Herald House serves as an integral part of the Community of Christ by partnering in creation, devising the plan, facilitating the production, communicating with the customer, and distributing to market, resources specific to denominational needs and the needs of the global community.
Herald Publishing House is a non-profit 501(c)(3) and a public charity 509(a)(3).
A short history
Adapted from the pamphlet, “Our Second Century of Service”
“The True Latter Day Saints Herald,” first printed in 1860 in Cincinnati, Ohio, carried this notice: “It is the design of the church to publish this monthly for at least six numbers when, if called for and the condition of the church will justify it, a press will be bought.” Although circulation reached only three hundred during those early days of the Reorganization, the little twenty-eight-page periodical became a vital link between church headquarters and the membership. It has remained the chief source of communication in the church since that time.
The first church press was operated by hand, and the whole printing operation covered only eighteen square feet on the second floor of the Henning Block in Plano, Illinois. In 1881 a building was erected in Lamoni, Iowa – then the site of church headquarters – to house the publishing plant. By that time there were eight employees; equipment included type, two cylinder power presses, a jobber press, and “other fixtures.”
Fire destroyed the building in 1907, and another publishing house had to be built. With the third move of the headquarters – this time to Independence, Missouri – Herald House was relocated in 1921 to what had been the home of an artillery battalion of the Missouri National Guard. This location was maintained until 1965 when a plant was constructed on Noland Road in Independence.
The new building, with a floor space of over 58,000 square feet, housed equipment valued at $429,000. Herald House had grown and employed more than 78 people and the Saints Herald had a readership of nearly 100,000.
The publishing house has had its ups and downs over the years and in 1999 the decision was made to sell most of the presses and the building on Noland Road. The publishing functions were moved to the Auditorium and Temple complex where they remain today.
In the book “A Herald to the Saints” by Isleta L. Pement and Paul M. Edwards we find the following:
“Church publications differ from the secular press, even though they have many things in common. The church press is not in business to make a profit or push circulation simply for the sake of income. Nor is it willing to base its appeal for readers on expanded sensationalism. Established by the World Conference and directed by the editors-in-chief, the church press is a means of conveying concepts to the general membership and serves as a vehicle through which the membership can communicate with each other. It also provides an opportunity for the membership to explore the fundamental and meaningful questions about belief.”
This is as true today as it was in 1860 when the first “Herald” was provided to the membership. Herald House continues to be the vital link for the Community of Christ worldwide. It touches lives daily through its publications and provides consistent communication from the International Headquarters.