ABPnews/Herald was created by the January 2014 merger of The Religious Herald, the 185-year-old newsjournal for Baptists in Virginia and the Mid-Atlantic, and ABPnews, founded in 1990 as Associated Baptist Press, the first and only independent news service created by and for Baptists.
This historic agreement emerged from a shared conviction that we could best serve Baptist Christians and churches in the Mid-Atlantic region and around the world by collaborating rather than competing for readers and resources. The merger builds upon our respective strengths while consolidating and streamlining core operations, eliminating duplications, and achieving economies of scale. It also equips us to embrace the challenges of dramatic changes in Baptist life, in religious journalism and in communication technologies.
To learn more about the merger, click here.
ABPnews/Herald is an autonomous, nonprofit news organization that offers news, features and opinion articles every business day for a global audience of Baptists and other Christians at ABPnews.com and its companion site, the ABPnews Blog.
As you browse our website, you will discover news and opinion articles that refer to ABPnews or to The Religious Herald, the two organizations that predated the merger. We have chosen to leave such references unaltered for historical accuracy.
To serve Christ by providing credible and compelling information about matters of faith
To be the leading source of news and commentary for Baptist Christians worldwide
ABPnews is Baptist in heritage, global in reach and ecumenical in spirit.
Inform âŞ Inspire âŞ Engage
These three action verbs constitute our âmarching ordersâ in pursuit of our mission and vision.
They help us make decisions about the news we report, the feature stories we write, the columnists we enlist, the commentary articles we publish and the related services we provide. They are criteria by which we measure our effectiveness.
These imperatives testify to our tenacious belief in the transformative power of story. We believe compelling stories about Baptist Christians and churches are part of the larger story of the good news of Jesus Christ. These stories also connect Christâs followers, whether they live in the same town and attend the same church or they live on separate continents and worship in very different ways.
Baptists today need these stories â and this connectedness. Our challenge is to find new and better ways to share our stories.
Our Core Values
We believe a free and responsible press is an essential corollary to historic Baptist principles of religious freedom, freedom of conscience, the priesthood of all believers, and the autonomy of the local church. We believe the health and vitality of the Baptist witness are best served by an independent source of news and commentary free from censorship and coercion.
We believe truth is the cornerstone upon which the democratic process is built, both in religious and civil relationships. We believe in democracy, because we believe it best honors the competency of every soul before God. We affirm following Jesus as a call to shared discipleship and believe that free and faithful faith communities function best when all members have access to reliable information. Therefore, we believe our first commitment must be to our readers, whose right to know the truth is paramount, both for relating to God and to others.
Our ministry will be built upon freedom, fairness and objectivity, by which we guard our integrity and autonomy. Our work will reflect the highest standards of journalistic excellence and Christian integrity.
The unique ministry of ABPnews/Herald is made possible by individuals, churches and other organizations that believe a free and unfettered source of information is essential to the integrity of the Christian witness and to the vitality of the Baptist movement. As a reader-supported, nonprofit news organization, ABPnews/Herald relies upon contributions for almost 90 percent of its annual operating budget.
Our primary funding sources are the following:
Learn more information about ways you can support our ministry. All gifts to ABPnews/Herald are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.
The work of ABPnews/Herald is performed by seven full-time staff members, plus a development assistant who works part-time. Another member of the team provides social media expertise on a contract basis.
David Wilkinson, Executive Director & Publisher, Waco, TX
Robert Dilday, Editor in Chief, Richmond, VA
Bob Allen, News Editor, Smyrna, TN
Jeff Brumley, Assistant Editor, Jacksonville, FL
Lindsay Bergstrom, Director of Creative Services, Jacksonville, FL
Barbara Francis, Business Manager/Advertising Director, Richmond, VA
Ann Richardson, Development Assistant, Waco, TX
Natalie Aho, Interactive Communication Specialist (contracted), Oxford, NC
(Position to be filled), Staff Writer
We also have semester interns.
ABPnews/Herald is governed and guided by an autonomous, volunteer Board of Directors composed of laypersons and clergy who represent a cross-section of mainstream Baptist life.
A Merger Transition Team was appointed by the respective heads of the Herald and ABPnews boards as part of the merger agreement adopted in October 2013. Merger Transition Team members are:
Tony Neal, Chair, Williamsburg, VA
Janice Anderson, Houston, TX
Bob Dale, Richmond, VA
Kyle Reese, Jacksonville, VA
Bill Shiell, Tallahassee, FL
Lisa Cole Smith, Alexandria, VA
Bill Wilson, Winston-Salem, NC
David Wilkinson, staff liaison, Waco, TX
A Transition Board composed of members of both previous boards will act as the governing board until a new governing structure is recommended by the Transition Team and approved by the Transition Board.
ABPnews/Herald functions as a virtual organization. We do not own or lease office space. Our lean structure and regionally-located personnel allow us to concentrate our resources on the primary task of gathering, reporting, editing and distributing news and opinion for Baptists and other Christians.
ABPnews/Herald is an independent news organization. With oversight from, and accountability to, our Board of Directors, the staff of ABPnews/Herald diligently protects the freedom and autonomy to make editorial decisions without censorship, coercion or undue influence from any individual or group.
At the same time, we do not operate in isolation. We are grateful to be part of a dynamic and diverse Baptist network of organizations and resource providers that share similar visions, values and commitment to our Baptist heritage. We have provided a list of websites as an information resource for our readers.
Our awards program, an initiative of our Board of Directors, recognizes individuals and organizations for their outstanding contributions to Baptist life, to Baptist values, to religious journalism and to the mission and vision of ABPnews/Herald. Recipients are chosen by the Board of Directors. Read about our awards.