By Mark A. Taylor
Some Christian leaders only begin to hit their stride at age 50. Others cross that threshold and start seeing themselves as has beens.
It can happen to institutions as well, but everyone who attended the 50th anniversary meeting of Standard Publishing’s Publishing Committee was energized about the committee’s and the company’s future.
Several committee members said the event, October 10 and 11, was one of their best get togethers ever. This year we invited several committee members to reflect on the opportunities and challenges before our loose knit fellowship of Christian churches and churches of Christ. (Read one of them on page 6.)
But most of the time was spent on free and forthright discussion of Standard Publishing’s service to that fellowship and the Publishing Committee’s role in making it effective.
With our new company president, Matt Thibeau, committee members discussed the unique role of Standard Publishing in the Christian world today. It is an independent publisher, not owned by any one religious group. Yet is has remained true to its roots since 1866, when Isaac Errett founded Christian Standard to speak to members of the Restoration Movement. Since 1956, after his heirs sold the company, the Publishing Committee has played a major role in guaranteeing that connection.
President Thibeau characterized the current committee as an asset not fully utilized. “And we cannot afford not to use fully every asset at our disposal,” he added.
Meanwhile, one committee member reflected on the time spent with the new president and said, “I believe we have seen strength meeting strength.” There’s no doubt that “iron sharpened iron” during the brief time together.
The committee elected Marshall Hayden, Worthington, Ohio, as chairman, following the two year term of Cam Huxford, Savannah, Georgia. With regret, the committee accepted the decision of E. Ray “Cotton” Jones, Clearwater, Florida, not to accept another term of service, ending 21 years with the committee. Floyd Strater, Anaheim, California, has served even longer since 1968. Unable to attend this year’s meeting, he decided afterwards not to renew his service either.
Both men have brought wisdom and insight and more than a few laughs! to the committee’s meetings in the years they have served. All of us will miss them.
The committee chose Eddie Lowen, Springfield, Illinois, to fill Jones’s seat; a replacement for Strater is still being confirmed.
This year’s meeting set the stage for future service by the Publishing Committee. It seems certain their greatest contribution will be in the days ahead.
Click here to see a list of those who serve on the Publishing Committee.