R.F.P.A. Secretary’s Annual Report

September 20, 1990

Dear Members and Supporters of the R.F.P.A. (Standard Bearer publication):

Until one is personally involved to some degree, it is so easy to dismiss from one’s mind all the required time and effort and cost that go into a finished product—namely, in this case, Volume 66 of the SB, and also the related work of the Permanent Committee for the Publication of Protestant Reformed Literature.

We as Board, on behalf of the Association, gratefully acknowledge and thank our Editor, the Editorial Committee, our Business Manager, Guest Writers, Department Editors, and others who contributed to put the SB and other of our publications in your possession.

Under the capable leadership of our Editor, Prof. D.J. Engelsma, subjects and issues were addressed in a forthright manner, demonstrating his (and all our assigned writers’) deep commitment to the Truth of the Scriptures, as it is expressed in the great creeds which belong to the heritage of the Reformed Churches.

Letters to the Editor were knowledgeably, skillfully, and directly answered without compromise.

Volume 66 featured special issues and events. January 1, 1990: special issue on Reformed Faith…Theology of Hope; May 15th: on Preaching; November 1, 1989: Editorial re the San Francisco earthquake; April 1st: on Office Bearers Conference held in South Holland, IL; July 1st: on International Conference held in Grand Rapids, MI, June 12-14 (two pages of pictures).

It is an ongoing effort and concern of the RFPA to improve and maintain the quality of our publication both in content and in appearance.

This year we have an increased working balance. We take this opportunity to thank our PR membership for their collection contributions, as well as our PR and non-PR friends who gave donations to print and mail out our magazine and books. We also acknowledge the prayers offered on our behalf that our publications might be a voice and witness in this age of indifference. Those interested in receiving our annual Financial statement and report can obtain one by contacting our Business Manager, Mr. Don Doezema.

From the Minutes of our Board and from the desk of our much appreciated, hard-working Business Manager (also thanking his wife, Judi) we can report the following activities for the year:

Distribution of the SB: Of the 2,076 addresses used in the August mailing 958 were in Michigan, 968 from other states, and 150 were sent overseas. Sixty-two percent of our subscribers are PR (1,279). Thirty-eight percent (797) are non-PR.

The one-half price introductory offer brought in 106 new paying subscribers. Taking into consideration some requested cancellations, non-payment, etc. we ended up the 12-month period with a gain of 42 on our paid mailing list.

Because it is a concern of our Editorial Committee as well as our Board, there is an on-going effort to increase and expand our readership. From our churches’ Extension and Evangelism Committees we are getting mailing lists, and they in turn are enclosing with their sent-out material a special card promoting The Standard Bearer.

We are also exploring the possibilities of outside advertising. Our first ad was in the August 13th issue of the Christian Observer, a weekly Presbyterian publication. This fine magazine has in the past given us favorable recognition and publicity. We appreciate their generosity.

In an attempt to prune our list of freebies, letters were sent out to many institutions such as colleges, libraries, etc., receiving complimentary copies of the SB. For lack of response, 29 were dropped. At the same time, we continue to seek other institutions who might profit from our magazine on their shelves.

Commercial Printing Company recently purchased equipment which makes it possible for them to accept from their customers the copy for typesetting on a computer disk. Our Seminary received as a gift a high quality laser printer with the understanding that cooperation with the R.F.P.A. in typesetting the SB could generate income sufficient to take care of the Seminary computer equipment needs for the foreseeable future. Our taking full advantage of that arrangement promises to be of financial benefit also for the R.F.P.A., and at the same time give us more control over the layout of each issue.

An inventory is completed of the number of every printed issue of each of the 66 Volumes we have on hand and in storage as of September 30, 1990.

From the Secretary of the Permanent Book Committee, Dave Harbach, we pass along the following information:

From their Distribution Committee:

1. Prepared a new catalog.

2. Developed an inventory reduction sale.

3. Prepared a letter to our churches informing them of their work.

4. Prepared a letter to be put in the SB.

5. Sent a delegate to the Psalmody Conference in North Carolina displaying our various publications.

6. Looked into outside advertising as an outlet for books, etc.

From their Publication Committee:

1. Triple Knowledge, Volume I & II, reprinted.

2. “Show Me Thy Way,” Grade 5, will be printed as funds permit.

3. Prof. H.C. Hoeksema’s material on the Doctrine of Scripture is being prepared for publication on a limited edition.

4. Prof. H. Hanko’s Exposition on the Parables will be reprinted.

5. Rev. Haak’s outlines on Philippians will be printed.

6. Articles from past Standard Bearers will be considered for publication in pamphlet form.

7. Procedures for approving new manuscripts are being developed.


As we end this report, we thank the three retiring Board members, Chairman—John J. Dykstra; Treasurer—Henry Kamps; and Gilbert Schimmel. In all matters re our publications let us heed the encouragement of Scripture as found in I Corinthians 15:58: “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”

Respectfully submitted,

Board of the R.F.P.A.

Peter Koole, Secretary