Printing and Distribution Departments

History Book
History Book
History Book

Today, computers, an image setter, and high-speed presses have replaced the antiquated means of publishing used in 1908. The old Chandler and Price job press that printed the early Apostolic Faith editions at Front and Burnside has been refurbished and retired to a place of honor in the foyer of the office building. Now, the main piece of equipment in the printing department is a high speed Cottrell web press, which can run at speeds up to 15,000 impressions an hour. The organization utilizes approximately eighty-two tons of paper per year, purchased by the ton in carload lots; the paper rolls are stored around the perimeter of the printing department. Two folding machines occupy the center of the plant, and a long Mueller Martini saddle stitcher, which collates, staples, trims, and batches the finished products, is located on the west wall of the 4,209 square foot area.

Cliff Baltzell, who began working at the plant when he was fifteen, was plant manager for many years.

In a nearby area of the headquarters office building, the distribution department handles the products produced by the printing department. There, bundles of literature are boxed for international distribution, bagged for domestic mailing, or shrink-wrapped for storage. Aspects of this operation have changed over the years also. In 1908, one cent would send four papers anywhere in the world. Today, a single domestic copy of the Higher Way magazine costs fourteen cents to mail. Internationally, the cost averages forty-eight cents per copy. A bar-coded inventory system now helps the department staff keep exact records of what is in stock and helps them determine which publications should be reprinted next.

The print room at the Northwest Sixth and Burnside facility.

Volunteers, ranging in age from young to old, play a vital role in this department. A group of retirees regularly assists with processing the Higher Way for mailing. Several times a year, teenagers from the Portland congregation come to help out in mailing various publications.

Walter Frymire trimming sheets of paper at the paper cutter in 1949.

A computer database is the hub of the organization’s record-keeping system. Currently holding about 190,000 entries, the number grows every day. Included in the database is each individual on the mailing list, addresses of contacts made through various outreach endeavors, and each branch church and other institution that receives the printed literature.

Frank Hein, a missionary to Africa, found great joy in printing Gospel tracts for distribution on that continent.