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EDITORIAL: What’s this talk about a merger?

    By Jim White
    The Religious Herald is more accustomed to reporting news than making it, so the story about a potential merger between the Herald and Associated Baptist Press makes me a bit uneasy. In some respects the news is premature. Before an actual merger takes place we have many details to work out. And, as we all know, the devil is in the details.Even so, the enthusiasm exhibited by both the ABP and Religious Herald governing boards leads me to believe that they will find a way to pull this off.

    Jim White

    In this process I want to be as transparent with you as I can be because I know you cherish the Religious Herald just as I do.

    First, let me explain the action taken by our board. Board president Tony Neal, pastor of Walnut Hills Baptist in Williamsburg, Va., appointed a committee to work with a similar group from ABP’s board to determine the feasibility and potential of a merger. The committees eventually recommended a set of agreements that will frame our deliberations as we move forward.

    These were adopted on April 16, by ABP’s board and on April 19, by ours. In adopting them, the Herald and ABP have essentially become engaged. We have a lot of creative work remaining before we actually say “I do,” but to this point we have committed ourselves to marriage. Each is coming as an equal. The two organizations are remarkably similar, with the same number of full-time employees (four), budgets of nearly identical amounts and endowments very close to the same.

    I anticipate that one of your questions might be, “Why is a merger even being considered?”