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Review and Herald Ships 1 Million Copies of The Great Controversy

Story by Kim Peckham
Published 1/30/12

Jack Henderson poses with different versions of The Great Controversy

The Review and Herald Publishing Association in Hagerstown, Md., began 2012 by shipping one million copies of an abbreviated version of Ellen White’s The Great Controversy to Nigeria. They are also printing editions in Spanish and Portuguese. “It has been so exciting to see this project catch fire,” says Mark Thomas, the publishing house’s president.

Today millions of people will be able to read this book because a layman named Jack Henderson had a dream to place a copy of this book in every home in the country. When Henderson shared his dream with Thomas in 2008, it was an audacious dream because he didn’t have the money to send millions of books. At least not at that time. But as of today, donors have provided the funds to distribute 1.7 million copies of White’s complete book in communities all across the North American Division.

Donors included staff at the Review and Herald. “Our employees have rallied around this outreach effort. Some have donated one, two or even three weeks of salary,” Thomas says.

Furthermore, the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist Church has embraced Henderson’s Great Controversy Project. Ted Wilson, General Conference president, says that he has pledges from the world divisions to send out more than 170 million copies.

“Mark got out his pencil and found a way to get the price down on these books,” says Henderson. “If not for the [Review and Herald], this project would never have happened.” (From now until April 15, pre-publication orders can be placed at Adventist Book Centers for a newsprint, abridged edition that costs only 49 cents each.)

In North America, every conference is designating a person to coordinate the distribution of The Great Controversy in their area. It looks like Henderson’s hope of covering the whole country with the book is beginning to come true. But he says that he gave up that dream a long time ago. “Now I want to reach everyone in the whole world,” he says.

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Pressman Jonathon Smith checks the quality on a version of The Great Controversy destined for Nigeria. 

A trucker closes an overseas shipping container filled with copies of The Great Hope, another name for The Great Controversy