing House to better meet the printing requirements of the various ministries of the church. This equipment is the most significant purchase of production equipment over the past 20 years and speaks to the commitment the church's leadership has made toward the printing ministry of the Gospel Publishing House."


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A Centennial Pilgrimage to Hot Springs

Thu, 17 Apr 2014 - 10:36 AM CST

ELT and EP photo in Hot Springs
Holding a historic picture from the 1914 gathering in Hot Springs, current members of the Assemblies of God Executive Leadership Team and some Executive Presbyters pose in the same place as the original photo.

Approximately 300 people gathered in Hot Springs, Arkansas, on April 10-11, 2014, to celebrate the centennial of the Assemblies of God. Echoes of the statements from the founding general council, where another 300 ministers gathered in the same place exactly 100 years earlier, could be heard throughout the two-day event.

The centennial celebration, sponsored by the AGTrust, featured seven speakers and a night of gospel music and worship. The celebration concluded with a pilgrimage to the site of the former Grand Opera House, where the first general council was held, to re-create the iconic photograph of the founders of the Assemblies of God.

One hundred years ago, Hot Springs had a reputation as a wild town, known for its alcohol, prostitution, gangs and drugs. When the founders of the Assemblies of God met at the Hot Springs Grand Opera House for the first general council, they had to pass by the saloon at the front of the building in order to attend the meetings in the auditorium. The centennial celebration was held in a more sanctified setting — the spacious First Assembly of God, Hot Springs, Arkansas, pastored by Larry Burton.

The centennial celebration drew people from across the United States. Jean and Magalie Rebecca, a husband and wife who pastor Haitian Assembly of God, Dorchester, Massachusetts, were excited to be able to participate: "We grew up in the Assemblies of God in Haiti. The Assemblies of God is a worldwide family, and we wanted to represent Haitians in Hot Springs."

Attendees also included descendants of some of the participants in the first general council, held April 2-12, 1914. Bonnie Olsen, the granddaughter of founding Assemblies of God minister Oliver P. Brann, felt right at home. She commented, "I experienced faith-filled services and the power of God this week. I wish I could experience this every day!"

General Superintendent George O. Wood opened the celebration on Thursday by recounting the five reasons for the formation of the Assemblies of God as enumerated in the century-old "Call to Hot Springs." Each speaker continued in this vein, expounding on why the founding principles of the Assemblies of God remain compelling today. Greg Mundis, executive director of Assemblies of God World Missions, shared about the heritage of missionaries who suffered, sometimes unto death, to bring the gospel around the world. Assistant General Superintendent Alton Garrison preached on the bedrock importance of the Word of God.

Hot Springs prayer
Many men and women came forward for healing during the centennial service held at First Assembly of God in Hot Springs.

True to Pentecostal form, the afternoon service included an extended time at the altar. Hundreds of voices were raised in fervent prayer, and people flooded the altars and aisles in the church. Following a time of prayer for specific areas of ministry, Garrison asked those present in need of healing to come forward for prayer. Vocal spiritual gifts were manifested, and several people later testified of physical healings.

Wilfredo de Jesús, pastor of New Life Covenant Church, Chicago, Illinois, encouraged those who are carrying on the Pentecostal legacy to fight complacency in their spiritual lives. "It is essential to build a bridge," he asserted, "so that the younger generation can learn about the power of the Holy Spirit from the older generation." He illustrated this principle with the biblical example of Elijah, the older prophet, who discipled Elisha, the younger prophet. De Jesús pointedly observed, "Elijah and Elisha were from different generations, but they walked together."

Thursday evening, gospel musicians Johnny Minick and Russ Taff led participants in three hours of rousing worship. The music included songs from each decade of the last 100 years. About 40 people - including Wood and Garrison — even participated in a Jericho March, which is a spirited procession around the church in a single file during the worship service. The practice originated in Kentucky Presbyterian camp meetings during the Second Great Awakening and had been adopted by some early Pentecostals.

On Friday morning, three younger ministers spoke — Rod Loy (First Assembly, North Little Rock, Arkansas), Rob Ketterling (River Valley Church, Apple Valley, Minnesota) and Aaron Cole (Life Church, Milwaukee, Wisconsin). They described how Assemblies of God founding ideals are being carried out today and also envisioned the future of the Fellowship.

Following the Footsteps of the AG Founding Members
Attendees of the centennial event make their way up to where the iconic "photo of 300" of the original founders of the Assemblies of God was taken in 1914. Once there, a new centennial photo was taken in the exact same place, re-creating the century-old photo.

The celebration culminated in a pilgrimage to the site where the Hot Springs Grand Opera House once stood. The 300 attendees viewed the new historic marker in honor of the Assemblies of God centennial, which was placed in the sidewalk near Mountain Valley Spring Company, located at 150 Central Avenue. They proceeded to climb the winding trail behind the site of the former Grand Opera House until they reached a small clearing where the iconic photograph from the first general council had been taken.

J. Don George, an Assemblies of God senior statesman and founding pastor of Calvary Church, Irving, Texas, called the centennial event in Hot Springs "a historic occasion that will be long remembered." He noted that the event was relatively small in comparison to the larger centennial celebration slated to be held in Springfield, Missouri, on August 5-10, 2014, in conjunction with the World Assemblies of God Congress. "As a movement we are called to generational, gender, cultural and racial diversity," George stated. When thousands of visitors from across the United States and the world descend on Springfield in August, this diversity will be on full display.

Commemorative Plaque
A historic marker, indicating the historic location of the site of the founding convention of the Assemblies of God, was placed in the sidewalk on Central Avenue in Hot Springs.

The men and women who met in Hot Springs 100 years ago laid a foundation for a cooperative Fellowship that would help Pentecostals to more effectively evangelize the world. One hundred years later, the Assemblies of God has more than 3.1 million adherents in the United States and more than 66 million worldwide.

The centennial gathering offered both a celebration of the past century and a vision for the future. According to George O. Wood, the Assemblies of God, throughout its history, "has been marked by purpose and passion." He explained, "Our purpose is embedded in our doctrine, mission, values and strategies. Our passion comes from the work of the Holy Spirit who continues to empower us to do the greatest work of evangelism the world has ever seen." Wood predicted, "The future for the Assemblies of God is truly as bright as the promises of God."

 

 

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