Thursday, April 7, 2011

Bro. SV & Reformation Publishers

Picture at the left: Steven V. Williams - (He looks younger than I do...

“Brother Steve...? … Is this Reformation Publishers? … Is this Williams Printing? … I’m trying to reach Steven Williams.”

I’ve taken literally hundreds of variations of the above calls over the past few years. It varies from covering the office phones at the shop in Kentucky to answering calls transferred to me elsewhere, while I answer them offsite. Last night I talked to two individuals from Prestonsburg 1st Church (looking for "Pastor Steve" after Prayer Meeting).

I just got off the phone with a retired southern pastor who ordered a hard-to-find volume by a Revelation Preacher. He wanted to know if it had been sent yet. I take many such calls. Earlier today, I talked with a couple of authors checking on the status of their pending publications. One is an older gentleman from the area that is compiling a new edition of his extensive poetic works; he needs copies for a soon-to-come family reunion. The other was from a highly respected holiness Para-church educational ministry awaiting an already proofed-and-paid-for book on the life of one of their team members.

IF you are a history buff, or like original Church of God publications, you may know who Steven Williams is. If you attend Winchester Pastor’s Fellowship, you likely know “Brother Steve” rather well. If you are a local customer of Williams Printing Company, you probably enjoy the personable printer, who also preaches at the brick church behind the Dairy Queen. To others, he may be simply a name or an unknown quantity.

Steve has owned and operated Reformation Publishers since 1992. He grew up in Jackson, KY, graduated from Anderson University and School of Theology with undergrad and graduate degrees, and has served in ministry since enrolling at AU in 1980.

In his 10+ years back in SE KY, Steve has completed his Doctor of Ministries degree and continued reprinting out of print Church of God literature, while pastoring Prestonsburg First Chog, and operating Williams Printing Company. To achieve this, he wears numerous additional hats.

Here are unsolicited reasons why we [my spouse and I] personally support RP ministries:
1. RP fills a significant niche in the national life of the Church of God and its Anderson agencies through resourcing needed writings.
2. RP serves as an unofficial liaison with several Church of God [as I call them] splinter groups that formerly had little interaction with us.
3. Although RP does not fully fund itself, through no fault of its supporting customer base, Williams Printing Company partially fills that role. Wearing this hat, Steve prints locally, publishes School Program Books and services a variety of area authors and local businesses. We view this like E. E. Byrum expanding the original Gospel Trumpet Company from Warner’s writings to providing church and religious resources. Steve uses his printing expertise to help underwrite his RP Ministries.
4. While Steve is a printer-publisher, he is foremost an ecumenical Christian minister and local pastor at 1st Church of God. When necessary, he supplements his efforts by driving school bus for the local School System. He remains a popular driver and this allows him and his handful of volunteer-associates to keep the digital presses running.
5. Working with Steve and Martha for more than a decade, I know them as the competent,honest, and hard-working people they are at their core. I cannot tell you the number of people who have said to me or my wife, “I [we] appreciate what you are doing!”
6. And yes, I must add Martha, the other half of this skilled team. An RN and Vo-Ed Teacher with complementing doctoral studies in Education from Moorhead State, Martha is Principal of the Kentucky Vocational School at Inez over in Martin County. She was also a contributing member of the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Education--very talented. Steve’s mother and I agreed before her death, “Martha is God’s gift to Steve.”

Even the finest customers in the world sometimes become impatient. I know, because sometimes my wife reminds me of the number of hats Steve wears--when I become impatient. I experience that same impatience with the church at large, wondering why we don’t rally to the job needing done. At such times, I realize we are not always pleased with God’s responses either. When I go back and re-read Job's drama, I see God grinning as he asks Job, “Where were you when I established the foundations of creation …? “ Duh…!

On the other hand, I know people sometimes fail to understand when they don‘t hear from Steve ASAP, or when a book is slow in delivery. I know Steve experienced burn-out this past year and that slowed him ... for awhile. Beyond the economic slowdown that is currently hurting him, he is functioning quite well today.

His responses are sometimes slower than I like, but I know the pace he maintains. I know he is giving all of us his best shot - as he pursues his God-given vision of publishing first seen as a high-schooler.

Now, I’m trying your patience with my many words … so ... be patient and possess your souls. You can help yourself by buying books from Reformation Publishers, or from our friend Joe Allison at Chog Ministries. RP is here to serve you - 1-800-765-2464.

From Warner's World, you can find RP’s website online but that is one of the things still needing improvement … best to call - toll free.


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