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NAMB publication to replace 3 magazines of merged agencies

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–MissionsUSA, the “flagship” magazine of the Southern Baptist Home Mission Board, as well as signature magazines of the Brotherhood Commission and Radio and Television Commission, will be replaced in September by a new North American Mission Board publication.

According to a mid-January NAMB Transition News bulletin, the three publications — MissionsUSA (HMB), Missions Today (Brotherhood), and Beam (RTVC) — will cease publication in mid-1997.

NAMB will be the new Southern Baptist Convention agency created by the merger of the HMB, Brotherhood Commission and RTVC under the SBC- wide restructuring approved by messengers to SBC annual meetings in 1995 and ’96. NAMB will become a reality following the June SBC annual meeting in Dallas at the same time the three agencies cease to exist.

According to the June 16 NAMB bulletin, published by the NAMB Transition Communications Team, a team of employees from HMB, Brotherhood and RTVC will be named to design the new publication, as yet unnamed. A feasibility study also will be conducted about producing a NAMB video magazine, the bulletin said.

Also, approval was given the NAMB Logistics Transition Team to pursue production of a single NAMB products/resources catalog by June 1997, “and to utilize all resources, including the Sunday School Board, to enhance cost effectiveness of production and distribution.”

Work is continuing on a logo design for the new missions agency, under the leadership of HMB administrator Richard Harris. The NAMB bulletin said 22 designs are being reviewed.

In other NAMB-related news, the Implementation Task Force, a group created by the SBC Executive Committee to assist in the transition of the denomination’s restructuring, has approved providing a cafeteria plan of benefits options within the “current per employee benefits costs.” Selected employees from the three affected agencies will give input regarding preferences for benefits options, an ITF spokesman said.

The SBC restructuring, “Covenant for a New Century,” reduces the number of SBC agencies from 19 to 12. The merger of the HMB, Brotherhood and RTVC into NAMB will mean a reduction from a total of more than 500 employees to about 350, according to the ITF.

The HMB’s MissionsUSA, named in 1984, has a circulation of 90,000. It became a monthly in 1938 under the name, Southern Baptist Home Missions. Its current editor is Wayne Grinstead. The HMB also produces a quarterly video, also called MissionsUSA, with paid circulation of nearly 5,000.
Brotherhood’s Missions Today, with 35,000 circulation, is a monthly, but is distributed quarterly to SBC churches. The periodical was founded in the mid-1960s as World Mission Journal and renamed in 1995. Its editor is Bob Carey.

The RTVC’s Beam, dating back to the late 1940s, is a quarterly with 65,000 circulation. Published monthly in its early years, Beam was not published from 1984 until 1992. Its editor is C.C. Risenhoover.

    About the Author

  • Herb Hollinger