An end of an era came to a close this week as staff of the Brethren Missionary Herald Company (BMH) vacated their Winona Lake, Ind., offices. BMH is the parent organization of GraceConnect and BMH Books.
It is the first time there have not been offices for BMH in the concrete block building at 1104 Kings Highway since the building was constructed in the mid-1950s.
BMH sold the building to the Winona Lake Grace Brethren Church next door in 2016. Under the terms of the sales agreement, BMH could maintain offices in the facility for up to five years. The five years have passed and the space is needed for a growing staff at the church. The majority of the main floor of the building was renovated in 2016-2017 and is devoted to ministries to children from pre-K through 6th grade.
The absence of a physical space in Winona Lake will not keep the staff, including executive director Liz Cutler Gates, from continuing to keep those in the Charis Fellowship updated with news and information. Likewise, customers of BMH Books should not see any change in service, as orders are filled by the BMH vending partner, Baker and Taylor Publishing Services, in Ashland, Ohio, where BMH Books products are also warehoused.
The staff is now working remotely, but the BMH phone number, 574-268-1122, will be regularly monitored, and the BMH post office box in Winona Lake, will be maintained.
Over the years, the building not only housed offices for BMH, but included warehouse space and the BMH-operated Herald Bookstore. It served as the offices for a number of organizations in the Charis Fellowship (then Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches) and was a de facto “denominational” headquarters. Until last fall, it was the site of the Charis Fellowship offices, which are now located in the Grace Brethren Investment Foundation several blocks to the south.