This will be my final annual report as director of Regular Baptist Press. I have begun a new ministry as professor of systematic theology at Baptist Bible Seminary in Clarks Summit, Pa.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank each member of the Council of Eighteen for the immense privilege and honor of serving in this role for the past eight years. I would also like to express my appreciation for the three national representatives I have been blessed to serve alongside: John Greening, Mike Hess, and David Strope. I have been richly blessed to count all of them not only as fellow laborers in the work of gospel ministry, but also as friends. I love Regular Baptist Press and the GARBC, and I wish nothing but the very best for their future.
As I prepare to end my service with RBP, I am putting protocols in place to ensure continuity of leadership for the press and smooth operations in the days ahead, and I wrapped up all the major outstanding projects that fell under my direct supervision. For the immediate future, director of educational resources Alex Bauman will assume responsibility for the oversight of RBP. Eventually a permanent successor will likely be identified and appointed.
Annual Report: Current Status and Outlook
Unfortunately, the financial picture for RBP at the moment is not particularly good. Last year, I reported that we were beginning to see an encouraging growth/recovery trend in our sales numbers. That trend continued throughout 2021, but unfortunately, despite our best marketing efforts, it plateaued in early 2022. Current research indicates that our sales numbers are tracking quite closely with broader market trends. Many churches never reopened in the wake of the COVID-19 shutdowns, and those that did reopen have been slower in re-implementing their educational programs than was initially anticipated. That being the case, I do not believe our lackluster sales numbers for 2022 are the result of any particular failing on RBP’s part, but rather that they stem from market factors outside our control. Still, the situation must be dealt with.
It is therefore likely that changes to RBP’s business model and product lines will need to be made in the immediate future. As I write this report, the Regular Baptist Ministries leadership team is still early in its planning toward that goal. I have the utmost confidence in their ability to adapt to and overcome this difficult situation.
Annual Report: 2021–22 Projects
I am proud of the work we have accomplished in the past year:
• Several new books were published (Called by Deborah Spink [RBP]; Gracefully Grounded [RBB] by Holly Stratton; and The King Eternal [RBP] by Juanita Purcell).
• Multiple courses for Strong Students were produced (topics covered included Bible survey, character studies, anthropology, the book of Acts, the Gospel of John, sin and the problem of evil, the messianic Kingdom, and the doctrine of God).
• A host of minor improvements was made to the Strong Kids curriculum line as each quarter came up for reprint.
• Kookaburra Coast: Awesome Adventures in God’s Glory was produced for our 2022 Vacation Bible School material.
• The Kids4Truth Clubs customer base grew by about 130 churches.
We are very pleased to announce our Vacation Bible School theme for 2023. Chompers and Stompers: Building Dino-Sized Faith in God’s Big Plan is a dinosaur-themed VBS where kids explore our world before the Flood, complete with fun-loving characters, lush jungle environments, and dino-sized experiences. Students will learn ageless truths from the faith and failures of some of the first people in the Bible. And they’ll discover how they can, by faith, follow God’s big plan for them today.
Work also continues on the New Testament Exposition Commentary series. While my departure from RBP leaves us with an uncertain publication date for the first volume, series editors Daniel Davey and Chris Miller have agreed to continue plugging away at this important project. RBP hopes to bring the initial volumes to publication in the near future.
I still firmly believe that the mission and ministry of Regular Baptist Press (and of the GARBC more broadly speaking) is vital, and I am praying for God’s sustaining and empowering work for this ministry for many years to come. I will dearly miss all of my coworkers at RBP and RBM. They have been like comrades-in-arms to me, and I appreciate them immensely.
Thank you, again, for the privilege of serving the Lord in this capacity. It has truly been an