Columbia Union Members Bid Farewell to Two Adventist Book Stores
Story by Tamyra Horst and Heidi Shoemaker
At the end of this year, Seventh-day Adventists in the Pennsylvania and Ohio conferences will see two Adventist Book Centers (ABC) close—one in Mount Vernon, Ohio—the other in Hamburg, Pa. The closures come as a result of the Idaho-based Pacific Press Publishing Association’s (PPPA) decision early this fall to end a management agreement of some 17 ABCs across the North American Division.
PPPA, which purchased the ABCs from local conferences starting as early as 1996, sent letters to conference leaders sharing that they found operating the ABCs “…unsustainable in light of technology trends and changing patterns of members accessing information.” They also offered the conferences an opportunity to repurchase the stores.
In a letter to Pennsylvania Conference members, Ray Hartwell, conference president, wrote, “A study of the financial reports for the ABC found that they had been operating in the red for several years. Our executive committee fully considered stepping in and resuming operation of the ABC in its current context. After much discussion and prayer, the committee decided that a different model for giving members access to Adventist materials was needed along with a ministry that offered a missional approach to reach the lost.”
Conference leaders are still discussing ways to best meet this need. Both conferences are encouraging members to find devotional and other reading resources at adventistbookcenter.com, adventistebooks.com or order them via (800) 765-6955.
“We have appreciated the wide range of services that the PPPA has provided our membership through the ABC,” observed Raj Attiken, Ohio Conference president.