P&R Publishing Celebrates 75 Years in Christian Publishing

Founded in 1930 to publish a magazine, P&R Publishing Company will celebrate its 75th anniversary year, in part, by publishing about forty new books.

The company’s magazine was established, according to founder Samuel G. Craig, “to state, defend, and further the system of thought and life taught in the Bible.” He added that this “system of thought and life,” in his judgment, “has found its most complete and … its most vital expression in the standards of the Presbyterian church.” Seventy-five years late, P&R remains committed to the same goal and convictions.

Craig and theologian J. Gresham Machen founded the Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company in Philadelphia, with offices in the Witherspoon Building. His son, Charles, moved the company to his home in Nutley, New Jersey, and his grandson, Bryce, moved it into a new building in Phillipsburg, New Jersey in 1978. Bryce Craig remains the company president. The company’s offices and warehouse still occupy the same building.

For all the continuity shown in its leadership and theological orientation, P&R has experienced significant growth during the last five years. In 1999, the company published seventeen new titles, ending the year with 204 active titles. In 2004, the company released thirty-eight new titles, ending with 366 active titles. Sales increased during this period by 91%.

During the last five years, Craig has surrounded himself with managers Bob Fales (business), Al Fisher (editorial), Jesse Hillman (sales and marketing), and Joe Oliff (shipping). Joining Craig on the board of this non-profit company are C. Samuel Craig (grandson of the founder), Robert denDulk, and Steve Vanderhill.

Six years before the company’s founder closed down the magazine, P&R published its first book entitled The Five Books of Moses by O.T. Allis (1943). By the time of Samuel Craig’s death in 1960, his company had published more than fifty books. Throughout P&R’s history, it has been a quiet force in the evangelical community worldwide for faithfulness and biblical teaching.

In 2005, P&R will produce and distribute The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version, a highly anticipated study Bible published by Ligonier Ministries. In his introduction, general editor R. C. Sproul writes: “The Reformation Study Bible contains a modern restatement of Reformation truth in its comments and theological notes. Its purpose is to present the light of the Reformation afresh.”