The Merger

GOOD news becomes GREAT news

abprhlogo vert final

In October 2013, the governing boards of Associated Baptist Press (ABPnews) and The Religious Herald, the 185-year-old newsjournal for Baptists in Virginia and the Mid-Atlantic, unanimously approved a merger of the two independent news organizations. 

This historic agreement emerged from a shared conviction that we could best serve Baptist Christians and churches in the Mid-Atlantic region and around the world by collaborating rather than competing for readers and resources. The merger builds upon our respective strengths while consolidating and streamlining core operations, eliminating duplications, and achieving economies of scale. It also equips us to embrace the challenges of dramatic changes in Baptist life, in religious journalism and in communication technologies. 

The merger is good news for everyone who believes that a free press is essential to the health and vitality of the Baptist witness to the gospel. It offers a way to preserve and perpetuate the rich legacy of a respected and influential Baptist newspaper while also strengthening our capacity to provide timely, compelling content across multiple media platforms. Ultimately, it moves us forward in our vision of being the leading source of news and commentary for Baptist Christians worldwide.  

On December 31, 2013, The Religious Herald will officially cease publication as a bi-weekly print and electronic newsjournal. Beginning January 1, 2014, it will find new life and new expressions through the merger with ABPnews. The information faithful subscribers have valued — reliable news stories, compelling features, thoughtful analysis, and engaging commentary — will enjoy greater visibility as part of a national platform via the integrated ABPnews/Religious Herald website and social media tools.  

The merger of our two organizations purposefully embraces the bold business model of ABPnews: providing compelling information about matters of faith every day free of charge to readers worldwide. We rely upon the generosity of our readers — together with contributions from churches, partner organizations and foundations — who believe in our unique ministry within the global Baptist family.  

The Fund for ABPnews, launched in June 2012, will continue to function as the Annual Fund for the consolidated news organization.

The Annual Fund constitutes the financial backbone of our ministry. Unrestricted gifts to the fund support our day-to-day operations. They help underwrite the costs of news gathering, reporting, editing and publishing. They support the website, the blog and the social media tools that enable us to deliver our content directly to our audiences. 

The Herald Legacy Initiative is an endeavor to sustain and build upon the financial investment of subscribers to the print and electronic editions of The Religious Herald and the donors who have supported the Herald through their additional contributions. Individuals who make a commitment to the Legacy Initiative automatically become members of the Annual Fund.  

As stakeholders in our mission, Annual Fund members receive A Report to our Stakeholders, an informative annual reporton the organization’s progress and the ways contributions have been put to work. Annual Fund members gather with other friends of ABPnews/Herald for a dinner event during the annual General Assembly of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship to celebrate the cause of a free press for free Baptists. Members also are invited to receptions and other events held in different regions of the country.  

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As another benefit of membership, each individual member or household also receives a copy of the new Herald magazine, a bi-monthly print magazine that debuts in early 2014. Although the audience has expanded, the magazine will inherit and reflect the spirit that has permeated The Religious Herald since 1828. A core objective of the magazine — along with content offered daily on the website and social media platforms — is to perpetuate the legacy and values of this historic newsjournal. All costs for designing, printing and mailing the Herald magazine will be covered by advertising. 

Your support of our shared vision and ministry through the Annual Fund will help keep us free. Our new integrated organization will continue to be as an autonomous provider of news and opinion. We are not controlled by or beholden to a denominational body or any special interest group. The Annual Fund undergirds our credibility as an independent religion news organization. It enables us to report honestly and accurately, free from coercion or control.  

The bottom line: by integrating the content and core audiences of our two news organizations, we believe good news will become great news for you and our other readers and advocates. 



abprhlogo vert finalABPnews and The Religious Herald 

Our Mission

Serving Christ by providing credible and compelling information about matters of faith 

Our Vision

To be the leading source of news and commentary for Baptist Christians worldwide

Our Identity

We are Baptist in heritage, ecumenical in spirit and global in reach. 


Meet Our New Team 

The merger agreement adopts the model of ABPnews as a virtual organization. We do not own or lease office space. Our staff members will be located in at least five states. The goal is to minimize overhead costs while concentrating our resources on the primary tasks of gathering, reporting, editing and publishing news and opinion content every business day. 


Davidmug 2013 webDavid Wilkinson

Executive Director and Publisher

Waco, TX


dilday2013Robert Dilday


Richmond, VA


lindsmug2012Lindsay Bergstrom

Director of Creative Services

Jacksonville, FL


bobmug11Bob Allen

News Editor

Smyrna, TN


JeffBrumley12Jeff Brumley

Assistant Editor

Jacksonville, FL




Staff Writer

Location to be determined.


barbara2013Barbara Francis

Business Manager/Advertising Director

Richmond, VA


natalie2013Natalie Aho

Interactive Communication Specialist (part-time)

Oxford, NC


ann mugAnn Richardson

Development Assistant (part-time)

Waco, TX